Friday, July 31, 2009

Collingswood Streets Focuses on Overturning Bicycle Ban

Closer to Center City by train than some of the neighborhoods on the Market Frankford El Collingswood, NJ has begun to distinguish itself from its Camden County neighbors by pushing forward with its community bike sharing program. Over the past few months a grass routes bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group Collingswood Streets has emerged with the goal of improving bicycling and walking within the borough of 17,000 residents.

But an old nagging problem has quickly emerged as a major barrier, a ban on students bicycling to school. Yep, schools districts can dictate what modes of travel are permitted to and from school and in New Jersey bike bans have thwarted SRTS efforts in several communities. Streetsblog's Lily Bernheimer recently headlined Collingswood's challenge on the Streetsblog Network.

Collingswood Streets activists held a preliminary meeting earlier this week to put together a campaign to overturn the ban. It turns out that the ban was put in place because a child was injured in a bicycle crash on their way to school. Attendees also talked about changing demographics in the community and how that affects attitudes towards bicycling. Several good ideas emerged from the first meeting and the seeds of a campaign have been planted.

Collingswood Streets is on the front lines of the livable streets movement in the suburbs. A successful campaign could prove to be a template toward chipping away at the bikes are dangerous and therefore should be abolished mindset.

If you would like to find out more about Collingswood Streets visit their website on the Livable Streets Network.

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Mark Newbie Elementary School nestled in a quiet neighborhood in Collingswood.


andy said...

Please don't use a bike ban to seperate the drivers from the bikers. That would be like telling the motorcycles to get off the road. People that don't have alot of money need to bike to work, and to the grocery store, every day. You are pretty much killing the environment, and people all at the same time..