Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Tour Of The Innovative Bike Facilities of Hoboken And Jersey City

Last Saturday, the New Jersey chapter of the American Planning Association hosted a 'Tour of Bike Facilities' in Hoboken and Jersey City. For those of us who are slightly obsessed with building better bike facilities, and I unashamedly count myself in that group, this was an awesome opportunity to check out best practice from two towns that are making a sustained effort to implement 'Complete Streets' and give cyclists some space on the road.

I took a huge number of photos as I went round. Here are some of them. Not everything in Hoboken and Jersey City is applicable to Princeton- obviously- but we have more in common with these cities than you'd think. There is huge pressure for on-street parking in both places, just as there is in Princeton. But both cities manage to find room for cyclists. Check out how below…

Riders gathering for the APA-NJ Tour of Bike Facilities. Hoboken Terminal, October 19, 2014.

Monday, October 20, 2014

maps, Martians, and badgers Re: ride idea: visit Elsie (the Jersey girl)




> Google search using keywords "more recognized than Albert Einstein" yields
> somebody you might not expect: Elsie the Cow.   There's a headstone to memorialize
> Elsie, near this easy-to-spot wooden gazebo. Its rough location is marked on this map of
> a fairly easy bike ride, mostly on the towpath.

     I've updated the map to show the location of Van Nest Park in Grovers Mill (West Windsor Twp)
     - the place made famous (infamous?) by Orson Welles in his Halloween 1938 radio play.

             "On his day off, playwright Howard Koch visited his family up the Hudson River.
              On his return, he picked up a map at a gas station to determine where the Martians
              would begin their assault. Since he was passing through New Jersey on Route 9W,
              it was a map of that state. Back in New York, Koch closed his eyes and dropped
              a pencil on the map. It fell on the tiny unincorporated hamlet of Grovers Mill, New
              Jersey. And, thus, a small village near Princeton became ground zero for the Martian
              invasion of the earth — and entered media history."

But why am I telling you about Orson Welles ?

        "He was born to affluent parents in Kenosha WI in 1915, but still endured hardship as a child. His
         father had invented and made a fortune with a popular bicycle lamp, but suffered from alcoholism. ... 
         Soon after Welles' graduation from prep school, his father passed away. Using funds from his
         inheritance Welles traveled to Europe. While on a walking tour of Ireland he boldly walked into the
         Gate Theatre of Dublin and claimed to be a Broadway star.

Welles' father Richard was co-founder and treasurer of the Badger Brass Manufacturing Co. of Kenosha.
Their product, the carbide-based Solar Bicycle Lamp, started out lighting the way for bicycles and did the same
for motorized vehicles. The Kenosha factory employed 200 people in 1917 and boasted annual sales near
the $1 million mark with an annual production of 100,000 cycle/bicycle and 400,000 auto lamps.

Orson Welles on his movie, "The Magnificent Ambersons",  based on Booth Tarkington's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1918 novel:

        "The Eugene Morgan character brings with him the whole stinking hell of the automobile age, but that doesn't mean
         he isn't a nice human being. He admits himself that what's he's doing may be a bad thing. My father felt that way
         about it. He was a motorcar pioneer, but he abandoned it early on. He got tired of it, I guess. Then he invented
         a bicycle lamp which, as it turned out, was on practically every automobile in the world! He was a friend of Booth
         Tarkington's, and really there's a lot of my father in that character. An early automobile fellow with a deep suspicion
         of what the automobile would do fascinated by it, and very much afraid of what it was going to do to the world.




Friday, October 17, 2014

event info re: 2nd annual "Mayor's Ride Of The Falling Leaves" - this Sunday


The start location is adjacent to the parking lot at Community Park South,
whose official address is 380 Witherspoon St, Princeton, NJ 08542. MAP

Our gathering spot will be down the embankment, on the bike path. It's
basically between the parking lot and the tennis courts.  The parking lot
can be entered from Witherspoon, next to Community Park School. It runs
parallel to Birch Avenue, and is between John and Race streets. 


