Archive | September, 2013

Countdown to Walk and Bike to School Month 2013!

18 Sep

October is almost here — and that means International Walk and Bike to School Month is almost here! Walk and Bike to School Month gives children, parents, teachers and community leaders an opportunity to be part of a global event as they celebrate the many benefits of walking and bicycling.

Why Walk or Bike to School?

Walking and biking is a great way to get to school. Using their feet or a bicycle can make students stronger and healthier, and give them more independence. Walking and biking can have positive effects on your life, your community, and the world. Here are some reasons to walk or bicycle to school:

  • Get Exercise: Walking and biking to school is a great opportunity for children (and adults!) to get the physical activity they need.
  • Get Outdoors: Walking and biking to school is a great way to get outside and enjoy New Jersey’s fabulous Fall weather!
  • Help the Environment: Replacing car trips with walking or bicycling can reduce emissions, making the air cleaner and letting your community breathe easier.
  • Make Your Community a Better Place: Walking and biking to school can help reduce congestion. More people out on their bikes or walking, and fewer people in cars helps make your neighborhood safer, quieter, and friendlier. Get to know your neighbors and your neighborhood on a bike or on foot.
  • It’s FunMost importantly, walking and biking to school is fun!  It can be a great way for parents to spend more time with their children or for students to start their day off on a high note by having fun with their friends before even getting to school

How to get Started

The best way to get started with planning Walk and Bike to School Month activities is to contact Greater Mercer TMA. Here at GMTMA we are ready, willing and able to offer advice and assistance with kicking off programs in communities all over Ocean and Mercer County. Contact us today at 609-452-1491 or email us at tma@gmtma.org. 

Keep the Fun Coming!

Walk and Bike to School month is a great time to plan fun and exciting walk and bike to school events in your community, but why stop there? Communities and schools can use Walk and Bike to School Month as a kick-off toward changing community culture and creating better options for getting around that are safer, healthier, and more inviting for everyone, both young and old.  Greater Mercer TMA can not only help with walk and bike to school events, but can also assist you with:

  • walking school bus programs,
  • youth bicycle and pedestrian education,
  • school travel plans,
  • surveys that provide evaluation and feedback on local programs,
  • a variety of other exciting programming.

To see how GMTMA can help you to make the trip school safer, healthier and more fun in your community, contact us today at 609-452-1491 or email us at tma@gmtma.org. 

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Route 35 Repair Project Offers Great Complete Streets Opportunity

2 Sep

Hurricane Sandy’s devastation at the shore included significant damage to Rt. 35 on the Barnegat Peninsula in Ocean County.  The need to repair the roadway has however created an opportunity to improve walking and bicycling conditions in that corridor.  Fortunately, New Jersey’s strong support of Complete Streets should lead to better accommodations for pedestrians and cyclists along Rt. 35.

According to NJDOT’s Commissioner James Simpson numerous Complete Streets features have been designed into the plans for the reconstruction project, including a virtually continuous sidewalk along Route 35 northbound, 1,200 sidewalk ramps (compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act) and 200 pedestrian countdown beacons at signalized crosswalks.

NJDOT will not be purchasing land to widen the roadway, which makes incorporating bicycle accommodations more difficult.  Addressing varying parking issues and ordinances in multiple municipalities increases the challenge of integrating accommodations for bicyclists.  Despite these challenges NJDOT is creating plans to improve accommodations for bicyclists within the existing right-of-way and will be discussing these plans with the local communities in the coming months.

We encourage the communities and residents along Rt.35 to work with NJDOT to make the most of this repair project to improve and promote walking and bicycling along the Rt. 35 corridor. This is definitely an opportunity worth taking.

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