Safe Routes Scoop

10 Questions with
Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer

 

not optimistic that the 3- foot passing rule is enforceable.” She feels that “the only way to surmount challenges is to educate people about the problem and, in this case, to get them out on a bike so they can see what cyclists experience on the road.”

 

Q7: Have you had success collaborating with other legislators and members of the community who are also dedicated to pedestrian and bicycle issues? The Assemblywoman responded with an immediate “yes.” She indicated that she has met, and continues to meet, a variety of dedicated people who work extremely hard to advance pedestrian and bicycle issues and to make safety a priority. As a result, she said that “there are more people riding bikes now than ever before; I like that!”

 

Q8: What are your thoughts on the role Complete Streets policies may have on improving conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists on New Jersey’s roadways? Spencer feels that embracing Complete Streets will be the “first wave” for making lasting change and that “we have to keep pushing it.” Complete Streets refers to planning our communities for all users of our roadways—motor vehicles, transit vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists—as opposed to the auto centric design and decision making we have become used to in most communities. While the New Jersey Department of Transportation

has adopted a Complete Streets policy, the Assemblywoman points out that many towns have still not adopted their own policies. She adds that “we need to work to make sure that all communities adopt policies and that they actively work to make their policies a reality.”

 

Q9: How can readers of this piece and the larger NJ community help you to advance your work with regard to bicycle and pedestrian issues? For Spencer, the best way the public can help her to advance her work on bicycle and pedestrian issues is to show their support and to get involved. She urges those interested in helping to “call your local elected officials at both the municipal and state levels and tell them that you ride and that you want them to help make it safer for you and your neighbors to ride. And then, challenge them to come out and ride with you!”

 

Q10: In closing, why do you think all New Jerseyans should be concerned with promoting safe walking and biking throughout our state? Spencer believes that promoting safe walking and biking should be a priority and something that is supported by all. By promoting bicycling and walking, individuals have the power to make a positive difference and help to usher in change by creating awareness about bicycle and pedestrian issues and alerting their friends and neighbors to the benefits of walking

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