Safe Routes Scoop

Congratulations NJ! The State is Ranked #9 in the Nation for Bike Friendliness

to harassment. Safe Routes to School is an international movement to create safe, fun and convenient ways for children to walk and bike to school. During national Bike Month in May, LAB promotes Bike to Work Week and Bike to Work Day activities. Encompassing the Bicycle Friendly State and its sister programs, the Bicycle Friendly America program recognizes states, communities and businesses for their efforts to promote bicycling.

 

Bicycle Friendly States
How did New Jersey come to be ranked ninth in the nation for bike friendliness? Jeff Peel, program specialist for Bicycle Friendly America, said the League sent a long questionnaire to the bicycle and pedestrian coordinator at each state transportation agency. The League then assessed more than 70 issues to determine a final score for each state, examining six key areas: state laws; policies and programs; infrastructure; education and encouragement; evaluation and planning; and enforcement.  Responses to questions were awarded one to three points. Reviewers examined responses for information such as presence of a state passing law, a complete streets or accommodation policy, and a dedicated funding source. Another important factor was whether other state plans, such as highway safety or carbon reduction, accounted for bicycling. Above all else, however, the

rankings were influenced by the existence of a state Bicycle Master Plan.

 

The ninth place ranking was awarded to New Jersey due to a variety of factors. The state was praised for its dedicated bicycle funding – a commitment of $2-4 million annually to bicycle planning and projects.  Also contributing to the high ranking was a state policy requiring rumble strip installation on roadways to provide a minimum clear space of four feet. Additional praise was given to New Jersey for a statewide mountain bike plan, a hands-free cell phone law and an exemplary Safe Routes to School program.
 

New Jersey can also improve its ranking in the future by addressing a few issues. For example, New Jersey was not ranked as high as a few other states due to the lack of a three foot passing law and a complete streets policy. New Jersey does not have a formal complete streets policy; however, NJDOT has reported that a three foot passing law is being pursued. Since the time of the ranking, New Jersey has also enacted a bill that establishes a five year pilot program to determine the effectiveness of the installation and utilization of traffic control signal monitoring systems (i.e. photo enforcement). In late October, NJDOT announced that Brick Township, East Brunswick, and Newark will be the first three municipalities to
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