Friday, February 28, 2020

Your Comment please on Witherspoon Street

Princeton is planning to improve Witherspoon Street and the Engineering department is asking for your thoughts, comments, and suggestions. The online survey is here.

The first public Design Meeting was on February 13: the Engineering department had a huge map of Witherspoon Street on the wall and plenty of post-it notes on which people could write their ideas for particular locations.

In addition to annotating the map with requests, people could write in suggestions in particular areas such as Safety, Landscaping, Parking, Transit, and Bike And Pedestrian. View your neighbors' suggestions in this PDF file.

Engineering now also has an online survey. In a sign that they mean to hear from everyone, they have made the survey interactively translatable into any of about a hundred languages.

Please help make the case for safe bike infrastructure in this busy corridor that is much-traveled by bike riders. Take the survey today.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020


Cyclab is Princeton University's bicycle repair café. If your bike needs fixing, and you are willing to do the job yourself, this place is for you. It has *all* the tools, a supply of parts, and friendly student staff who will help you find stuff and teach you how to do repairs.

The person managing all this, currently, is Kate (center in the photo), a self-possessed junior in Environmental Engineering who runs the place with a calm grace conveying to even the beginnerest of novices that yes, you can fix your own bike.

Cyclab mechanics will help you put your bike up on one of the stands, and help you troubleshoot. If you need instruction, they will show you what to do - but then they hand you the tools and you do the actual repair yourself. So you will ride away not only with a better functioning bike but also with the know-how.

The owner of the bike (left in the photo) told me that the first time she walked in here, at the beginning of the year, she didn't know how to fix a flat tire. This time she was tuning her derailleur, and working on making her rear tire circular again. On the afternoon of my visit Kate was also training a new mechanic.

No wonder the place is popular. Halfway through a Sunday afternoon it was packed with people all happily working on their bikes or scooters.

Cyclab is free and open to the general public. Bring your bike to 2 University Place, follow the down ramp to the entrance on the left. Hours vary by semester and are posted on their Facebook page; it's always a good idea to check for any changes before you go.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Princeton University survey on transportation

I fell in love today.

Okay, so there was this boy I fell for, hard, back in 10th grade. I eventually married him. I still periodically fall in love with him. But what happened today is not about him.

Today, I met a newer model, so to speak. Made my heart beat! Made me laugh with joy! I had a hard time parting with it.

I'm talking about an electric scooter that was among the demo models that Zagster bikeshare brought to Princeton University's open house on campus mobility today. There it was standing in a row with other e-scooters, e-bikes and regular share-bikes.

It was irresistible. I put on the required helmet, got some quick instructions, and off I went.

I rode a scooter when I was a kid. I loved it, but it required constant pushing off. On this e-scooter, you push off once and then you let the battery take over. It's like a scooter on infinite cruise. Wind in your face without the effort. Joy!

I confess, I let go of this scooter only because they let me try its bigger sibling. That one was quite a bit heavier, so more steady. To be honest, its higher maximum speed freaked me out a bit, which in the end made it easier to give it back.

But now I'm thinking. If Princeton really went with a bikeshare that had e-bikes or e-scooters, that would expand my range significantly. I love my bike, but I don't get very far. But on an e-bike I can see myself reach the Ciclovia on Quaker Road, or go down Alexander Road to Plainsboro (which, by the way, also has Zagster service). Best of all, my real sweetheart has said he'd come with me on such e-rides. Double joy!

Zagster has short term memberships, for three days or even for a single ride, making it easy to bike around Princeton if your friends visit you from out of town.

The university's mobility survey is accessible online and is open to  Princeton residents, whether or not you are affiliated with the university. A lot of it is about the Tiger Transit bus service, which is free and open to the public. Find the survey here.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

"Bikes vs Cars" film this Sunday 3pm

The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance is sponsoring a showing of the 2015 film

"Bikes vs Cars"
Sunday, February 9, 3-5pm
West Windsor Arts Center, 1 block from the Princeton Jct train station, 952 Alexander Rd.

