Monthly Archives: October 2008

New Bike Path Set for College Ave-Cook/Douglass Commute

An article in this Wednesday’s Daily Targum, the official student newspaper of Rutgers University, annonced plans for the City of New Brunswick to install a bike path between the College Avenue and Cook/Douglass. The path will start in Buccleuch Park and end on Bishop Street on Cook/Douglass campus. Various ideas were brought up for possible commuting routes between the two campuses. George Street, the main road through New Brunswick and a direct route from College Ave. to Cook/Douglass, was determined to be to highly traffic for installing a bike path. The decided route will keep students several blocks away from the major traffic of George Street and the Route 18 on ramps. I think that this has the potential to be the most used bike path at Rutgers. Going through New Brunswick between these two campuses via bus or car can take up to an hour due to the traffic on George Street and the construction on Route 18. However, the same trip can be made by bike in approximately 15 minutes, anytime of day regardless of traffic. These paths will be a great step forward in making Rutgers University a more bike friendly campus.

To read the original Targum article, click here

For more information about bike routes around rutgers, visit www.mappler.com/rubike

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Rutgers University bike info doesn’t stack up to the competition

I have been biking to a from classes at Rutgers University for the past 4 years. I have seen a lot of changes in the geography, condition, and accessiblity of the roads on the banks of the Raritan, but what has been most pleasing to me during the start of this school year is the number of bike commuters. When I started biking across New Brunswick to Cook/Douglass, I remember being the lone biker dodging my way through cars down and pedestrians. Now the same sections on George Street are littered with college students each way, riding the curbs and passing at least two EE buses in the process. However, just like the academics here at RU, now that we have the students’ attentions we need to teach them something. Unforutunately the only information that can be found on the Rutgers DOTS website is a pdf of a bike map consisting of several discontinuous and misrepresented bike paths. If you look at other schools across the nation, Rutgers is definitely falling behind. For Example, the University of California Davis not only has an extensive bike map of the campus and the surrounding city, the University also provides services like free bike commuting classes, endless miles of well-maintained bike paths, summer storage facilities, showers for commuters, lock cutting services, and abandoned bike removal and reauction to students in need of bikes. Such a support system has led to over 15,000 students, that is over half of UC Davis students, using bicycles.  Imagine if half of RU students rode bikes. The buses (when you would need to take them) would be less crowded, students would get to classes faster, giving them more time for academics as social activities, and fewer buses would mean less traffic and cleaner like air. To make this dream a reality there must be more resources and facilites available from college bikers at Rutgers, like more bike paths, easier access to racks, informative websites (like www.mappler.com/rubus_to_bike), etc. What Trek bicycle company President John Burke said is true, “Bicycling is a very simple solution to many complicated problems in the world”.

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NB Bike Crash Shows You Danger Zones in New Brunswick

One of mapplers best websites for bikers in the Rutgers area is www.mappler.com/nbbikecrash. The site takes all reported bike-related accidents from the New Brunswick area and posts them so you can see their location, time of day, type of accident, and result from the accident. Unfortunately, this is only info reported from the New Brunswick Police, so anything handled by the Rutgers Police Dept. does not show up. Still it is a step in the right direction for making it safer to bike around RU.

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Davis, Calif: Most Bike Friendly City in the US

The Leauge of American Bicyclists have named Davis, California the most bike friendly city in the United States. A thirty-year long campagin by bike enthusiasts, city planners, and city officials has made it a utopian society for cyclists. Some of the factors that make Davis so bike able are the climate, wide roads, the nearby Univ of Calif campus, and most importantly the self-sustaining design of the city. The close proximity of community centers, schools, jobs, and stores makes biking a quick and easy means of transportation for the majority of trips. Even if we can’t control these things in our community, we can use the city of Davis as proof that a bike friendly is not just a dream, but is most certainly a reality.

To read the article on Davis, visit www.bicyclefriendlycommunity.org/davis1.htm

To have your community recognized as a bike friendly community, apply at www.bicyclefriendlycommunity.org/apply.cfm

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Park(ing) Day greens the streets in NYC

Here is an article from Transportation Alternatives about their event last month throughout NYC.

We Came, We Saw, We Park(ed)

Last Friday, thousands of New Yorkers woke up to a city temporarily transformed. It was the second annual Park(ing) Day NYC, and while millions lay sleeping, a dedicated crew of artists, elected officials, architects and citizens were hard at work turning parking spots around the city into inviting public spaces.

Thanks to the enthusiasm and inspiration of all involved, 53 parking spaces across the five boroughs were repurposed as Park(ing) Spots for the day. 629 pieces of sod turned 6,290 square feet of intimidating asphalt into oases of green on the street. There were games for kids, activities for the creative and chair and benches aplenty for those inclined to recline. And because it’s New York, at least two locations even sported free WiFi, a relief to those torn between their love of lounging outdoors and their need to work.

Most of all, Park(ing) Day NYC 2008 was a clarion call for more space for people in a city too often dominated by the automobile. Using scant resources and no more than a sliver of space, Park(ing) Day participants demonstrated the transformative potential that even small reclamations can have. While Manhattan Community Boards Two and Four showcased the principles of a bicycle parking spot swap, a midtown consultancy moved their staff out of doors for the day, meetings and all.

In a city obsessed with the next big thing, Park(ing) Day is a reminder that sometimes a little can go a long way.

Park(ing) Day is the third Friday of September every year. For more information on the event, or how to participate next year, please visit parkingdaynyc.org, and don’t forget about Park(ing) Day redux on October 18th at Eyebeam Gallery.

Link to Park(ing) day 2008 video: http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/parking-day-2008-nyc/

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Rutgers Bus to Bike

For those of you that don’t know, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, is spread out over 4 campuses and two cities. Since students can have class on any campus, Rutgers have created an intricate system of buses to get students to virtually any place on campus. However, spanning 4 campuses and 2 cities means that it may take an hour for students to travel a few miles to their next class. The amount of time spent traveling seriously cuts into the time students have to study and socialize. As an avid biker, I have found a way around the bus hassel. While it may take a long time to reach classes, all Rutgers building are within a few miles of each other, making it a rather quick bike ride.

While bike riding may shave 45 minutes off of your commute at RU, it may also shave a few years off of your life, IT IS RISKY! That is why I have crated websites like Rutgers Bus to Bike (www.mappler.com/rubus_to_bike) to show students the safests and easiest ways to commute around Rutgers and Identifiy any hazzards of biking. But unlike most places in New Brunswick, this website is not a one-way street. Students can join the website and add their own info about the website. In this way, Rutgers Bus to Bike was created by RU students, for RU students.

visit the RU Bus to Bike website at www.mappler.com/rubus_to_bike

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International Walk to School Day just around the corner

October 8th is the International walk to school day. Groups from around the world will be leaving their gas gusslers at home and hitting the sidewalk. This effort, sposonred by the orgnization iwalk, is ment to show students how easy, and fun, it is to use alternative means of transportation for short commutes to places like school. While I think it is a great thing for kids to learn how to commute in a healthy, and more eco-friendly manner, I also think adults need to hold up there end of the bargin, making sure roads are safe for students walking, and riding bikes, to school. Groups like the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance are working to create an extensive inventory of their street conditions, so that funds can be allocated to where they will make the most difference. With everyone doing their park, walk to school day may become a year-round event for some kids.

For more information on October 10th event visit www.iwalktoschool.org

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