Skip to content

Bike to Work Week

May 6, 2011

Yesterday, I biked to work and it was great to be on the road again. And there were a LOT of bikers sharing the streets of Trenton! I counted more than a dozen downtown; maybe because the weather was perfect.

Hopefully there will be even more riders for Bike to Work Week later this month, May 16-20.

If you are one of the first 200 to register in advance for free with the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association, you’ll get a free tee-shirt. And after that week, if you log your miles, you can win some prizes. Mmmm, prizes.

As an added benefit, if you are riding to work on Monday, May 16, please visit us at the Trenton Transit Center, from 7-9am. We will be handing out free coffee and refreshments to bicyclists on their way to work. If you have any questions, please contact rhersh@gmtma.org, or call 609-452-1491.

And of course, the culmination of Bike to Work Week, Saturday, May 21, the 2011 Trenton Bike Tour!


Advertisements

Bike friendly cities are less obese

August 24, 2010
by A.K. Streeter, Portland, Oregon on 08.23.10 GRIST

PedsAndCyclists.jpg
Photo credit  Kiwi Flickr.

Cars make you fat. That’s more or less the message noted researcher John Pucher has tirelessly delivered, making the case for cycling and walking – “active transportation” – as a way for cities to deal with creeping obesity rates and climbing health costs. Now, in a new analysis of U.S., European, and Australian cities, Pucher and his colleagues press the point home even a little further by showing that cities with the highest percentage of trips by foot and by bike have the lowest levels of obese (and even diabetic) adults.

“Among the 14 countries in our international comparison, those with higher levels of walking and cycling tended to have lower levels of adult obesity, whether self reported or clinically measured.” – John Pucher, PhD, Ralph Buehler, PhD, David R. Bassett, PhD, and Andrew L. Dannenberg, MD, MPH

The same relationship held true in the U.S.

In our comparison of all 50 US states and 47 of the largest 50 US cities, we found that higher rates of walking and cycling to work were associated with a higher percentage of adults who achieved recommended levels of physical activity, a lower percentage of adults with obesity, and a lower percentage of adults with diabetes.

Pucher and his colleagues note that the results of their study are not enough to prove active transportation can cause improved health, but should be viewed along with the other evidence piling up that show the health benefits of active travel.

This may all seem somewhat self evident, and yet, the bicycle is not viewed by the majority of Americans as a transportation tool. This is due to decades of considering the cycling as a pastime or a sport, and not as the handy (and healthier) city transportation device it can truly be.

Pucher et al do say that encouraging both walking and cycling will require a bigger build out of the bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure than has thus far occurred in the U.S., as well as further restrictions on car use and other traffic calming measures.

While that is already happening in some cities, most notably New York, there are still giant hurdles, including the fact that transportation planners depend on federal money which is still skewed towards car-based infrastructure projects, and inexpensive but vital bike and ped projects are unable to be financed from federal pots.

Let’s work to make Trenton more bike friendly and decrease obesity at the same time!

Trenton IS a Center of Place!

August 3, 2010

Trenton Cycling Revolution supports the City of Trenton’s application to the Department of Transportation to be designated as a Center of Place. We recently submitted a Letter of Support.

This would be a great development for bikers in our capital city!

2010 Trenton Bike Tour

May 25, 2010

The following post was guest blogged by Trenton resident, Earl Tutt.

Riders at morning registration

While most of us slept late Saturday morning, they were up early ready for this date. They came from far and near, from all walks of life, various ages and ridings skills . . . . . .  strangers until this day. Like legendary Robin Hood’s merry men, they quietly (at first) gathered among the trees of Caldwalader Park eager for their leader to give them instructions. They had but one banner, but so many brilliant colours that it rivaled the flowers all around them.   The surrounding neighborhood on the outskirts of the park were curious about all this flurry of activity, as were the passersby in cars as they slowed down almost to a crawl. Some wondered, was this a concert like years long ago, or perhaps a huge family picnic. Little did they know they were right, at least on one account. This indeed a family . . . . . a family a bicycle enthusiasts anxious and eager to get started on nearly every imaginable cycles, gears and related items.

While the TCR crew fastidiously made certain that all was ready and accountable for many eyes kept searching for  . . . . . . .  Strangers never more after this day, these happy faces proudly displayed their bicycles as one would show off their newest Arabian horse. In different pockets one could hear them boasting of the Mercuric-like speed of their bicycle, the strength of the metal that was ultra lightweight, others proudly paraded their modified bike, while others introduced immodestly yet even stranger contraptions that was still a cycle!

