Monday, March 31, 2008

West Windsor Bike Ped Alliance - Local, Focused and Successful

One of our toughest challenges at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is how can we replicate the (modest) success that we have had in the City of Philadelphia in the 300+ municipalities that make up the 9 county region (NJ and PA).

Maybe the West Windsor Bike Ped Alliance has the answer: Go local.

WWBPA a 501(c) Bicycle and Pedestrian Advocacy Organization focuses on mostly on West Windsor Township, NJ (Includes Princeton Junction and Grovers Mill the setting of the 1938 War of the Worlds radio play).

A scan of their annual report shows that they have 250 paid members most of them among the Township's 26,000 residents. Compare that to 1500 BCGP members in a region with a population of over 4 million. WWBPA's annual budget is a respectable $10,000 with a net surplus of nearly $4,000.

Bike Lanes, yep not too many of those in the burbs, but West Windsor has several miles of them.
Traffic calming - check, improved intersections for pedestrians - ditto.

Southfield Rd in West Windsor, Mercer County, NJ

WWBPA President Ken Carlson notes that the most effective tool is actually getting people out to see the hazards themselves. WWBPA takes out residents, elected officials, planners and engineers on West Windsor Walks and creates a list safety recommendations, many of the solutions have been implemented while others are in the pipeline.

West Windsor Township has applied for Bicycle Friendly Community Status, they are the first community in NJ to apply and we eagerly await the results.

Each municipality is different, trying to educate small town councils the nuances of bicycle and pedestrian safety and comfort is a monumental task. It just shows those of us who live outside of the city that we are the face of the Bicycle Coalition in places as diverse Narberth, Medford and Norristown.