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Re: Bike signs all over town
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But he noted, "The signs don't do anything by themselves. It's an excuse in going through a process and not achieving any real results."



And somebody's brother-in-law gets to walk away with the $100 Grand.

Posted on: 2007/9/2 14:02
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Spinning their wheels -- 282 new signs encourage biking in JC - but there are no bike paths
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Spinning their wheels
282 new signs encourage biking in JC - but there are no bike paths

Ricardo Kaulessar -- Hudson Reporter -- 08/31

More than 200 signs were posted last month all over Jersey City with the words "BIKE ROUTE" and "SHARE THE ROAD."

The signs, meant to encourage biking in the city, were posted thanks to a $100,000 state Department of Transportation grant.

However, the city presently does not intend to include actual bike paths near the signs to make biking easier.

In other towns in New Jersey, areas designated as bike lanes are six feet across and have striped paint to mark them.

According to the Jersey City Engineering Department, 282 bike signs have been installed since last month.

Various city officials confirmed that actual bike paths have not been approved so far because the city does not want to take away street parking.

In January of 2006, the Planning Board approved an amendment to the city's master plan to include the "Jersey City Bikeway System" plan, but excluded the bicycle lanes.

The signs signal the implementation of an extensive bicycle system throughout Jersey City that eventually will include bike parking facilities and a program to encourage bicycling for commuting and for recreation.

Downtown resident Dan Levin, a bike enthusiast who commutes daily to his picture framing business in Hoboken, has mixed feelings about the program.

"What Jersey City is trying to do is encouraging," Levin said. "If someone bicycles, that is one less car on the road."

But he noted, "The signs don't do anything by themselves. It's an excuse in going through a process and not achieving any real results."

Activist asks for paths

Levin said that the good-government group that he co-founded, Civic JC, submitted a request recently asking the city to reopen and amend the city's Bicycle Plan section of the Jersey City Master Plan to include on-street bicycle lanes in downtown and citywide.

In the year 2000, the city had the Transportation Policy Institute of Rutgers University prepare the Jersey City Bicycle Plan for the Jersey City Division of Planning.

Under the plan, the city was to be divided into five sections with signs pointing out various destinations: downtown (near the waterfront), The Heights, Journal Square, Lafayette-Greenville, and Liberty State Park.

Now that the signs are installed, a study will be conducted by the city's Department of Public Works to determine if the bikeway system can include actual bike lanes.

The lanes would be placed in possible locations such as Mallory Avenue, Washington Boulevard, Washington Street, Christopher Columbus Drive, and Phillip Street.

There is also consideration to link the bikeway system to the East Coast Greenway, a 2,500-mile series of nature paths and roadways that runs from Maine to Florida. The Greenway will likely also include the Sixth Street Embankment in downtown Jersey City if it can be acquired by the city.

Share the road?

City Council President Mariano Vega said last week that he understands why it would make sense to put bike lanes alongside the signs.

He said that the City Council studied the idea of the lanes, but had to concede that parking would be taken away.

"The real concern for the city was that we did not take out parking on either side of the road, because it would create an inconvenience and a loss of revenue," Vega said. "What we decided to do is to encourage biking, nevertheless, and put the bike signs at critical turning intersections so people can know where they are going to turn."

Vega said there are other bike-friendly initiatives that the city will look to implement, such as bike racks at train stations and other destinations. The bike racks are expected to be acquired under another state grant of $300,000.

The 2000 Rutgers study also recommends strengthening the city's bikeway system with a Jersey City Bicycle Map, encouraging employees to commute by bicycle, and bicycle awareness education.

Vega, as the Director of the Hudson County Department of Parks, Engineering & Planning, also would like to see a countywide system to complement the Jersey City Bikeway System.

Signs of any biking life

According to information from the 2000 Census, out of the 240,000-plus residents of Jersey City, 0.25 percent, or about 600, were bike commuters, although that number is believed to be a low estimate.

Other than the Census, there is no data that can be found at the Transportation Policy Institute of Rutgers University website (www.njbikeped.org) or on the section of the state's DOT website devoted to biking (http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/commuter/bike/resources.shtm).

According to Helmets.org, there are 85 million bicycle riders in the U.S.; 784 bicyclists died on US roads in 2005, and 92 percent of them died in crashes with motor vehicles.

Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at rkaulessar@hudsonreporter.com

Posted on: 2007/9/1 10:50
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Re: Bike signs all over town
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the map is of routes marked by signage only - not bikeways or stripped bike lanes....

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nafco wrote:
thats awesome. I really hope they go through with that plan for the bikeways even though that may be a long way off

Posted on: 2007/8/25 14:20
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Re: Bike signs all over town
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Yes indeed,

It's FAR cheaper to put up bikeway signs than to actually construct a bikeway.
Jersey City has done it again the Jersey City Way...hand over taxpayer money to some generous friend who is not required actually to DO anything.