On Sat, Oct 4, 2014 at 4:49 PM, Sam Bunting <thebunting@gmail.com> wrote:



Please Save The Date and tell your friends! Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycling Advisory Committee, in association with Mayor Liz Lempert and the Princeton Police Department invite you to the 2014 'Ride of the Falling Leaves'. We will repeat our route from last year, which is 3.5 miles, starting in Community Park South and taking in a leisurely tour of Mountain Lakes Park. The ride, which is mostly on trails, is free and suitable for all ages. Helmets are required. Hot cider will be served at Mountain Lakes House half-way around. For more details, please email pjpbac@gmail.com

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Princeton Council Set To Make Decision On New Hamilton Avenue Bike Lanes



In Princeton, we might be about to get bike lanes on one of our local roads. After discussions with municipal engineers earlier this year, Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycling Advisory Committee (PBAC) unanimously recommended that bidirectional bike lanes should be striped on Hamilton Avenue between North Harrison Street and Snowden Lane (as seen in image above). At their September meeting, the Princeton Traffic and Transportation committee also voted to support the addition of bike lanes on this section of Hamilton Avenue. The bike lanes will now be considered by Princeton Council, who will have to vote to approve the project.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Save The Date: "Mayor's Ride Of The Falling Leaves" - October 19



Please Save The Date and tell your friends! Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycling Advisory Committee, in association with Mayor Liz Lempert and the Princeton Police Department invite you to the 2014 'Ride of the Falling Leaves'. We will repeat our route from last year, which is 3.5 miles, starting in Community Park South and taking in a leisurely tour of Mountain Lakes Park. The ride, which is mostly on trails, is free and suitable for all ages. Helmets are required. Hot cider will be served at Mountain Lakes House half-way around. For more details, please email pjpbac@gmail.com

Friday, October 3, 2014

Re: [pjpbac-public forum listserv] announcing Operation Photo Op


We're grateful to all who participated - close to 30 images were
submitted last month. From these, the PBAC members voted
independently, and winnowed the list down to 5 popular images
which are viewable online Click here to view (2 pages).

Image #29 on page 2 received the most votes, except the
smiling cyclist has forgotten to strap on her helmet, contrary to
the safety-related text accompanying the map. This was taken from
an observation tower along the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail.

Image #28 by Wiebke is a close runner up and can also be
cropped into the desired tall/narrow aspect ratio. It loses
several points due to the protagonist having his back to the
camera. Although actually, Mother Nature is the protagonist.

Image #5 also submitted by Wiebke is more horizontal than
vertical, although it does evoke downtown Princeton superbly.

Image #25 by Aaron is tied as the runner up, but would need to
be rotated and cropped, to achieve the correct aspect ratio.

Image #14 is seriously lacking in impartiality (it's my daughter)
although this one scores bonus points by flashing the PBAC logo.

The net result of all this rumination, with our committee having not yet
reached a clear decision, is that we plan to solicit further images until
midnight on Sunday Oct 19th, which is the date of PBAC's next event,
the second annual Mayor's Ride of the Falling Leaves (details soon).

I hope this gives you some idea of what criteria we've used when
considering the cover art, and also gives encouragement.    SK


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert Issues Proclamation Supporting 'Walk To School Day', October 8.


Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert has issued an official proclamation encouraging support for international Walk To School Day on October 8. At the Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee (PBAC) meeting on September 25, municipal engineer Deanna Stockton unveiled a bound copy of the Proclamation from the Mayor's Office (see photo above, showing Deanna Stockton, left, and Mayor Lempert, center). Princeton's Engineering Department will be communicating with all local schools to drive the effort for students to participate in this event. The Proclamation also urges support for 'Crossing Guard Appreciation Day', which is happening the same day.

'Walk To School Day' is marked in more than 40 countries, and has taken place every year since 1997. Here in Princeton, PBAC member and local resident Lisa Serieyssol is coordinating efforts towards facilitating a 'Safe Routes To School' program, focused on Johnson Park Elementary School, and involving staff from Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association

If you have comments or suggestions about 'Walk To School Day', please get in touch at pjpbac@gmail.com.