Thursday, October 29, 2015

The First Meeting of the Bicycle Masterplan Steering Committee

Princeton got support from NJDOT earlier this year to make a new Bike Masterplan. A 'steering advisory committee' met with the consultants for the first time on Tuesday morning of this week (10.27.15). The consultants started the meeting with a presentation outlining the objectives of the study, and giving some background information on different types of bicycle facility. You can view the slides at the Princeton municipal website. It was a good presentation. The consultants clearly know their stuff. Below is project manager, Peter Kremer:

The Steering Advisory Committee includes over 20 people, including elected officials, municipal staff, and representatives of schools, Princeton University etc etc. Several members of the public also attended the open meeting. After the initial presentation, the consultants asked all attendees for input. First, they asked us to imagine Princeton in 20 years time. What changes would we see, as a consequence of the Bike Master Plan that was made in 2015-2016? Several people imagined something like Copenhagen in Denmark, where lots more people choose to use bikes. 

Next, the consultants turned to the 'nitty-gritty'. What should be the goals of the Bike Master Plan study, and what problems could be expected? Attendees suggested many things, including a safe network that would connect neighbors and important places in the town. But people also stressed the importance of finding consensus and making realistic advances, and noted the difficulty of creating bike facilities where streets are relatively narrow. All the answers were captured on a flip-chart:

Then the consultants wrapped up by outlining the next steps. Importantly, there will be the first of several consultation meetings to get the input of local residents on November 12, starting at 6.30 p.m. The consulting team are very keen to make this a true 'Princeton' plan. They don't want to give an 'off-the-shelf' solution. That's why it's important for everybody to share their views. More info (also available in Spanish language) is at the Princeton municipal website. There is also an updated online form that you can use to leave feedback. (Previous comments have all been saved, but the new form is just much easier to fill out.) Finally, there is a new electronic tool called 'Wiki-mapping' that you can use to point out places that need improvements. Stay tuned for more details of Wiki-mapping in a future post...

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I left my brakes ... in San Francisco

San Francisco May Let Bicyclists Yield at Stop Signs    By LAURA M. HOLSON of the NY Times.

"A proposed ordinance has raised long-simmering tensions between drivers and
cyclists, but bicycle advocates hope it could be a breakthrough for such laws."

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

New Hamilton Avenue Striping Explained

Hamilton Avenue between North Harrison Street and Snowden Lane was recently restriped after being dug up for a municipal engineering project. Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee and Traffic & Transportation Committee members provided input into the new striping scheme, to try to make the road safer for all users in line with the town's "Complete Streets" policy. The final result is shown in the picture above. The new roadway has two striped shoulders. These are not bike lanes, although volunteers on PBAC and the T&T committee originally recommended bike lanes on this street. Hamilton Avenue is only 30-ft wide, and adding bike lanes would have required removing on-street parking or widening the road. Many local residents argued that on-street parking was essential, and Council chose not to pursue on-street bike lanes at this time

The striping pattern selected is shown in the diagram below: (empty spaces show public right-of-way that is not currently being used for a transportation function)

There are two 10-ft travel lanes, which meet standards for school buses and ambulances. On the south side of the road (right-hand side above), there is a striped 7-ft on-street parking lane. On the north side of the road (left-hand side above), there is a 3-ft shoulder. Neither of the shoulders is a bike lane. The 7-ft shoulder is intended for parked cars, whereas the 3-ft shoulder does not meet minimum width standards for a bike lane. Instead, the travel lanes are marked with 'shared-use arrows' ('sharrows'), which are intended to alert drivers to the possible presence of people on bikes, and demonstrate the safest lane position for people riding in mixed traffic. The striped shoulders make narrower travel lanes than what existed previously, which should have a traffic-calming effect, potentially making cycling in mixed traffic feel more comfortable. On-street parking, snow removal and brush pick-up are not affected by the new striping pattern.

This design was the outcome of much public comment and discussion. The new cycle facility is good enough for confident cyclists, but may not be appealing to casual or risk-averse riders, who are typically nervous about riding with cars and trucks. These riders may choose to ride on the sidewalks instead. Sidewalk cycling often happened before, and is technically permitted by law, but it is not really safe for cyclists or pedestrians. Princeton is currently starting work on a town-wide Bicycle Circulation Masterplan, which will guide the types of cycle facilities that are added in future on local streets. Like Hamilton Avenue, many streets in Princeton are quite narrow, and street space is subject to demands from many different users. The new striping pattern on Hamilton offers one potential approach to making streets safer for all users, but what is chosen on other streets will be dependent on public comment during the upcoming planning process.

