Archive | April, 2013

May is Bike Month! Register for Bike to Work Week…and More!

26 Apr
National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride. Whether you bike to work or school; to save money or time; to preserve your health or the environment; to explore your community or get to your destination, get involved in Greater Mercer TMA’s Bike Month activities!
  • Bike to Work Week:

     Click here to register for Bike to Work Week!  Bike to Work Week is GMTMA’s premiere Bike Month event. All you have to do is bike to work, log your miles, and win great prizes donated from our generous sponsors (listed below). The first 150 registrants will also get a free Bike to Work t-shirt.

  • Get On Your Bike:
    Don’t bike to work, but still want to celebrate Bike Month? No problem. Replace as many car trips as possible with bike trips. Click here to sign up today!

For registration and general info on all these events and assistance with any bike-related activities, please visit GMTMA’s website at www.gmtma.org or contact Rebecca Hersh at rhersh@gmtma.org.

Special thanks to our Bike Month sponsors:

Beat the Communiversity Traffic With the FreeB!

19 Apr

PRINCTON FREE B_logo-280t2Communiversity is on Sunday April 28 this year, and the festival, which draws over 40,000 people each year and shuts down a number of streets in downtown Princeton, snarls traffic in the area. But you can still attend the festival and you don’t have to sit in traffic to do so — you can just ride the Princeton freeB…for free!

The buses will run from three park & ride locations (the parking is free too) — the Princeton Municipal Complex, Community Park – North, and the Princeton Shopping Center. The buses will run often, making it as easy as possible for everyone to get to Communiversity.

In fact, the Princeton freeB Task Force has added more freeB service for this year’s event, thanks to last year’s success. An additional freeB bus and two additional park and ride locations have been added to the event route this year to handle demand. The two-freeB buses will circulate every 15 minutes throughout town on the special Communiversity route.  Passengers may board the buses at one of the three park’n’ride locations, marked freeB bus stops or anywhere along the route where the driver feels it is safe to do so.

“Last year was the first year the bus service was offered and the response to the service was overwhelmingly positive”, said Cheryl Kastrenakes Executive Director of Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association (a member of the freeB Task Force). “We wanted to build on its success and meet demand by adding additional bus service and parking”.

The annual town and gown festival is sponsored by the Arts Council of Princeton and Princeton University and will run from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Nassau Street will be blocked off from Washington Road to Chambers Street, and Witherspoon Street will be blocked off from Nassau to Wiggins.

The first scheduled trip from Princeton Shopping center is at 12:30 PM. The last trip back from the Communiversity bus stop at Wiggins and Witherspoon is at 5:25 PM.

Starting at the bus stop sign at Princeton Shopping Center, the freeB bus route will travel along Valley Road to Witherspoon to Princeton Municipal complex to Wiggins/Robeson (Communiversity stop), turns right on Hodge to Elm Road, right on Elm Road to Mountain Avenue where it will enter Community Park – North parking lot, the bus will then return to Princeton Shopping Center and start over.

In addition to the Communiversity day freeB bus route, Stout’s Transportation operates the regular daytime freeB service on Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays on behalf of the Municipality of Princeton.

For information regarding the schedule and routing of the freeB, visit www.gmtma.org website or download the freeB Communiversity flyer here.

And once you’re there, come visit Greater Mercer TMA — we will have a table at the event (booth #52A), on Witherspoon Street in front of Mezzaluna. Come find us for info on our Bike Month events, Safe Routes to SchoolcarpoolingRide Providegreen commuting options, and more!

Trenton’s Complete Streets Policy Named One of Nation’s Ten Best

8 Apr

Each year the National Complete Streets Coalition takes a look back at the Complete Streets policies passed in the past year, and highlights some of the best. Their analysis of 2012’s policies came out this week — and Trenton has done New Jersey proud by ranking #8 on the list.

