Sunday, December 27, 2015

Princeton's bike-friendly community designation: next steps

"The League of American Bicyclists has designated Princeton as a Bicycle Friendly Community at the Bronze level, because Princeton exhibits a sustained commitment to
cycling. The reviewers felt that there is still "room to grow", but that notable steps are being
made in the right direction.

"Reviewers were very pleased to see the current efforts and dedication to make Princeton 
a great place for cyclists.

"Below, reviewers provided key recommendations to further promote bicycling in Princeton 
and a menu of additional pro-cycling measures that can be implemented in the short and
long term. We strongly encourage you to use this feedback to build on your momentum 
and improve your community for bicyclists."

Click here to view the feedback report (10-page PDF) from 2 years ago. This list helps to
guide PBAC in formulating its annual goals. Happy holidays to all - be seen, and be green.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Seeking Input .... and more of your cool photos ... on the Bike Master Plan

The following is pasted from the latest "Princeton Update" from Mayor Lempert. There
is a link "Share your photos" to a dedicated email address for the Bike Master Plan team,
which is <>. The PB consultants are always interested in
images of everyday biking all around town, all year round.

Seeking Input on the Bike Master Plan 

Princeton is in the process of developing a Bike Master Plan to create a safer and more comfortable environment for bicycling. Princeton received a grant from the NJ Dept of Transportation which fully covers the costs of the consulting group preparing the plan, Parsons Brinckerhoff of Lawrenceville, NJ. Residents are encouraged to actively participate in the process in the following ways:
* Use the wikimap tool to identify problem areas
* Take the survey to ensure the plan reflects Princeton's unique needs

Share your photos of biking with the project team for possible inclusion in the Master Plan.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Re: Steve Kruse Is Stepping Down As Chair of PBAC After 7 1/2 Years

Aha! I knew there was some reason I decided to hire that Sam Bunting  guy.   Of course I'm joking --
volunteers don't get hired, they get inspired to freely donate their time & talents. Nudge, nudge, hint, hint.
Hello, are you out there ?    Consider joining PBAC, that rare committee which can wave its own battle flag
Anthem not yet available.

Sporadic news roundup for this week.

1. Tim Quinn, avid bicyclist and Anchor House stalwart becomes a candidate for town council. Read article

2. Should you buy that bike you covet ?  The Financial Benefits of Buying What You Love from NYTimes.

                   Also the "Times Topic" collection of articles on smog

3. Bike Master Plan - new documents - three PDF's have been uploaded into the PBAC doc archive.  Please
    help us publicize the project among your friends & relatives. The Public Involvement (outreach)  flyer 
    summarizes the various ways people can provide input

            Fact Sheet                    Fact Sheet (Spanish version)              Public Involvement Flyer

4.  Should The Bicycle Win the Next Nobel Peace Prize? Some Italian Radio Hosts Think So. From Momentum Magazine news

5.  Is it true that a champion bike racer was spotted at Jammin' Crepes ?  No, sorry. The badger-related rumor is false.

6.  Bike Lane Battle in Vancouver, BC. - 8-minute CBC story on YouTube  featuring noted activist/professor Kay Teschke


Monday, December 21, 2015

Steve Kruse Is Stepping Down As Chair of PBAC After 7 1/2 Years

Steve Kruse, center, outgoing PBAC Chair, on a fact-finding bike ride with Mayor Liz Lempert and members of the Princeton Traffic and Transportation Committee.

After 7 1/2 years of service, Steve Kruse is stepping down as chair of the Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee. Steve announced his retirement at the last PBAC committee meeting earlier this month. His resolute leadership of PBAC has spanned an interesting period, in which Princeton has grappled with the challenges of adapting to a 'Complete Streets' policy, and been recognized as a 'Bike Friendly Community' for the first time.

Steve is a true bike person. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of cycling, and his brain seems to specifically retain the most quirky details of two-wheeled activities. He has spent years thinking about and planning bike routes and facilities around Princeton. Not many of these routes have been properly built-out, but a new bike masterplanning exercise is currently underway, and Steve has passed his notes to the planners. 

