Thursday, June 26, 2014

Princeton Pedestrian/Bicycling meeting tonight - Agenda posted

The Agenda for tonight's regular meeting of the Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycling Advisory Committee has been posted. The meeting will happen tonight at 7.30 p.m. at 400 Witherspoon Street (former Township Hall).

Please join us, or let us know if you have any comments or would like further details about the agenda items. If there's anything else that you think we ought to be discussing, get in touch! Email: pjpbac (at)

PBAC Meeting June 26, 2014




1. Endorsement of Safe Routes To School grant application authored by Engineering Dept  -- Deanna.


2. Feedback/status re: bicycle improvement project (Muni Aid grant) for Hamilton Avenue and Prospect -- Sam.


3. Discussion of Princeton bike mapping project, featuring special guest: cartographer Nat Case now doing field work, paper bike map project -- all.


4. Any other business.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

we can help Nat case this joint

Minneapolis-based cartographer Nat Case, who grew up in Lawrenceville, is in
town for a few days. He's been exploring by bike, doing fieldwork/research for 
the upcoming and long-awaited Princeton bike map to be published later this year.

The project was initiated by PBAC and was one of several applicants chosen
for funding by the Mass Transit Trust Fund this year.

Nat was for many years affiliated with Hedberg Maps whose popular
"Professor Pathfinderbrand of college-town maps indirectly led to PBAC
making the connection. Gotta love their slogan: "Life's Too Short for Bad Maps".

Nat's many published maps include the Minneapolis Bicycle Map and the 
Albert Hinds Walking Tour map created for the Historical Society. He is also
an eloquent proponent of the art of mapmaking, as evidenced by his essays 
here and (especially) here, or on his blog.

Should you have any suggestions, questions, or over-arching strategic visions
for putting Princeton's streets and trails on the bike map, feel free to email us:
pjpbac "at"    Or simply post a follow-up comment right here.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

stop to smell the flowers, with kickstand

Congratulations to the public forum reader who took this photo, winning GMTMA's Vision of Bicycling photo contest.
Way up north, the 30th edition of the Tour de L'Ile in Montreal took place June 1, with an estimated 30,000 bicyclists.

I thought this blog post and 5-minute video captured it quite well, and perked up when Le Pista café mobile made
an appearance at the very end of the video. It's a made-in-London espresso cart / tricycle called Velopresso.

"Combining their three loves -- coffee, cycling and sustainability -- inspired two London Royal College of Art product 
design students to create a mobile espresso bar, the Velopresso, that operates on pedal power. No electricity, no motors,
no noise. A a celebratory fusion of human power, sensory pleasures and technology. Inventors: Lasse Oiva & Amos Field Reid. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Philly news: Temple Student Wins $2.4 Million Judgment After Being Doored, Run Over

In case you ever wondered about the motivation for those painted sharrows on
Nassau and a few other streets: they act to help demarcate the door zone.

Read about the Ashley McKean verdict here or (link to the radio story) here.
This is notable because  the laws are quite vague, and legal precedents are few.

The sharrows here in Princeton resulted from strenuous lobbying by PBAC carried
out during the second half of 2010. Our report submitted to borough and town
council can be found by navigating the "documents" tab on our website. LINK

Yes - we've all noticed that certain existing sharrows are well-worn, and in the case
of the ones on Harrison/Ewing north of the shopping center, they've disappeared
altogether when the street got improved/resurfaced. PBAC will push to rectify this.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"A Philosophy of Walking" + NYC bikeshare

Preamble:  minutes of the most recent PBAC monthly meeting are viewable here.


"In A Philosophy of Walking, a bestseller in France, leading thinker Frédéric Gros charts 
the many different ways we get from A to B — the pilgrimage, the promenade, the protest 
march, the nature ramble — and reveals what they say about us. 

Reviews of this book here or by "hipster/polymath" Mark Kingwell here … or video [in French].

How Citibike Is Like Ecuador   by Felix Salmon 

Abstract: Deep dive into why New York's bike-rental scheme is wobbling badly. Much useful wisdom about 
public-private partnerships. Basic problem: the private operator is incompetent, but can't be dislodged, 
because there isn't an alternative. The renting formalities are so complex that they repel casual users 
who are meant to provide the profits. The "Citibike" branding has been so successful that no secondary 
sponsors can be found (article length: 2,240 words)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

P'ton peregrinations w/Pops

June 16, the Monday following Father's Day this year, is what day ?

Anyone ? Anyone ? Bueller ?

Bloomsday, June 16, is the day in 1904 on which James Joyce's
epic novel Ulysses takes place. A landmark book where, arguably, "one
mans' day is condensed into an experimental epic that can take years to
plough through" and where "James Joyce gives mythic significance to
the wanderings of Leopold Bloom, a modest man of Hungarian Jewish
origin, by using the framework of Homer's Odyssey".