Friday, October 16, 2015

PBAC Friday follies

What really gets my goat is when bicyclists ride their bikes in the crosswalks.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Princeton Bike Masterplan - What We Know So Far...

During the summer, the New Jersey Department of Transportation awarded Princeton a grant to make a new bicycle circulation 'master plan'. The bike master plan is primarily intended to guide future road engineering projects, so that appropriate facilities are added to enable people on bikes to safely and comfortably get around the town. This is potentially a big deal, and you may want to get involved in the planning to make sure that the plan works well for everybody.

The master plan design process is being led by consultants from the Parsons Brinckerhoff firm. The lead consultant lives in Lawrence, and is a regular visitor to Princeton. The consultants are working with the Princeton Engineering Department, but the intention is to get input from as many people as possible. Our engineers have already put lots of materials and information relating to the master plan on the municipal website.

Save the Date! The first of several public meetings to get input from local residents will be on November 12 at 6.30 p.m. (venue to be confirmed). Tell your friends and everyone who might be interested!!

Right now, the consultants are gathering information about the town, by examining local roads and conditions. Meanwhile the engineers are preparing a 'steering committee' of local people to help advise the master plan process. The exact make-up of the steering committee is still being decided. The steering committee will meet with the consultants on October 27, at 9.30 a.m. This meeting will be open to the public, so anyone can attend, but the primary public meeting is November 12.

For more information about the master plan process, you can view the video of the consultants' presentation to the Princeton Planning Board, which happened September 17. (The bike master plan discussion starts at 6':00", and lasts for about 30 mins.) Slides from that meeting are also available at the municipal website here. If you have more questions, you can email the consultants directly at: or feel free to send me an email: Everybody wants the master plan development process to be as open, transparent and inclusive as possible, so definitely get in touch if there's something you are unsure about. 

neighborhood event: Littlebrook "Sneakers & Cycles", morning of Sat. Oct 24th

Below is the poster for the 4th annual Sneakers & Cycles 3K at Littlebrook Elementary

school on Saturday the 24th, which is the day before the "Mayor's Ride" event over

at Community Park and Mountain Lakes.  While PBAC is hoping to show the flag at

this edition of Sneakers & Cycles, we could use some volunteer help, especially by

somebody in the Littlebrook community.  Our role would be to encourage people to

send comments to the consultants working on the Bike Master Plan project, to hand

out whatever Princeton bike maps remain by then, to converse with anybody interested

in making our town more bicycle/pedestrian-friendly in years to come. Those interested 

in spending a few hours helping PBAC are encouraged to email us at 


Monday, October 12, 2015

events - Covered Bridges Ride. Next Sunday, Oct 18th. Also the Philly Bike Expo

Organized by Central Bucks Bicycle Club (CBBC), the start/end
is in Erwinna, PA, on the Delaware not far from Frenchtown NJ.

"This is THE premier cycling event in scenic Bucks County. Held each
year on a beautiful Sunday with the gorgeous fall colors shouting out, 
the CBR, as our members call it, is our best event ever."

Click on the link below for more info.

Other upcoming events, other than our own "Mayor's Ride"

Lawrence-Hopewell Trail's "Trail and Treat Ride for Children"   Oct. 25

Philly Bike Expo, Nov 7-8    

Saturday, October 10, 2015

next New Jersey Bike & Walk Summit to be held here in Princeton on Feb 27th

Banner no text
Announcing the 2016 NJ Bike & Walk Summit!
October 2015
2016 NJ Bike & Walk Summit
NJBWC announces the 2016 New Jersey Bike & Walk Summit, to be held on Saturday, February 27, 2016 at a NEW LOCATION, Princeton University in Princeton, NJ.  With our new accommodations, this upcoming Summit is sure to be our biggest and best yet!

The NJBWC Summit is New Jersey's statewide meeting of bicycle and pedestrian advocates, elected officials and other township leaders, transportation and urban planners, bike shop owners and managers, cycling, walking, fitness and health enthusiasts and experts, recreation, trails and club leaders and others who are interested in making our state a better place to live.

NJBWC is pleased to offer you the opportunity to learn more about current state and federal legal and policy issues affecting your community,  make you aware of various public funding sources, enable you to network, identify and develop mutually beneficial relationships that can help your community become more bike and pedestrian friendly and therefore, more livable.