  • Depicts a global crisis that we all deep down know we need to talk about: climate, earth's resources, cities where the entire surface is consumed by the car. An ever-growing, dirty, noisy traffic chaos. The bike is a great tool for change, but the powerful interests who gain from the private car invest billions each year on lobbying and advertising to protect their business. In the film we meet activists and thinkers who are fighting for better cities, who refuse to stop riding despite the increasing number killed in traffic.

  • The movie is followed by a discussion.

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  • Monday, January 27, 2020

    Ask Council to prioritze bike issues

    Princeton's Council is setting priorities for 2020, and bike-related matters are getting surprising short shrift, getting less priority than, for instance, pet-related matters.

    They are voting on this at tonight's Council meeting. The bike committee will be there asking that higher priority be given to safe bicycle infrastructure as lives are on the line.

    Please support us in this ask. Plan to attend the Council meeting if you can, or send your supporting comment (include your name and street address) to

    Thank you in advance,
    your bike committee


    Council's prioritization on our 5 priorities are :

    Secondary Goal: goal #
    Consider Vision Zero (02-14)

    Bike Parking Ordinance (04-13)
    Bike Boulevards (04-14)
    Terhune/VanDyke (04-15)
    Harrison St study (04-16)

    To put this in perspective, the Primary goals, defined as "almost done, legal requirement, grant money dependent, or top priority," include:

    Witherspoon St plan (01-09) << PBAC should have input
    Backyard poultry (02-04)
    Fueling station (02-07) << PBAC has input
    Dogs licensed (02-15)
    Dog park (02-16)
    Nassau St-scape (03-01) << PBAC should have input
    Rt 27 design (03-02) << PBAC should have input
    Hamilton Wiggins (04-04) << PBAC has input
    Plastic bag ord. (04-06)

    Sunday, November 24, 2019

    Report bike/ped issues to Access Princeton

    As pedestrians and bike riders, on occasion we encounter issues that are too small to get the police department involved, but that make our streets less safe and/or detract from the pleasure of biking or walking around town.

    It's important to report these, so that the town has a record of the issues. AccessPrinceton enables you to do just that!

    AccessPrinceton is a one-stop portal for reporting issues that need to be addressed in our town, from missed garbage pickup, to street lights that need repair, to lost (or found) pets. Of course, compliments are also welcome.

    A few examples of traffic safety issues you might report include:
    - narrowly-avoided crash / hit
    - feeling unsafe crossing X Street at the intersection with Y road
    - desired pedestrian traffic light
    - car parked on sidewalk
    - a particularly effective crossing guard
    - driver texting while car is moving
    - snow on pedestrian crossing

    Be as specific as you can, and give details such as location, time and date, and other relevant information. A photo helps but is not necessary. It's okay to report on something that happened a few days after it occurred. If you're shy, it's possible to report anonymously.

    How to report:
    Website: (scroll down to map)
    App: download for Android or iPhone
    Phone:  609-924-4141
    Twitter: @accessprinceton

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    Thursday, October 31, 2019

    The scariest thing on Halloween? Drivers

    On this Halloween, please be particularly extra super careful if you drive around tonight. There will be a lot of dinosaurs, wonder women, spider men, and assorted monsters roaming our streets. Witches and black cats are especially hard to spot in the dark.

    This graphic from the Washington Post is a stark reminder of the dangers cars pose to our children, on Halloween but also throughout the year. Come to think of it, please be careful driving all the other days of the year.

    The graphic also bears a warning of what happens when more people decide to walk or bike without an improvement in road safety. That connection is made in the article. Conversely, the safer the roads, the more people decide to leave their car behind. This is why the Princeton Bicycle Advisory Committee is dedicated to making our streets safer for all road users of all ages.

    Happy Halloween!

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