Safe Routes Scoop

NJ Bicycle and Pedestrian Advocacy

Some groups focus their advocacy

efforts on educating cyclists about the rules of the road for bicycling and motorists about how they should behave around cyclists and pedestrians while driving. Just as driver’s ed classes contribute to safer driving, bicycle and pedestrian education is one of the most effective ways to foster safer bicycling and walking.

 

Other advocacy groups focus on the construction of a particular trail or facility. Most notable is the East Coast Greenway Alliance, whose primary focus is the completion and connection of various trails in New Jersey into one main trail that also traverses 13 other states. Though alliance members may be interested in other aspects of pedestrian and bicycle advocacy, members of this group came together in support of the East Coast Greenway.

 

The Face of Bicycle/Pedestrian Advocacy in New Jersey

At the state level, the New Jersey Department of Transportation has an Office of Bicycle & Pedestrian Programs with a staff of four. They initiate programs, remedy problems and review construction plans for state highway projects, with the support of other offices within the NJDOT. Also at the state level is the New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Council (BPAC). Hosted by the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University on

behalf of NJDOT, BPAC acts as a forum for state, county and local agencies – along with advocacy organizations and interested private citizens – to network with one another, learn about projects and programs, exchange ideas and voice concerns. The advisory council has also recently formed several subcommittees that are focusing on bike and pedestrian policy and legislation, education and safety, and other issues.

 

Locally, some county and municipal governments have formed bicycle and pedestrian advisory groups. One example can be found in Middlesex County, with its Bicycle - Pedestrian Task Force. This group works with municipal officials, the NJDOT, NJ TRANSIT, and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority to make bicycling and walking more feasible and attractive transportation alternatives in Middlesex County.

 

The work of numerous independent bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups is also strong within New Jersey. For example, WalkBikeJersey is a citizen's group that works at a statewide level to improve bicycling, walking, and public transit.

 

Other groups, such as the Central Jersey Bike Club, Inc. focus their efforts on a particular region of the state. The Central Jersey Bike Club schedules a variety of rides throughout the year, all of which are

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