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July 4th Travel Tips, Schedules, and Local Happenings

30 Jun

The 2017 AAA report  is out and it looks like a record number of people will be travelling this Independence Day. More than 85% (37.5 million) of you will take advantage of the extended weekend and choose to drive to your destination.

Photo credit: AAA

With so many people on the road, here are some summer driving tips to get you safely to your destination:

  • Get your car serviced before you go
  • Pack an emergency roadside kit
  • Buckle up, do not drive distracted or impaired
  • Stay alert, stop and rest if you feel tired
  • Don’t forget to check the car before you lock it, don’t leave your children or pets unattended in a parked vehicle

You can find a detailed summer driving tips list here.

During the 4th of July holiday public transit comes with many choices and special deals for those planning a getaway or just seeing the fireworks.

Check out some of these options for your holiday travel:

Bike shares are another way to get around in places like NYC, Princeton, and Philadelphia, and available in the following places:

Car-share options:

A great tool for anyone traveling, our traffic alerts for Mercer County and Ocean County  are always available at www.gmtma.org  and can be accessed on your mobile device (just not while you are driving).

If you didn’t make any plans yet, here is what’s happening in Mercer County  and in Ocean County.

Stay safe and enjoy your Holiday Weekend!

Memorial Day Transit Schedules

25 May

The AAA Memorial Day travel report is out and it looks like a record number of people will hit the road this year, 34.6 million people will drive to their destination.  If you are planning to take public transit to your destination instead, here are the schedules for Memorial Day.

 

Source:Newsroom.AAA.com

NJ Transit

Bus

Buses 600,601,605,606,607,608,609,613 will run on a Sunday schedule, no service for 603, 610, 611, 612, 619, 624 buses .

Rail

Early Getaway in effect Friday, May 26 with five extra trains departing New York between 1 PM and 3:30 PM, three trains departing New York between 4:30 and 5:30 PM will now add a Newark Airport stop, and trains 3867 (5:17 PM from NY), 3955 (5:43 PM from NY) and 3961 (6:39 PM from NY) are cancelled this day. Complete schedule available here.

Neighborhood  FreeB   – On Saturday May 27, 2017 the morning route will be detoured for the parade. Instead of traveling across Nassau Street, from Elm Road to Harrison, the bus will travel in both directions along Paul Robeson/Wiggins/Hamilton. It will serve Monument Hall/PSRC on the bus’s return trip to Elm Court. The bus will serve Spruce Circle on the outbound trip from Elm Court traveling towards the Princeton Shopping Center. The bus will turn in on Spruce Circle Drive for passengers.

Regular routing along Nassau will resume for the afternoon trips.

No freeB service on Memorial Day

Path

Saturday Schedule, Journal Square-33 Street (via Hoboken) and Newark-World Trade Center lines in service.

Route 130 Connection Saturday service starts at Town Center Plaza to Marketplace at 8:00 AM. Last trip from Hamilton Marketplace to East Windsor/Hightstown is at 2:50 PM. The Route 130 Connection does not operate on Memorial Day.

Stay safe and enjoy the long weekend!

Bike Commuter Journal – Getting Ready for Bike Month and Bike to Work Week

5 May

Bike Month is here and so far we have enjoyed really nice weather. Let’s hope the weather will be nice during Bike to Work Week as well. For those of you who are planning to bike to work or thought about it and don’t know where to start, we put together a list of things you need.

  • A bike that fits right and has a comfortable saddle; bike shops are best able to fit your bike to you.
  • A route you are comfortable with.  Choose roads with bike lanes and slower moving traffic when possible.  You can find biking maps on our websiteor Google bike maps.
  • Comfortable clothing– if you have a short commute (under 5 miles) you could ride in your work clothes.  Just go at a reasonable speed, adjust your gears depending on the terrain (you can push yourself on the way back from work if you want a little workout). If you can, leave some clothes at the office to make sure you always look your best.  If not here are some tips: If you do not have a shower at work you could get some Action Wipes, they will do the trick.
  • Invest in a pannier you can put you bag/backpack in so you do not have to carry it.  This is both practical and important for your safety since your hands won’t be busy holding things.
  • Plan ahead and learn what to carry with you just in case –Spare tubes and tools and know how to change a tire. You can learn here .
  • If your office does not have a safe storage spot for your bike, here’s somebike locking advice .

And last but not least  – safety tips:

Bicyclists

  • Follow all the rules of the road, including riding with traffic and stopping for signs and signals
  • Be predictable and signal your intentions to others – point right or left for turning, hand down for stopping
  • Be ready to stop at driveways
  • Make yourself visible, wear bright colors, something reflective, have a white light in the front of your bike and a red light on the back, mirrors, and bell
  • Wear a helmet

Be safe and have fun! And remember if you have questions or you need help choosing a route, you can always contact us .

And don’t forget to register for bike to work week, log your miles, and share your pictures and your experiences with us.

Happy Cycling!

 

This year’s Bike to Work Week Sponsors  Kopp’s Cycle, REI Princeton, Greater Mercer TMA, St. Lawrence Rehab Center, Sourland Cycles, and Whole Earth Center

Swap-a-Ride Re-branded as Bike to Food & Friends

24 Mar

All together – spring is coming, spring is coming, spring is coming! If we repeat that often enough, the snow will melt and spring will really be here, and along with spring comes – Bike to Work Week!

But what if you work at home? What if you no longer work? What if you haven’t yet started your working career?

Great news – you can still participate in Swap-A-Ride, now re-branded as Bike to Food and Friends!

Swap-A-Ride might sound like our Ride Provide program, where instead of driving your car we give you a ride in one of ours. It might also sound like our carpool program, where you swap turns driving, like giving your neighbor a ride this week, and they give you a ride next week.

