Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Agenda posted for Princeton Pedestrian-Bicycling Advisory Committee this Thursday

Dear friends of Princeton Pedestrianism and Cycling,

Our regular PBAC meeting will be held this Thursday, July 24 at the municipal building at 400 Witherspooon Street starting 7.30 p.m. All are welcome to attend or submit comments or questions in advance of the meeting (send comments to pjpbac@gmail.com). The agenda is as below:


PBAC Meeting July 24, 2014

 

 

Agenda

 

 

 

Items with expected action:

 

1. Discussion of Princeton Paper Bike Map project - all

Expected action: Decision taken on what roads around Princeton will be marked as of particular concern for cycling.

 

2. Planning session: Mayor's Bike Ride Of The Falling Leaves (Oct 26) - all

Expected action: List and delegate responsibilities for logistics and marketing.

 

 

 

Items for discussion:

 

3. Update on Complete Streets Initiatives on Hamilton Ave and Prospect Ave - Sam

 

4. Discussion of Complete Streets Improvements on Cherry Valley Road - Deanna

 

5. Discussion of possibility of acquiring easements for bike path on Snowden Lane - Deanna

 

6. Update on Princeton Bike Masterplan planning effort- Sam

 

7. Matters arising from letter in 'Town Topics' RE bike safety and education.

 

8. All other business

 

 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Yes We Are Trying To Educate Princeton Cyclists.

A letter in todays "Town Topics" from local resident John Frederick claims that "no effort seems to be spent on impressing cyclists on a local level with their responsibilities" to cycle safely. As a member of Princeton's volunteer Pedestrian and Bicycling Advisory Committee, this statement seems strange. The PBAC team has already been involved in multiple educational outreach events this year:
  • In March, we distributed bike lights and safety information (in both Spanish and English) at the 'Fireflies' ride at Community Park South.
  • In April, we distributed safety information at our booth at Princeton Communiversity (see photo above).
  • In May, we gave out safety leaflets at the inaugural Princeton Communiversity Ciclovia. Later in the month, we checked cycle helmets and assisted with skills training for kids with the Princeton police force at the 'Wheels Rodeo'.
  • We are putting together a bike map using funds from the Princeton Transit Trust Fund, which will prominently feature safety information.
  • We are working with the League of American Bicyclists to organize adult skills training.
In short, we are working hard to promote safe cycling in Princeton. Unfortunately, not every cyclist is a safe cyclist and let's be clear: cyclists must follow the rules of the road. 

But picking out cyclists as being responsible for 'anarchy' on Princeton roads is hardly fair. First, many cyclists are entirely law-abiding. Many of us switch it up between driving cars and riding bikes, so we know how annoying it is when people cycle on the wrong side of the road, or without lights at night. Secondly, in June 2014, Princeton police responded to 85 instances of motor vehicle crashes or DUIs, but just one incident involving a cyclist. Enforcement is very important, but let's make sure that all road users are behaving safely, and not just pick on one group.

To find out more or comment about PBAC's education and outreach efforts, you can contact us at pjpbac@gmail.com

Monday, July 14, 2014

Day Trip To New Brunswick Ciclovia!

Last Saturday was the second Ciclovia of the year for New Brunswick, NJ! Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., many downtown streets were opened to walkers and cyclists as car traffic was re-routed. As the organizers described:

During Ciclovia, the streets become temporarily car-free for 5 hours for families to run, walk, skate, ride bikes, enjoy active events along the route, and explore the city streets.

The event was part of the global Ciclovia movement, which has seen towns and cities across the world set aside days when non-motorized transportation takes priority. In Princeton, we held our own Ciclovia on May 4 this year (which unfortunately clashed with the first New Brunswick Ciclovia of the year...oops!)


The event drew many people from New Brunswick neighborhoods out into the streets. There was participation from all ages and a really great turnout from all sections of the community. There was a report in NJ.com earlier today with lots more nice photos and interviews with the organizers. The route was an impressive 3.2 miles of downtown and neighborhood streets. While it was amazing to walk on George Street with no traffic, there were maybe more participants in the neighborhoods, where kids just went right outside and started playing soccer or riding their trikes right in the street.

The organization was really impressive. I had wondered how the organizers could close down so much of the downtown in a busy city like New Brunswick, but I found that the disruption was reduced by having 'Ciclovia Crossings' (like that pictured above) where police and volunteers would regularly allow cars to pass.



By luck I bumped into Karen Jenkins of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, who was involved in setting up the New Brunswick Ciclovia. She encouraged us to come to their next Ciclovia later this year, which will be happening on October 12. I think it's well worth making the trip, because the atmosphere was really great. It was great for one day for bicycles and people traffic to take over a busy city! If you can't make it to New Brunswick, don't forget to check out our Princeton Ciclovia next year! You can see some photos of our first Ciclovia at our Facebook page by clicking here!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

vaguely Veblen-related


Back in February, I had posted a comment referring to James Simons, who in the mid/late 1960's
worked in Princeton at the Institute for Defence Analysis (IDA). The NYT has published an interesting
profile of Simons, "Seeker, Doer, Giver, Ponderer", which can be found at this link.  It seems that
one of Simons late sons was a very avid cyclist who enjoyed daily 30-mile bike rides in the vicinity of
SUNY Stony Brook campus, and who is commemorated by the Paul Simons Memorial Bike Path.

For more about the IDA-related tumult of the Vietnam War era, click here, here, or watch the
recent documentary I Grew Up in Princeton.








June Princeton Pedestrian-Bicycling Minutes Now Available Online



On June 26, the Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycling Advisory Committee held its regular meeting and discussed:
1. Safe Routes to School Grants
2. Possible Bike improvements / lanes on Hamilton and Prospect Avenues
3. Details of a paper bike map, to be designed and published in coordination with InCase, LLC.

One side of the draft paper map is shown in the image above. 

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know by replying to this message or by emailing pjpbac@gmail.com.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

What NJ Assemblyman John Wisniewski Told Me About NJ's New Cycling Law


This is the letter that John Wisniewski sent me about the potential law to make it a legal requirement for drivers to leave four feet of space when passing a cyclist...

Mr Wisniewski is a New Jersey Assembly representative and chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee. Last month, I learned from the NJ Bike and Walk Coalition that the Assembly was considering two pieces of legislation to add new standards to require drivers to give more space to cyclists when passing. I quickly fired off a short email to Mr Wisniewski, encouraging him to pass this legislation.

To my delight, not only did the Assembly pass the bill, but I got this nice letter back from Mr Wisniewski thanking me for doing my part to "take an active role in government in order to make it work more effectively". The potential legislation is now being considered by the New Jersey Senate. It will be discussed by the Senate Transportation committee, before a possible vote, and hopefully Governor Christie's signature!

I don't know how much difference my note made, but we can't complain about the lack of provision for cyclists (and walkers) if we don't occasionally let our elected officials know how we feel about an issue. Whether at municipal, state, or federal level, it's important to make your voice heard if you want to see things improve!


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

what I saw in town one recent afternoon (haiku version)


Vintage High Wheeler !!
Twenty-something Bicyclist
Salmons up Spring Street

This is thus far the only entrant in PBAC's haiku contest which,
since it's about going the wrong way, will be announced next month.

In unrelated news, the Tour de France starts Saturday. In Yorkshire !