GMTMA News: December 2012

6 Dec

Do you get GMTMA’s monthly newsletter delivered to your email inbox? If not, sign up today! Here’s the December issue:

Tackling Transportation Challenges
Last week, GMTMA’s executive director joined a team of Mercer County business and local leaders for a few days in Washington DC at the Joblinks’ Job Access Mobility Summit. The summit brought together several groups from across the country, including teams from Iowa, Texas, North Carolina, California and Oregon, to work on designing customer focused transportation solutions.GMTMA is heading the Mercer County team that was selected to participate in the Job Access Mobility program. Other team members include the Mid-Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Robbinsville Township, RISE of Hightstown, Middlesex County Community College, and Mercer County. The group’s efforts are centered on job access solutions in the Route 130/New Jersey Turnpike Exit 7A employment area.The Community Transportation Association of America’s Joblinks Employment Transportation Center is currently working with seven communities in designing new and improved on-the-ground transportation services that respond to a key transportation challenge facing job seekers, trainees, and employees in their locale. The Job Access Mobility Institute is a multi-month, team-based research, design, and implementation process in which teams will develop and test a transportation service that solves a key challenge of their constituents.

FUN FACT: In September, GMTMA was part of one of just seven community teams selected to participate in its inaugural Job Access Mobility Institute. To learn more about GMTMA’s participation in the inaugural 2012-2013 Institute, read about it on our blog, On the Move.

The Ivy League Goes Green

This fall, Princeton University was the first university in New Jersey to receive a Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) award from the League of American Bicyclists.
The League of American Bicyclists, a national organization that promotes bicycling for fun, fitness, and transportation through advocacy and education, recognizes institutions of higher education for promoting and providing a more bicycle-friendly campus for students, staff and visitors. The BFU program currently includes 44 colleges in 25 states.As noted in the League’s October press release:
At Princeton…new students get information about bicycling in their welcome packets, introducing them to the large network of campus paths, weekly bike maintenance classes, plentiful bike parking, free bike locks and the wide array of U-Bikes and CycLab programs and events.“Princeton is honored to become part of the Bicycle Friendly University program,” said Andrea DeRose of the University’s Transportation & Parking Services. “The University encourages biking as an efficient mode of transportation for faculty, staff and students — and strives to increase the number of bicycle-related facilities and bicycle-related polices on campus.”

College and university campuses are unique environments because of their high density, stimulating atmosphere and defined boundaries – ideal conditions for bikes, regardless of climate and location. The BFU program evaluates applicants’ efforts to promote bicycling in five primary areas: engineering, encouragement, education, enforcement and evaluation/planning.

The BFU program provides the roadmap and technical assistance to create great campuses for cycling. To learn more, visit www.bikeleague.org/university.

Congratulations to GMTMA member Princeton University for its support of sustainable transportation. Keep up the good work!

FUN FACT: Princeton University provides over 3600 bike parking spots. A campus map that includes bike rack locations can be found here.


Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

People often don’t think about how much driving costs them. But did you know that owning and operating a typical new car or SUV costs about $8,000 per year, per vehicle? If you could get a smaller cheaper car and walk, bike, and rideshare more to cut your commuting costs in half, what would happen if you invest that $4,000 annual savings at a 7 percent return? In ten years you’d have about $55,000…and in a little over forty years, you’d have a million dollars. And probably a smaller waistline and cleaner air in your community, too.New Jersey drivers can save even more money by changing their driving habits, because their commutes are longer than most. Based on a ranking of states with the longest average commute-to-work times, the American Community Survey showed that New York (30.4 minutes) and Maryland (30.2 minutes) residents spent the most time traveling to their jobs. New Jersey (28.5 minutes), Illinois (27.0 minutes) and California (26.5 minutes) round out the list of top 5 states with the longest commutes.Interested in seeing how much your commute costs you in dollars? Check out GMTMA’s online commute cost calculator to find out. And then visit the “commuters” page on our website to start thinking about ways you, your company, and your town can work to drive less, reduce congestion, improve your air quality, and hopefully fatten your wallet a little.

FUN FACT: According to AAA, in 2012, there was a a 1.9 percent rise in the yearly costs to own and operate a sedan in the U.S. The average costs rose 1.1 cents per mile to 59.6 cents per mile, or $8,946 per year, based upon 15,000 miles of annual driving.


TMAs & Sustainable Jersey: Perfect Together

Sustainable Jersey, New Jersey’s award-winning certification program for New Jersey municipalities that want to go green, save money and take steps to sustain their quality of life over the long term, recognizes towns that support community efforts to reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and improve environmental quality. New Jersey is the first state in the nation to have such a comprehensive sustainability program for communities. The program links certification with strong state and private financial incentives, and a fully resourced program of technical support and training.

Greater Mercer TMA can, at no cost, help towns and counties achieve Sustainable Jersey certification. We have the knowledge, resources, and existing programs to help towns complete a number of Sustainable Jersey actions, including anti-idling education and enforcement programs, Safe Routes to School programs, pedestrian and bicycle programs, complete streets programs, and green fairs. To learn more about how GMTMA can help your community or Green Team, visit our website or email Aly Dyson at adyson@gmtma.org.

FUN FACT: Over 375 of New Jersey’s towns and cities have registered to become Sustainable Jersey certified. That’s about two-thirds of all the municipalities in the state!


Winter Driving Tips, Courtesy of Click and Clack

Winter driving can present a wide range of challenges and dangers for motorists, including slippery road surfaces, limited visibility, and freezing temperatures. The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it. But if staying home, taking transit, or walking and biking aren’t an option and you have to go out when the roads are bad, we want you to stay safe. Fortunately, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel (pun intended), thanks to this great winter driving checklist from the Car Talk Guys. The list, which can be seen in its entirety here, includes the following smart tips:

  • Get a tuneup
  • Check your battery
  • Check your coolant
  • Fix leaks
  • Check wipers
  • Fill your tank
  • Fill washer fluid
  • Check your rear defroster
  • Carry supplies
  • Have a phone
  • Clean snow and ice off your car
  • Go slow!

(NOT) FUN FACT: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, you are 36 percent more likely to be in a car accident in January than July.

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