Posted on: 2007/8/25 13:33
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Re: Bike signs all over town
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thats awesome. I really hope they go through with that plan for the bikeways even though that may be a long way off

Posted on: 2007/8/24 2:42
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Re: Bike signs all over town
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Great map.. Ocean Avenue? have fun...

Posted on: 2007/8/24 2:40
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Re: Bike signs all over town
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there are also recommended pedestrian improvements in the the JC Downtown Circuation and Regional Access study, that again can be expanded city-wide.

you can find the study here - http://www.cityofjerseycity.com/hedc/final_report.html

and the bike route map here - http://www.cityofjerseycity.com/hedc/BikeRouteMap.pdf

Posted on: 2007/8/24 0:54
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Re: Bike signs all over town
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This marking is the worst sort of lip service to the constituents needs. It reminds me of crosswalk stripes without a stop sign. Either a car will give you right of way or not, the stripes don't help (maybe out west they do, but not here)

It's not like striped bike lanes are well respected, but without the stripes you might as well just put up signs saying "ride your bike in JC, but watch out for cars!" But the politicos will take credit for a cheap but visible token, and then call us ungrateful whiners when we want more substance on the subject.

Posted on: 2007/8/23 3:52
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Re: Bike signs all over town
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Does anyone know if there is a map of the recently marked "bike routes"? Where do they lead to? I'd hope it would be Lucky Sevens, but I saw some up in the heights and wouldn't be suprised if the route terminated by sending cyclists off a cliff or something.

Posted on: 2007/8/22 12:23
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Re: Bike signs all over town
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Danl:

Thanks for clearing that up. Although I have read references to bike signs in recent posts, the first one I actually noticed was on southbound Palisade just past Christ Hospital. I couldn't figure out what puprose it served, since it was business as usual on the road.

As is the case with everyone else, I would love to partipate in a biking advocacy group or even a cycling club. There are three or four in NYc and one in Montclair but none in all of Hudson County - not even in Hoboken, which is remarkably polite to cyclists. It is a totally different world from Jersey City, Union City and North Bergen.

Some guy from my gym, Total Fitness on Kennedy Blvd. between 6th & 7th, organizes rides now and then, but that is as good as it gets. He hangs a flier with ride dates within the gym. Total Fitness is located at the poit where Union City, North Bergen and the JC Heights intersect.

Posted on: 2007/8/21 21:23
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Re: Bike signs all over town
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I'd join the group and particpate, but couldn't commit to leading and organising it.

Robin.

Posted on: 2007/8/17 17:27
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Re: Bike signs all over town
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The signage is part of the JC Bicycle Plan approved Fall 2005 and added to the city?s Master Plan. Unfortunately, it failed to include stripped on street bicycle lanes. The consultants drafting the plan were instructed to remove the stripped lanes from the plan by city engineering, believing that JC roads could not accommodate bicycle lanes without eliminating on street parking. The plan was based on an April 2000 Jersey City Bicycle Plan report prepared by the Transportation Policy Institute of Rutgers University, which included and recommended city-wide on street stripped bicycle lanes and met state standards.

One of the recommendations coming out of the recently completed Jersey City Regional Waterfront Access and Downtown Circulation Study is the Jersey City Downtown Proposed Bikeway System Stripping Plan for on street bicycle lanes. Hopefully this will encourage the city to revisit the JC Bicycle Plan and include not only the downtown recommended stripped bicycle lane, but stripped lanes city-wide.

While on street stripped bicycle lanes fall short of separated lanes, I believe that it is still a step in the right direction. The striped on road lanes indicate that bicyclists have marked road space and can encourage more people to bicycle. More bicycles on the streets make bicycles a regular part of street traffic and better acclimates vehicle drivers to share the road.

A bicycle advocacy group is sorely needed in Jersey City. Are there people interested in forming one? I would be able to help (not lead) and could assist with a kick off meeting or ?state of bicycling? in Jersey City Forum which could not only include those interested in forming a group, but also City Planning, City Engineering and representatives from the administration and council. There are grants available for to do this.

Posted on: 2007/8/17 17:15
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Re: Bike signs all over town
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The idea of a bike path on Columbus is enough to make me chuckle. If they ever put in a real lane for it, I'll be amazed.

Posted on: 2007/8/17 15:10
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Re: Bike signs all over town
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I like the bike lane idea, but I don't trust JC drivers to stay off them - if the cops enforce their use and kids are pushed to the roads, just wait for the carnage. Guys on big Harleys are no deterent for dumb-ass drivers to drive right - some drivers have no driving or sharing the road skills what-so-ever.

Posted on: 2007/8/17 10:18
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Bike signs all over town
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What is with all the bike signs going up all around town. It seems odd since there are no bike lanes why the bike signs? Maybe they are directing riders to the better newly paved roads instead of the horrible ones that I don't even want to drive my car on.

Posted on: 2007/8/17 1:51
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