Bike to Food and Friends clearly says you drive your bike instead of your car. You might go to the train station, maybe to dinner and a show in the city.

You might go to the grocery store.

You might go to the library for a study group session, or to donate used books.

You might go for a ride in the park with friends.

These are just examples – if you would have driven there in a car, but bike there instead, it counts as Bike to Food and Friends.

Now, aren’t you looking forward to spring even more? Stay tuned for how to sign up for Bike to Food and Friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complete Streets Workshop Resources

3 Mar

On Tuesday, February 28, Greater Mercer TMA and the American Heart Association sponsored a Complete Streets Workshop in Ocean County.  The workshop featured panelists from the American Heart Association, AARP, AAA Northeast, NJDOT, Sustainable Jersey, FHWA, Bay Head and Brick Township.  Presenters discussed how and why complete streets improve livability, community health, safety, and congestion, while furthering sustainability and creating greater equity. Bay Head’s Mayor showed how complete streets have improved walkability and bicycling conditions in his community and Brick Township’s planner showed how Safe Routes to School programming contributed to the addition of thousands of feet of new sidewalks in Brick. The American Heart Association talked about the link between the increase in chronic heart disease, and the lack of sufficient physical activity in communities where walking and bicycling is not safe.  The workshop provided lots of information and resources to help anyone interested in implementing complete streets.

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We are very excited about the great interest in implementing complete streets, and we wanted to share some of the resources available to those interested.

  1. Complete Streets Toolkit from AHA and Voices for Healthy kids http://voicesforhealthykids.org/complete-streets/
  2. AARP Livable communities resources, making streets safer for older adults http://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/archives/info-2014/complete-streets.html
  3. FHWA Residents Guide for Creating Safer Communities for Biking and Walking http://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/archives/info-2014/complete-streets.html
  4. NJDOT policy and implementation guides http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/eng/completestreets/resources.shtm
  5. New Jersey Complete Streets funding and other resources http://njbikeped.org/funding-2/

We hope you find these resources useful! Please let us know if you have any questions or would like us to assist you with complete streets actions.

World Day of Remembrance

18 Nov

This Sunday, November 20th is World Day of Remembrance, a day to remember Road Traffic Victims.

Observed in many countries around the world this day is dedicated to remembering traffic victims killed in road crashes, the families who are left to grieve the sudden loss of a loved one, and to pay tribute to the emergency response crews who respond to these crashes.

wdr

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and speed is involved in 1/3 of the traffic deaths.

The Vision Zero Network and the National Coalition for Safer Roads have released a National Speed Fatality Map to highlight the significant role that speed plays in road crashes. You can find the map here http://ncsrsafety.org/

New Jersey has adopted the national vision for highway safety – Toward Zero Deaths: A National Strategy on Highway Safety (Toward Zero Deaths). This calls for a national goal of reducing the number of traffic fatalities by half by the year 2030. Toward Zero Deaths is based on the principle that even one traffic death is unacceptable. More information on New Jersey’s plan can be found in the 2015 New Jersey Strategic Highway Safety Plan

We at GMTMA are doing our part to keep our roads safer, working with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority to coordinate Street Smart pedestrian and motorist education campaigns in communities in Mercer and Ocean Counties. In October, GMTMA completed the first phase of the campaign in Princeton.

How can you do your part? Make a commitment to safety, share the message, and please stay safe.

Sources:

http://worlddayofremembrance.org/

http://visionzeronetwork.org/

http://ncsrsafety.org/

New Jersey Electric Vehicle Incentives

11 Nov

Recent New Jersey electric vehicle incentives have made it more enticing than ever to invest in green transportation. Through a triple bottom line lens, or options that are good for People, Planet, and Prosperity, electric vehicles are a worthy alternative to typical fuel guzzlers. A NJ Spotlight article quoted a study that found “by 2050, the state could avoid more than $4B in healthcare and climate costs if it can convince motorists to switch to electric vehicles.” An October 31 conference hosted by St. Peter’s University Hospital and Keep Middlesex Moving delved deeper into the issue.

electric-car-1458836_1280

There are direct benefits from emission reduction. Over half of the state’s carbon dioxide output derives from transportation. Cleaner air will reduce both asthma and other poor air quality days within the state.

Evidence shows people want electric vehicles. Seen in a “State of the State” presentation, preference for electric is at a rate three times more than hybrids. Batteries are being produced more cheaply than ever and models like the Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and Tesla Model 3 are affordable enough to bring EVs to a wider market.

The state is striving to increase the number of charging stations available. Princeton’s Peacock Inn just installed a Tesla charger and Hamilton Marketplace has operated a Tesla Supercharger over the last two years. Last summer, Quakerbridge Mall unveiled the state’s first EVGo charger that can charge two vehicles within 30 minutes. Projects like these reduce “range anxiety” felt by drivers looking for sufficient charge for traveling.

A repeated theme of the conference was that public and private partnerships were essential for instilling electric car opportunities in NJ. PSEG spearheaded a utility effort and controls over 100 of the 400 current stations. The New Brunswick Parking Authority has incorporated a test “Juice Bar” in the Gateway Garage and St. Peter’s Hospital has provided electric stations for its employees. The Clean Communities Coalition aims to affect state policies. There is already a $7,500 federal tax credit for drivers of All-electric or Hybrid Plug-in vehicles. For companies in NJ wishing to upgrade their facilities, there is over $725,000 in grants in the “It Pay$ to Plug-In” program.

In the near future, plugging in your car overnight will become as routine as charging your phone.

Note: A few days ago, we learned from a NJ Spotlight article that NJ will be part of “Charging Corridors” and locating chargers every 50 miles on I-80 and I-95.