Speakers for the 2016 Summit include:
  • Cory Booker, U.S. Senator (tentative)
  • Barbara McCann, USDOT, Architect of the Complete Streets Movement
  • Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert
  • Essex County Freeholder Vice President Brendan Gill

Over 20 panel sessions and presentations are planned, including a pecha kucha session.

Registration includes access to all of the day's events, continental breakfast and box lunch. On-line pre-registration is available for $55 per attendee. Registration will also be available at the event for $70. Pre-registration price of $55 ends on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at midnight.

Day-of registration and check-in will begin at 8 am on Saturday morning, February 27. Opening remarks and the plenary will begin promptly at 8:45 am.

Registration to the NJ Bike & Walk Summit is non-refundable.

Register Here

Sponsorships available

Sponsorships, including exhibitor space, are available.Please contact

Call for Proposals

If you would like to present an advocacy campaign or project in your community, please complete and submit the attached form here.

Become a member of the NJBWC!
The advocacy efforts of NJBWC need your support to keep moving forward. When you join, you contribute to making our roads in New Jersey safer for everyone. Join or donate here

When you join at the Bronze or higher level, you'll also get one of our trendy new NJBWC Fitness Belts, available in four stylish colors.

We're working hard to make our streets safe for bicyclists and pedestrians across New Jersey.  There isn't a better time than now to support the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition.  
Cory Booker 

US Senator, D-NJ; Member, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Barbara McCann

US Department of Transportation, Architect of the Complete Streets Movement 
Princeton Mayor
Liz Lempert

Essex County Freeholder Vice President
Brendan Gill

New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition | |
  Suite 140
551 Valley Road
Upper Montclair, NJ 07043
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New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition | Suite 140 | 551 Valley Road | Upper Montclair | NJ | 07043

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bike racing news - Princeton alum is at the helm of USA Cycling

Derek Bouchard-Hall '92 studied architectural engineering as a Princeton undergrad, 
competed as a pro cyclist, and became a business consultant. Now aged 45, he
left the corporate world in June to take over as President and CEO of USA Cycling.

As it says in this article

USA Cycling operates on $14 million per year. That's not enough to succeed, 
Bouchard-Hall says. There are limited ways to grow that pie. Membership is one, 
the biggest one — see USA Cycling's new "Ride" membership, designed for a 
more casual rider. TV spots ran during coverage of the Richmond world championship
races, urging American cyclists to join up. 

More about the Ride program:   (Sept. 21, 2015) – USA Cycling announced its 
new Ride Membership Monday, offering benefits to passionate recreational cyclists 
in its continued efforts to grow the sport in America. Priced at $50, the 12-month 
Ride Membership allows cyclists to support Team USA Cycling and enjoy USA Cycling
benefits, including: $25,000 of accident medical coverage at fun rides and gran fondos; 
a year-long Bicycling Magazine subscription; Team USA t-shirt, phone pouch and sticker; 
one-day racing license; insider tips and advice from Team USA Cycling coaches and 
athletes; and discounts with USA Cycling partners.

Related note - one of USA Cycling's biggest sponsors is Volkswagen of America. The
latter has a sponsorship strategy emphasizing soccer and bike racing. Anybody who
watched Peter Sagan's thrilling victory to claim the rainbow jersey in Richmond would
have noticed something about the TV commercials:  Audi might need a new slogan !

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Wednesday October 7 is International Walk/Bike to School Day

According to this website, there are 2 events registered in Princeton,
at Johnson Park Elementary and at the Charter School.  That's twice
as many local schools as last year.

Briefly noted:

         The Hoboken system is called Hudson Bike Share and uses the 
         "dockless" technology from nextbike ;  Jersey City is deploying CitiBike.

From The Atlantic's "CityLab" blog:         Bike Commuting: Still on the Rise 

         "New numbers from the League of American Bicyclists show that 
         if you build the lanes, cyclists will come."

The Reign of Recycling
 by John Tierney (NY Times)      Excerpt:

    "When Mayor de Blasio promised to eliminate garbage in New York, 
     he said it was "ludicrous" and "outdated" to keep sending garbage to
     landfills. Recycling, he declared, was the only way for New York to become 
     "a truly sustainable city." But cities have been burying garbage for thousands
     of years, and it's still the easiest and cheapest solution for trash. The recycling 
     movement is floundering, and its survival depends on continual subsidies, sermons
     and policing. How can you build a sustainable city with a strategy that can't even 
     sustain itself?"

Wednesday October 7 is International Walk/Bike to School Day

One of these days we'll get around to updating this calendar/poster.   Get more info at