As bike/walk committee Chair, Steve has been a stalwart at the annual 'Wheels Rodeo', working with the Princeton Police Department to fit helmets and guide kids round a biking course. His tenure as Chair of the committee has also seen the launch of the Princeton 'Ciclovia', which for the past two years has seen Quaker Road temporarily dedicated for one day a year to people on foot and on bikes. Last year, Steve dedicated substantial time to advancing the Princeton Bike Map, which was published earlier this year, and which has been extremely popular.

Behind the scenes, Steve has built the infrastructure on which PBAC depends, including the email list, with over 200 members, the PBAC blog, and a cloud drive of bike planning-related materials. When Princeton becomes a town that pro-actively helps people on bikes, it will be because of the efforts of trailblazers like Steve. I'm glad to take the opportunity to thank him for his long years of volunteer service on PBAC, and wish him the best for the future.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

new documentary film "Bikes vs Cars"

"The bicycle, an amazing tool for change. Activists and cities all over the world are moving towards a new system. But will the
economic powers allow it? Bikes vs Cars, a new film project from Swedish award-winning director, journalist, and environmentalist
Fredrik Gertten, looks into and investigates the daily global drama in traffic around the world.

Huffington Post:   How Cyclists Are Causing Cities Worldwide To Rethink Bike Safety  - interview with the filmmaker

Climate change and never-ending gridlocks frustrate people more than ever. Instead of whining, people in cities around the 
world take on the bicycle as a Do It Yourself solution. Road rage and poor city planning creates daily death among the 
bicyclists. And now they demand safe lanes. 

It's an uneven fight. Activists and politicians that work for change are facing a multi-billion dollar car, oil and construction 
industry that use all their means to keep society car dependent. We know that the world needs radical changes to save 
the climate and the environment, but the car industry is selling more cars than ever. Today there are one billion cars in the
world. By 2020, that number will double."

Watch the official trailer:

Read more on the film's official website:


Vimeo On Demand has now released Bikes vs Cars in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland! The film can be either rented 
or downloaded and is available in multiple languages. On December 15th, the film will open up on Vimeo in the US, Canada
and the UK, with more countries TBA. For a reminder when it becomes available, sign up on our website.

Friday, December 4, 2015

in Japan, it's Ōpunsupēsu (open space)

Mountain Lakes Holiday Open House - put some spice into your Saturday ride
by refueling with hot cider provided by FOPOS. Details here and here.

Meanwhile, at the New Jersey Bike & Walk Summit next Feb 27, to be held
at the Friend Center on campus, corner of Olden and William, there will be
"over 20 panel sessions and presentations, including a pecha kucha session".

Wikipedia tells us "Pecha Kucha (Japanese for 'chit-chat') is a presentation
style in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each. The format, which keeps
presentations concise and fast-paced, powers multiple-speaker events called
Pecha Kucha Nights".

What if somebody challenged you to give, within 2-3 minutes, a high-level view
of the bicycling situation, and its best aspects, here in Princeton ? Maybe you'd
sketch a diagram like the one below. The chief things to note about our town being

                  - it's on the D&R canal towpath 
                  - it isn't flat - one must quite often contend with the ridge [*]
                  - the university is the dominant landowner, employer, etc.
                  - we are very fortunate to have a girdle or "green belt" of open space.
                  - close nearby is a fine recreational facility (the LHT),
                  - there are many scenic/hilly roads to explore, in the Sourland.

[*]  noted in the news recently, a 10-acre property on the ridge (Ridgeview Rd) has
     been donated to the NJ Conservation Foundation. While I'm not certain, I think
     this new open space might be adjacent to, or bisected by, the Transco 
     pipeline right-of-way, which is shown as a dashed line in the drawing. If so,
     one might envision a nice car-free trail crossing the ridge to Montgomery Twp