The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2012, released today, examined all 125 Complete Streets policies passed in the last year and highlights some of the best. The top ten list highlights ten cities who have “led the way in crafting comprehensive policy language” and are:

 

1 Indianapolis, IN 6 Portland, ME
2 Hermosa Beach, CA 7 Oak Park, IL
2 Huntington Park, CA 8 Trenton, NJ
4 Ocean Shores, WA 9 Clayton, MO
5 Northfield, MN 10 Rancho Cucamonga, CA

As noted in New Jersey Future’s press release, Trenton’s policy came to life thanks to a large coalition of stakeholders who wrote the policy and/or worked tirelessly to build community and city support for it. The policy  “was written and refined in a collaborative process involving the city planning staff; Peter Kremer of Parsons Brinckerhoff; Laura Torchio of Bike & Walk Montclair; and the staff of New Jersey Future. The effort was championed by a broad cross-section of community members, led by Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson, who sponsored the resolution, and including the city planning staff, which was integral in building support for the policy within City Hall; the Partnership for Healthy Kids-Trenton; representatives of the Trenton Green Team; and Trenton Cycling Revolution, the city’s bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organization. Other groups supporting Trenton’s policy included Children’s Futures, City Smiles, City Works, Concerned Pastors & Ministers of Trenton, Isles, New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Villa Park Civic Association, YMCA of Trenton, and the YWCA of Trenton.”

You can download the full Complete Streets report (PDF) here.

Want to Learn More About Complete Streets? GMTMA Can Help

Complete streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users – pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Instituting a complete streets policy ensures that agencies think about, design, and operate rights of way to enable safe access for all users. In their Complete Streets Policy, the NJ Department of Transportation recognized these benefits of complete streets:

  • Complete Streets improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, children, older citizens, non-drivers and the mobility challenged as well as those that cannot afford a car or choose to live car free
  • Provide connections to bicycling and walking trip generators such as employment, education, residential, recreation, retail centers and public facilities
  • Promote healthy lifestyles
  • Create more livable communities
  • Reduce traffic congestion and reliance on carbon fuels thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Complete Streets make fiscal sense by incorporating sidewalks, bike lanes, safe crossings and transit amenities into the initial design of a project, thus sparing the expense of retrofits later

There is often some confusion about what is involved in the adoption of a Complete Streets policy. Some towns shy away from touching the issue out of fear that such a policy will make everything more expensive, or force them to retrofit all of their current streets for bikes and pedestrians. In reality, however, embracing transportation access for all users of our transportation system is a process that can happen over a very long time period. It can be done gradually, with simple measures, using existing funds.

Interested in learning more about Complete Streets or getting your community interested? GMTMA can help. Additionally, some good web resources include the National Complete Streets Coalition and New Jersey Department of Transportation. Furthermore, Complete Streets can be a way to get certified by Sustainable Jersey, a program that provides certification and funding to “green” municipalities. The program awards points toward certification to municipalities that adopt their own complete streets policies (guidelines here).

April 2013 Edition of Mercer & Ocean In Motion

5 Apr

GMTMA Newsletter, April 2013

Mercer & Ocean In Motion…Getting You from Here to There

It’s Spring…Think Green!

W11-15_BikePedestrianCrossing_Green-500x500

GMTMA Spreads the Anti-Idling Message

At the recent “Living Local Expo” sponsored by Sustainable Lawrence in partnership with green teams from Lawrence, Ewing, Hopewell, and the Mercer County Office of Economic Development and Sustainability, GMTMA had the opportunity to talk with a broad audience about the wide range of issues associated with something that many attendees thought was harmless: idling your vehicle.

People were particularly surprised by the “rule of ten” – the fact that it only takes ten seconds of idling your vehicle to waste more money than turning the car off. Attendees — many of whom were using remote car starters, or were people who were looking for ways to save money on gas – were pleasantly surprised to learn that small tweaks in their habits can really affect their pocketbooks and the air we breathe.

