Safe Routes Scoop

10 Questions with
Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer

 

not a ‘lean’ State.” She feels that “too many jobs involve sitting, and employers make it easy for people to ‘stay at rest’ for the entire day. Sometimes convenience is not in the best interest of a healthy work atmosphere.” Spencer has sponsored many bills that are aimed at healthy living issues and she hopes that by working to make cycling safer and more appealing, more people will get out there and start cycling their way to a healthier lifestyle.

 

Spencer cycles with the Major Taylor Cycling Club of NJ. She has learned a lot from the members of the club who are “constantly encouraging more legislation geared in the direction of putting more bikes on the road.” While not every idea shared gains her support, Spencer feels it is important to continue the conversation with advocates and to understand where these ideas and those who propose them are coming from.

 

Q4: With reference to pedestrian and bicyclist issues, what do you feel is currently the greatest need in the state of New Jersey? “More education regarding the rules of the road for both cyclists and motorists” should be a priority. I feel that “we can travel the roads together, but we must respect each other. It does not have to be one or the other. It can be both.” Ultimately, Spencer reports that she “would like to see more people riding their bikes, especially

those traveling less than 5 miles.” With increased education for both cyclists and motorists, we can help to foster a culture of mutual respect that can help make our roads a safer and friendlier place. And with friendlier roads, increased cycling will become more appealing to casual cyclists and may even encourage novices to get started.

 

Q5: What are some of your other priority or emphasis areas pertaining to pedestrian and bicycle safety? Spencer indicated that she would like to see more bike lanes. Bike lanes can help make the movements of both motorists and bicyclists more predictable, offering advantages to all road users. While Spencer wants to see more adults cycling, she is also eager to see increased numbers of children on bikes as well. She “would like to see more schools encouraging children to cycle to and from school.” By reaching children and exposing them to the joys of safe cycling when they are young, programs that encourage children to cycle to and from school can help cultivate a new generation of safe, responsible, and healthy cyclists.

 

Q6: What are some challenges you have faced in bringing bicycle and pedestrian issues into focus at the state level? How have you worked to surmount those challenges? Spencer reported that her biggest challenge has been “getting people to be opened minded about the safety issues.” She noted that “people are

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