GMTMA News: March 2013

11 Mar

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

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Sign Up For A Green Fair Today!

Next month, celebrate Earth Day at your office by having GMTMA host a green transportation fair at lunchtime. We customize the fairs to your office’s needs, and it’s a great way to help employees learn about the wide variety of ways they can green their commute. To learn more, click here, or email us today!

The Complete Adventures of the Tater Family

February was American Heart Month, and to celebrate, we followed the adventures of the Tater Family as they journeyed from car potato to active spud by exploring safe and fun ways to partake in more active transportation. You can see all of their adventures on our blog, or on our Facebook page.

Want to try an “active commute”? Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Stay Safe. Obey all traffic laws. Wear reflective gear and/or lights if it’s dark. Walkers should use sidewalks and cross in crosswalks. Cyclists should bike in the same direction as traffic, obey all traffic signals, and wear a helmet.
  • Talk to Your Employer. Ask where to store your bike, see if there are any nearby shower facilities to use, and find out if any incentives are offered for transit riders and/or active commuters.
  • Plan Ahead. Map out your route in advance so you know exactly where to go and how long it will take.
  • Find a Buddy. “Carpool” with another bicyclist or walker if you can.
  • Ease Into It. Start by trying just one day a week (try it on “casual Friday” or some other day when you don’t have a lot of meetings).
  • Walk/Bike Part of the Way. If you live far from work, try bicycling to the nearest transit station or drive part of the way and bike the rest.
  • Ask GMTMA. For more tips and information on active commuting, visit our website.
spud

Complete Streets Needed Here!

Active transportation is important, but so is safety, and there are some roads that should be avoided until improvements can be made to make them safer for non-auto users. A new analysis by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign (TSTC) has identified the deadliest roads in New Jersey for pedestrians. This year, Route 130 is tied with the Black Horse Pike in Atlantic County and Route 1 in Middlesex County. Looking at federal data from 2009 to 2011, it includes factsheets and online maps that identify the locations of pedestrian fatalities and the age and gender of those killed.

The report found that about 60 percent of pedestrian deaths in New Jersey were on arterial, or main roads, such as Route 130, Routes 1&9 and Route 1 — even though they only make up about 15 percent of roads in the region. TSTC pointed out that arterial roads are typically magnets for big box stores and other businesses, but improvements for pedestrians don’t always come with those new businesses.

In GMTMA’s region, 19 pedestrians were killed on Mercer County roads in the time period studied. US-206, Route 31, Route 653 and Route 129 had the highest number of pedestrian deaths. In Ocean County, 38 pedestrians were killed on Ocean County roads; Route 9, Route 37 and Route 88 had the highest number of pedestrian deaths over the period studied.

As TSTC concluded in its report, complete streets, which are designed and operated to enable safe access for all roadway users, can help make our streets safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists alike. GMTMA can help your community “complete the streets.” We can facilitate informational presentations, provide templates for policy resolutions and assist in drafting policy resolutions, help create an implementation plan, assist with identification of grant funding and documentation of policy for Sustainable Jersey certification, and more.

Additionally, GMTMA offers free pedestrian safety programs for both senior citizens and school children. For seniors, we provide free pedestrian safety programs geared specifically to older adults at senior centers, senior housing and other community facilities. The program helps seniors identify the situations that pose the greatest risk for injury and how to become defensive walkers. For school children, GMTMA is the local arm of the federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, where we provide programs on the ground to enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school. Contact us today!


Short Trips

  • NJ Transit Schedule Changes Coming Soon: On March 24, NJ Transit is expected to add some trains and change train schedules a bit. Many of the trains boarding at stations in Mercer County will be a couple of minutes earlier (to NYC) or later (from NYC) to accommodate Amtrak work. Be sure to check the new schedules on March 24 at www.njtransit.com.
  • New Vending Machines On Their Way: This month, NJ Transit announced the expansion of new ticket vending machine technology into Newark Penn Station kicking off a system-wide rollout that will provide smoother ticket purchase transactions for NJ Transit customers at all 674 terminals by the end of the year. This includes a new technology that allows the machines to dispense change in the form of paper bills—ones, fives, tens and twenties—instead of dollar coins. Once fully implemented, the technology is expected to generate an annual cost savings of $1.2 million per year. A video demonstration of the BNR technology can be found on NJ TRANSIT’s YouTube channel, here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCRBoBrvhjE
  • My Transit? Your Transit! Are you signed up for My Transit yet? My Transit is NJ Transit’s free email alert system, delivering travel information — delays, service disruptions, schedule changes and more — to your cell phone, handheld wireless device or email inbox. Sign up here: https://www.njtransit.com/mt/mt_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=MTAboutMyTransitTo

Gear Up…

…for information in our April newsletter on upcoming Bike to Work events!

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