Friday, February 28, 2014

Now Would Be A Really Great Time For That Spring Bike Tune-Up!

Congratulations to the winter cyclists! As seen in the photo above- there is a strong community here in Princeton who have not been put off by this crazy, snowy winter. It's amazing to regularly see people out cycling, well wrapped up in warm winter gear. But on the other hand, is it really so surprising? When you catch the 'bug' for cycling, it can become a real habit. That's why it's great to make life easier for cyclists, because once people start cycling, they often make it a regular part of their routine- and find ways of dealing with the weather!

For the rest of us- now would be a really great time to get your bike ready for the spring season. Yes, yes, so the start of March is due to bring another 6 inches of snow. But was anybody out last weekend? When the temperatures climbed to the low 60s? It was b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l out! What a pleasure to get back on two wheels! My bike was slumped in a corner of the garage with a couple of tarps lying over it (which had been used to cover the woodpiles in the backyard). On inspection, both tires were almost completely flat. A little bit of love and it was flying again!

What kind of state is your bike in right now? Is it ready to ride as soon as the weather picks up? Do your tires need a breath of air? Does the chain want oil? Brakes tightening? Why not use this cold weekend to get your bike in with one of our great local Princeton bike shops for a tune-up? Maybe Kopp's- the oldest bike store in America- on Spring Street? Or maybe Jay's on Nassau st. (also seen in photo above)? Don't wait for the weather to warm up. Let's be honest, after this winter- we don't want to miss a single good day! Get your bike ready now!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Princeton Future Meeting This Saturday To Discuss Complete Streets, Biking In Princeton!

Last year, Princeton made a huge step forward for alternative transportation by making 'Complete Streets' a central part of the municipal Masterplan. This week, Princeton Council took another great step by setting a goal to draw up an implementation plan for Complete Streets and a Bike Route Network by the end of the year. This is an exciting time to be living in Princeton if you agree that more walking and cycling can promote a healthier, greener, more enjoyable lifestyle!

On Saturday, February 22, two members of Princeton's Pedestrian-Bicycling Committee  will be presenting as part of Princeton Future's public meeting on 'Traffic and Transit'.

This meeting will be an important opportunities for members of the public to make their voice heard with municipal committee members who help to guide transportation policy. New PBAC member Sam Bunting will speak about 'Complete Streets'. Complete Streets are streets that are designed with all users in mind- that means equal opportunity regardless of age or mobility level, and regardless of whether people are moving on foot, by bicycle, or in a car. But how can we adapt Complete Streets to Princeton's busy and crowded streets? These questions will be explored in a short talk with question and answer session to follow.

PBAC Chair, Steve Kruse, will also describe the strategy of the Pedestrian/Bicycling Committee to make a safe bicycle network around Princeton. Who cycles in Princeton and why? What roads and streets should form part of the bike route network? And what sort of infrastructure is required to make streets safe for cycling? Steve will be taking questions, as we aim to complete and formalize an official Princeton Bike Plan some time in 2014.

There will also be presentations by former Borough Mayor Marvin Reed, Traffic & Transportation committee member Ralph Widner, and Chair of the Alexander Street/University Place Transit Task Force, Kevin Wilkes. You can find all the details about the event by clicking here. The meeting runs 9 a.m. - 12 noon in the Princeton Public Library. It would be great to see lots of advocates for biking and walking in Princeton, and have the opportunity to hear your opinions, so we hope to see lots of you there!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Who To Call To Report Icy Sidewalks In Princeton

With regular snow this winter, many local walkers and cyclists are facing icy sidewalks and paths. Most Princeton homeowners have done a great job with clearing snow- see for example the photo at top. But we regularly receive complaints from walkers who observe paths that have not been scraped after snowfall.

It's the law in Princeton that property owners must clear paths and sidewalks next to their homes or businesses. This must be completed within 24 hours of snow falling in the former Borough (ordinance) or 48 hours in the former Township (ordinance). It's the law for a good reason: unscraped sidewalks are dangerous to pedestrians, who may fall on untreated surfaces or put themselves at risk by walking in the roadway to avoid icy patches. Leaving untreated ice or snow is not allowed. If the ice is too hard to dig out, it should be covered with sand or ashes to allow pedestrians to pass safely.

In Princeton it is a police matter to enforce untreated sidewalks next to private property. If you see an untreated sidewalk next to a private home or business, call the police department at 609-921-2100, ex. 2124 to report it. (Note- do not call 911.) The police will visit the property, and issue a fixed penalty notice and order-to-shovel as appropriate. They have already issued several this season.

For paths on public/municipal land, the Department of Public Works is responsible for treating snow and ice. Call them at (609) 497-7639 to report untreated surfaces.

Thanks to everybody who has taken the time to shovel sidewalks around their homes. It has definitely been more of a burden than usual this year, but it's great when everybody pulls together to keep our sidewalks clear and help our community beat the winter weather!