Finally, a loud, boisterous and jovial voice boomed over the throng causing this crowd to respond in such an uproar, that the sleepy heads across from the park were now fully awakened. Behind his green tinted protective glasses, there was a huge twinkle in his eyes of approval that was accented by his devilish and boyish grin. This was Matt Rawls, the “Pied Piper” of the group. He had already checked in and now strutted down the fairway rallying this massive throng of at least five hundred challenging, not asking, were they ready?!! Like tossed caps at a college graduation, their voices rose high above even the tallest tree! Leaning forward with clinched fists as if against a gust of wind, he once more trumpeted the same question, “ARE YOU READY!!!” They again responded, but even louder than before. Still in that same good natured Errol Flynn swashbuckler’s manner, he now demanded to know where were his police escorts so they could get started. Now, you could feel the excitement swell to an almost feverish pitch, but the voices of the un-sung heroes reminded the riders of their helmets, to get their bicycles tires checked before they left, to make sure their water bottles were filled. I don’t know their names, but I always remember the faces of those un-named who contributed to ensure that this tour, this rally would go off without a hitch. Their assignments were made in advance and were flawlessly carried out to make this a success!!

Finally, our cameras turned away from the crowd to see where they were looking. At last the police escorts had arrived. In a profusion of every color in the rainbows, the starting line was a blur against a sea of smiling faces. Then, they were gone. Red and black combinations, tuxedo with bow tie mocked shirts, colours reflected previous rides, regular bikes, extremely expensive bikes, tandems and un-imaginable bicycles flowed past me and other photographers in a procession that the city of Trenton has rarely, if ever seen before.

Slowly my friend and I, along with a cadre of supportive friends and family of the cyclists, wandered back to our cars and out of the park. Curiosity did seize my steering wheel however, because I found myself on the outer edge of the park watching the serpentine of riders snake their way along the tow path into Ewing, past the Country Club along Sullivan Way. Sure enough, Trenton’s finest had stopped traffic and were escorting the cyclists down Sullivan’s Way and across Rt 29 onto the neighborhood called The Island. Traffic was stopped in all directions by the police as the cyclist whizzed past the mounting line of vehicles. Even the most annoyed driver had to be filled with wonder and admiration for the strength in numbers of so many bicycle enthusiasts. Most had no idea that such a thing did exist in the area. Finally from my rear view mirror, I could see the flashing lights of the police escorts bringing up the rear. Still curious, I shadowed this parade of sorts as they rode along the River in Stacy Park until I saw them cross over on the overpass above 29 and head for W. State Street towards town. Knowing the route, I raced ahead of the group on Calhoun, stopping to let the cute female officer know that the bikes were on my heels, then headed up the alley parallel to State Street where a huge protest was starting to build in numbers. Finally, after spotting them in a few more places (downtown Willow Street among the many). I headed back home.

Although I haven’t ridden a bike since me and Ben Franklin it seems, I felt a sense of pride at what they were accomplishing. I am sure where ever they were spotted, the people also felt a since of pride and awe. A parade of that many riders meandering in and out of the city had to be an amazing site. Like the circus, but better, this was for the young and the old to be excited about. There were no fire engines blaring their lights and siren, no street cleaners to sweep and wash away any confetti, nor were there any bleachers or review stands covered by the press and news cameras or any city officials, but maybe one day !! It was worthy of such coverage in many people’s mind and in my heart. Well done TRENTON CYCLING REVOLUTION.

Cyclists hope for an extra push from Congress

May 20, 2010

Bicycle commuters brave the elements every day, but regardless of the forecast, Friday will be their day in the sun.

That is because Friday is Bike to Work Day, an annual event in which bike advocacy groups work to encourage first-time riders to try commuting by bicycle.

“It’s like putting on a nicotine patch to break the habit of driving,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, which is helping local groups organize Bike Month events. “We’re creatures of habit, but this is a good way to try something else without being left on your own.”

While the day will be marked by group rides and rallies, many cycling advocates hope that proposed changes to commuter tax credits and bike infrastructure can provide enough incentive for more people to bike to work.

