Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Princeton Bike Lane Ordinance Falls In Unanimous Council Vote

Princeton Council voted unanimously tonight to table the recommendation from Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee to repurpose parking on Hamilton Avenue for bidirectional bike lanes. That means it will not be possible to add bike lanes in both directions at this time. It will still be possible to add one bike lane, running west-bound toward town. The east-bound lane will either be left unmarked or get 'sharrows' as at other locations on Wiggins Street and Hamilton. (let us know by emailing pjpbac@gmail.com if you have a strong opinion on this). 

It was great to see so many cycling and sustainability advocates at the meeting tonight. Your support is very important in letting Council know the strength of feeling about making safe bike facilities in Princeton. Although the majority of people at the public hearing spoke in favor of the ordinance, the support just wasn't there on Council. Members of the Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee will continue to work with municipal engineers to try to encourage pedestrian- and bike-friendly accommodations on upcoming engineering projects. Tonight's vote is helpful in some ways because it defines the kind of options that are politically feasible at this time. We are continuing to work on an updated community bicycle circulation plan and if a new circulation plan is ever formally adopted by Council or the Planning Board, there may be a chance to revisit the idea of repurposing street space for high-quality bike facilities.

Finally I'd like to thank a few people who have leant strong support to the bike lanes plan, and who have some excellent ongoing projects related to sustainability that you may find interesting. Diane Landis at Sustainable Princeton - check out their 'Great Ideas Breakfasts' series. Tineke Theo, who is hosting a new meetup group on the subject of climate change at the library. And Bainy Suri, who is sponsoring an ordinance for a bag fee to try to limit waste- read more about it here.

Advancing safe bike facilities is just one thing that Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee works on, and with this vote out of the way, we look forward to sharing news about some other great projects we've been working on. Stay tuned!


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