Senate poised to address bike and pedestrian safety on New Jersey’s roadways

More diary rescue fron the weekend – Promoted by Rosi.

Within the next few weeks, a vote is expected to come up on a bill that would give those of us who walk and bike around our communities more visibility in the state government. With bill S2521, the state Senate aims to create a Pedestrian Safety Study Commission whose job it will be to “study, examine, and review the issue of pedestrian safety in New Jersey.” It will create a commission whose members will range from members of the legislature to NJDOT officials to members of the public.

This is an important bill in a state that's seeing its young people moving back to the kind of old, walkable towns New Jerseyans largely inhabited before the widespread adoption of the automobile in the 20th century. As Sergio Bichao writes in an article today on MyCentralJersey.com, we millennials would “much prefer living in what we call LWP — live, work, play — environment, with walkable neighborhoods instead of long commutes.”

Cities like Newark and Jersey City get the majority of the coverage of this movement, but smaller inner-ring transit-connected suburbs with walkable downtowns like Rutherford and Irvington in the north, Red Bank and Lambertville in the middle, and Collingswood and Haddonfield in the south are all seeing an influx of young professionals who want to live in towns where they can walk or bike to shops, restaurants, and if not their jobs, a train or bus that can get them there. A Senate pedestrian and bike safety commission will be an important step toward making our towns safer to get around by means other than by car, which will only make our towns stronger in the future.

I urge everyone reading this to contact their state senator and let them you want to see this bike and pedestrian safety bill pass. Calling takes two minutes (you can find their phone numbers here) or you can send an email through the legislature's website

Comments (5)

  1. Bill Orr

    As you imply pedestrian safety for those of us who walk and bike around in our communities is under threat. I was struck on my bike by a car on a street where there was no bike lane. The car stopped about 200 ft ahead of me for a few seconds while I lay on the asphalt and then sped away. I was black and blue for about two weeks, but x-rays found nothing more serious.

    It would be useful if this bill includes bicycle-specific concerns. It talks about motorists, pedestrians, motor vehicle violations, and municipal planning practices. The word “bicycle” or “bike” is not mentioned. While the bill urges “adequate sidewalks, lighting, and pedestrian waiting areas” it does not discuss bike lanes or other provisions specifically for cyclists.

    According to the most recent update, the bill is still not out of committee. The legislature has suddenly inundated itself with passage of last-minute bills (over 100), but is not going to act on this one now. Also the legislature is about to press the “SLEEP” button and will only rarely be in session during the remainder of the summer. There is time to add bike-related objectives to the Pedestrian Safety Study Commission plan which I hope the sponsors will do. The bill is good but needs strengthening. As you say readers should contact their legislators.  

    Reply
  2. Bob h

     Route 3-Clifton Commons-Nutley/Clifton has been designed with absolute contempt for anyone not driving.  This is long overdue.

    Reply

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