2022/07 – Three asks of NJTPA’s Active Transportation Plan

NJTPA Active Transport

Chairman Bartlett.  Director Behrend.  I ask that three goals be met as part of the Active Transportation Plan.

Ask #1 – Fast-track a North Jersey Bicycle Master Plan

Create a network of recreational bike routes encompassing NJTPA’s thirteen sub-regions. Said plan should aggregate and connect county and municipal plans. In areas w/o active plans, employ routes used by area bike clubs.   

Standardize route instructions to include RidewithGPS directions maps and “handlebar-ready” cue sheets.  Each route should highlight rest-and-food-stops and connections to mass transit. Leverage New Jersey Transit’s robust bikes-on-trains policy to facilitate point-to-point travel.

Over time, routes should be upgraded with safety improvements to induce demand.  Also, by routing past public restrooms at regular intervals. You can’t have a human-powered transportation grid without providing places to go.

Given the scale and urgency, I suggest a first draft in sixty days. The final draft with input from stakeholders should be ready by June 2023.

Included in resources a link to a proposed New York City network (“Grayways”) which includes methodology for implementation-upgrades, benefits and eighteen routes of totaling 588 miles.

Grayways 18

Grayways, NYC includes methodology, benefits and eighteen routes totaling 588 miles.

Ask #2 – Get Bikes on Bridges

Ask #2—because bridges are linchpins of bike networks—is to insure that all replacement and restoration projects include AASHTO-compliant bikeways.

Ask #3 – Support passage of “Idaho Stop” legislation

Ask #3 is for the NJTPA to vet—and be prepared to support—legislation affording cyclists discretion to treat stop lights as stop signs and stop signs as yield signs.

Benefits include enabling cyclists to avoid vehicles at intersections. In 2019, twenty five NYC cyclists were killed in crashes involving commercial vehicles.

It minimizes cyclist exhaustion and exposure to ground level tailpipe emissions—which is four times greater than those experienced by motorists. For planners, it facilitates the routing of bikeways along secondary roads governed by stop signs. From motorists’ perspective, it would enable cyclists to “get out of the way faster.”

So named “Idaho Stop” after the first state to pass the law in 1982, nine states have since adopted similar legislation. No state has seen an increase in injuries.  Many have seen declines.  

The New York State bills have fifteen co-sponsors and forty bike groups in support—including the League of American Bicyclists.

ghostbike Victor J. Blue Bicycling MagazineWhat’s Really Killing New York’s Cyclists,” Bicycling.com

Resources

#1 – North Jersey Bicycle Master Plan

Grayways (NYC): https://tinyurl.com/2p9xpuyw, Grayways North Jersey-Staten Island: https://tinyurl.com/mry8w6mp, Grayways draft bill: https://tinyurl.com/2p9cyzz7, NYS Bike Route Viewer, https://tinyurl.com/4vz68zp5, Bike MTA, https://tinyurl.com/bddt63t3

Bike Hunterdon: https://tinyurl.com/4thx7cxx, Greater Mercer Trails Plan, https://tinyurl.com/mwmbb242, Cape May to High Point Bike Route: https://tinyurl.com/3e3wdyah, Somerset Walk, Bike, Hike Plan: https://tinyurl.com/ycxkxjnu, NJDOT Bike Maps, https://tinyurl.com/bdh42r8e

Allaire 1.1Allaire, 36-67 miles – RidewithGPS, cue sheet, food stop – Allenwood General Store

Bike Metro North

Bike MTA – MNR, LIRR and NYC subway connections to regional bikeways

NYS Bike Map ViewerNew York State (Numbered) Bike Map Viewer

#2 – Bikes on Bridges

Guidance from AASHTO, FHWA and USDOT: https://tinyurl.com/5yybummx

#3 – Idaho Stop

NYS bills A3104A (S920A): https://tinyurl.com/379e7n8p, advocacy page: https://tinyurl.com/3p4j6upv, talking points: https://tinyurl.com/yf6nwy7n, support letter from League of American Bicyclists: https://tinyurl.com/2p95u9d6

Idaho Stop YouTube

Video explaining Idaho Stop. Road Bike Culture.

NJTPA

Active Transportation Plan: https://tinyurl.com/53x3skd5, Subregions:
https://tinyurl.com/3r7nuhws, 7/13/20 remarks to NJTPA on expanding recreational cycling: https://tinyurl.com/34ew2c9r, 1/10/22 remarks to NJTPA asking that law enforcement employ best practices on bike-per crash data reporting: https://tinyurl.com/bdhhamyh

Neile Weissman, 2022