Idling poses real air quality problems, and it is completely unnecessary. Cars simply don’t need to be idled; turning them off and turning them back on again won’t hurt them in any way. But in spite of this fact, people still idle all the time. If you see a vehicle (especially a diesel truck or bus) idling for more than three minutes you can call the Department of Environmental Protection Hotline (877- WARN DEP). You can also talk to your local green team, municipality or school district about posting “No Idling” signs and getting area residents to sign No Idling Pledges. Finally, you can always contact GMTMA for more anti-idling information or to get us to attend a meeting or event to discuss the issue.

Just remember the number ten when you’re sitting in your car waiting for somebody, or making a phone call. Turn the key to be idle free! For more information on the dangers of idling, click here.


Celebrate Earth Day the GMTMA Way

GMTMA is already signed up to do lunchtime green transportation fairs at a number of local businesses this month in celebration of Earth Day, and it’s not too late to get one in your office, too! Why not celebrate Earth Day the GMTMA way by having us host a green transportation fair at lunchtime? We have information about all sorts of greener transportation options that could work for your company and employees, and can customize the fairs to your office’s needs. 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!


Get On Your Bike in May!

PrintIt’s almost that time of year again: GMTMA will once again be celebrating National Bike Month all through the month of May.  National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride. Whether you bike to work or school; to save money or time; to preserve your health or the environment; to explore your community or get to your destination, get involved in Greater Mercer TMA’s Bike Month activities.

  • Bike to Work Week: Bike to Work Week is May 13-17. Sign up today, get a free t-shirt (for the first 150 registrants), bike to work and enter to win great prizes!
  • Get On Your Bike. Don’t bike to work, but still want to celebrate Bike Month? No problem. Replace as many car trips as possible with bike trips. Register here today!
  • GMTMA’s Employer Bike Challenge. This friendly competition is among businesses in GMTMA’s region to see which employer can get the most employees to bike to work during Bike to Work Week. Email GMTMA to sign your business up! All participants will receive a certificate of participation with their travel miles and CO2 savings noted.
  • Visions of Bicycling. To celebrate Bike Month and the beauty that is bicycling, GMTMA is hosting a photo contest! Click here for information.
  • Find a Biking Buddy. Want a bicycling buddy? Email GMTMA and we will help connect you with other bicyclists who are going to your destinations.
  • Tell Us About Your Event. Is your community hosting a bike-related activity in May in Mercer County or Ocean County, NJ? Let GMTMA know about it, and we’ll post it here!
  • Be a Bike-Friendly Business. Are you a bike-friendly business giving out perks to bicyclists during the month of May? Let GMTMA know about it, and we’ll post it here!
  • Bike to School Day. In 2013, Bike to School Day will be May 8. Let the bike bells ring – event registration is now open at www.walkbiketoschool.org! If you have any questions, email GMTMA.

Green Commuter Rewards

Yes, it’s possible to save money commuting AND put money back in your pocket with the Green Commuter Rewards program from Greater Mercer TMA. Green Commuter Rewards offers qualified commuters rebates for online purchases at over 1,000 online stores.

This great incentive program offers qualified commuters rebates for online purchases. Green Commuter Rewards provides access to over 1,000 online stores, who in turn, offer rebates for purchases. The program is available to commuters who carpool, vanpool, use mass transit, walk or bicycle for 24 times over a 60 day period.

In order to qualify for Green Commuter Rewards, a commuter must register and track green commute trips. Upon completing a requisite number of green commute trips, the applicant will qualify for the Green Rewards Program. It is that simple!

Click here for more info and to register online.


Exit 7A Job Access Update

Work continues on improving job access to the Robbinsville distribution centers.  Businesses at the Northeast and Matrix Business Parks recently attended a meeting sponsored by GMTMA, Mercer County Planning and Economic Development, Mid Jersey Chamber of Commerce, MCCC and RISE.  Held at the Holiday Inn East Windsor, GMTMA and the County presented information on the issues and financial impacts created by a lack of public transportation to the 7A distribution centers.  Possible solutions, including the development of new shuttles and the deviation of some existing NJ TRANSIT bus routes were also presented.  Next steps include collecting and analyzing survey data from the businesses and refining the solutions.