In the words of Baltimore writer Baynard Woods, "there is something fitting
about the coincidence of Bloomsday with the more generally recognized American
holiday celebrating paternity, because Ulysses is, in many ways, a book about
fatherhood and the surrogates we find for fathers and for sons (Leopold Bloom and
Stephen Daedalus, two of the primary characters come together after a long day of
wandering, Daedalus playing the role of Telemachus, the son of Odysseus in the
Homer's epic, upon which Joyce's book was based)."

Here it says "Princeton may seem far from Dublin, but it nurtured a book lover named
Sylvia Beach, who would go on to publish the first edition of ''Ulysses'' in Paris in 1922.
Beach never let go of her ties to Princeton (...) and is buried in the Princeton Cemetery
next to her father, the Rev. Sylvester Woodbridge Beach, Princeton Class of 1876 and
pastor of Presbyterian Church". 

More about Sylvia B in an excellent Town Topics article. She and Einstein share the same
birthday (aka "Pi Day"); the alleyway behind the public library is now named Sylvia Beach
Way, although the novel Chasing Sylvia Beach isn't part of said library's collection.

Many have mapped Bloom's peregrinations. The latter word can mean "the undefined journeys
or wanderings whether physical and/or spiritual, allowing us the possibilities of transformation
in new territories, across landscapes with unfamiliar horizons".

But here's a possible route in case you'd prefer to celebrate Bloomsday by biking around
town in a less undefined framework. It's a 7-mile loop with start/end on Sylvia Beach Way. It
allows the possibility of re-enactment as you ride past local facsimiles (school, hospital, library,
newspaper building, pub) of places immortalized in the novel. Link:

Speaking of Homer, the other main character in Ulysses is named after Daedalus, the creator of
the Labyrinth on Crete. According to the co-owner of Labyrinth Books, "a labyrinth implies a search
and the experience of getting lost along the way". So perhaps in the spirit of Bloomsday you really
ought to be writing about and mapping the unplanned route afterwards. Labyrinth Books, by the
way, offers a Carbon-Neutral Books program, in honor of the owner's environmentalist father.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Event Review, and, Welcome To Our New Cycling And Walking Friends!

Since joining the Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycling Committee earlier this year, I have taken part in four separate events aimed at bringing together local walkers and cyclists!

Our first event this year, the 'Fireflies Ride', was an amazing occasion. PBAC fitted synchronized lights to 40 participants, who rode around Community Park South in the dark to create a cycle-powered light show! The event was a great addition to Princeton's 'Pi-Day' festivities.

Communiversity was a big success, when PBAC joined with Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association and the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Assocation for a united front of green transportation! It was great to meet many members of the community who were interested in cycling and walking in our town.

Princeton's first 'Ciclovia', when we set Quaker Road aside for non-motorized transportation, was a huge step for PBAC on May 4. Despite showery weather in the morning, it turned into a beautiful day, and everyone who was there was able to take in one of Princeton's most scenic areas undisturbed by cars. The only downside was when a large gust of wind destroyed our PBAC tent! (see photo above, taken just before the calamity!) Long-time committee member David Cohen was lucky not to be injured as the tent sailed away toward the Princeton Battlefield.

Finally, most recently, PBAC participated in the 'Wheels Rodeo', an educational event for local kids to help them learn how to cycle safely. The PBAC booth focused on checking helmets, and we even gave out some free cycle helmets to kids who didn't have one.

Thanks to all the municipal representatives, advocates, and members our police force for all their assistance with our events this year so far! We are now taking a break until the fall, when we hope to repeat "The Mayor's Ride of the Falling Leaves". We held this even last fall, and it was a big success, so we hope you will join us again later this year!

In the meantime, I'd like to welcome the 74 people who have newly signed up for our email list. Spread the word among your friends! You can contact us with comments or suggestions any time by emailing Also check out our blog at And I'd also like to take a moment to thank Karen Jezierney, who is stepping down from our committee to pursue other community-oriented activities! Thanks for your service Karen!!

PBAC regular public meetings are usually on the fourth Thursday of the month (next one is June 26 at 400 Witherspoon, starting at 7.30 pm). You can always check the municipal calendar at this link for our next meeting. The minutes from our last meeting are available here. Please get in touch if you have any questions!

organized event: Cory's Ride is this Saturday, June 7

Here's the link where you can find the registration form:

The start/end location is 

Tall Cedars Picnic Grove, 245 Sawmill Road, Hamilton Township, NJ 08620

Cory's Ride takes place in a scenic and historic part of New Jersey - the
Crosswicks Creek / Doctors Creek watershed.  Map of the area.

The event is always fun and well worth the short trip down there. Read
more at the Corys Ride website, or here at Planet Princeton.