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...

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