Cycling advocates say they are encouraged by recent comments from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood about promoting bike lanes and distributing transportation funds to give equal credence to bicyclists and pedestrians.

But the most effective way to get more people biking, they say, could be revising and promoting the Bicycle Commuter Tax Provision. The credit, which passed as part of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, allows employers to offer $20 a month for employees who spend a “substantial” amount of their commute on a bicycle (usually three or more days a week). It is similar to receiving a subway card or parking pass and is meant to cover repairs, storage, new parts and any other expenses related to biking.

“That was meant to level the playing field,” said Erin Allweis, a spokesperson for Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), an avid cyclist who heads the Congressional Bike Caucus. “You can get fringe benefits for taking the Metro to work and you can even get it for parking expenses. But it didn’t cover people who were riding their bikes.”

Blumenauer is hoping to boost those credits with his “Green Routes to Work Act,” which he proposed last year. It would increase the monthly credit for biking, while also allowing commuters to combine credits across different types of transportation. For example, a commuter could bike two days a week, then take public transportation the rest of the time and have everything covered.

“With global warming on the rise, and Americans’ waistlines ever expanding, it is time to level the playing field for transportation options that are clean, healthy, and save people money at the pump,” Blumenauer said in a release. “Expanding the use of low-carbon transit is a quick, smart, and easy way to improve air quality, cut down on time spent idling in traffic, and save billions in gas costs.”

Clarke, who has been lobbying for a higher cycling tax credit for years, said he was “hopeful” that Blumenauer’s Green Routes bill would pass, given the changing image of bike transportation. But many employers may not know about the credit or may be confused about how to use it. To counter that, the League of American Bicyclists has a guide for businesses on its website and directs them to a tax bureau. Clarke said a simple way to improve the credit is to give the employees more leeway in applying it, rather than requiring them to submit receipts, which is not generally required for the other transportation benefits.

Businesses could go even further to promote bicycle commuting by installing simple infrastructure like bike racks or locker rooms, Clarke said. To promote such efforts, his group rates “bicycle-friendly businesses” to spotlight companies that make it easy for customers and employees to use their bikes.

But without bike trails and other infrastructure, employers can only provide so much of the push to promote commuting by bike.

Blumenauer would like to see more work on the local level. In March, he proposed the “Active Community Transportation Act,” which would set up a $2 billion grant program to offer Department of Transportation funds to communities for bicycle and pedestrian projects. The competitive review would offer grants ranging from $5 million to $15 million over three years to encourage more walkable and bikable communities.

The ACT act “allows the federal government to be a partner for communities that want to take advantage of the benefits of walking and biking,” Allweis said. “They need to accommodate everyone.”

Beyond just building trails, Greg Billing, events assistant with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, said communities could increase education and enforcement of bike safety laws. Community events like bike rodeos or even Bike to Work Day rallies can also help change residents’ commuting habits. But in the end, it is a matter of attracting the right commuters.

“A big part is encouragement and motivation,” said Meghan Cahill, a spokesperson for the biking league. “It’s how much effort the community and business and state put in place. But then it’s up to the people.”

To participate in Bike to Work Week in Mercer County, please visit the Greater Mercer TMA!

**PRESS RELEASE** Cyclists Invited to Get Dose of Revolutionary History with the Trenton Bike Tour 2010

May 3, 2010
by

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

May 3, 2010

CONTACT:

Kate Bernyk, Kate Bernyk Public Relations, 732-674-1432

Dan Fatton, Trenton Cycling Revolution, 908-303-4546

Cyclists Invited to Get Dose of Revolutionary History with the Trenton Bike Tour 2010

Over 200 participants are expected to ride in the 14th annual event

TRENTON, N.J. —Bicycle enthusiasts, families, kids, local neighbors and out-of-towners are invited to attend the 14th Annual Trenton Bike Tour through historic Trenton on Saturday, May 22, 2010, organized by local cycling advocacy group Trenton Cycling Revolution and partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Trenton and Mercer County.

Beginning and ending in Trenton’s crown jewel, the Olmsted-designed Cadwalader Park, the bike tour will be a leisurely 15-mile police-escorted ride through Trenton’s historic streets and sights, diverse neighborhoods and community gardens. As a part of National Bike Month, the tour aims to both highlight the tourist attractions of the city, and raise awareness of bicycle safety throughout the region for avid, commuting and recreational bicyclists.

This year’s event is sponsored by a number of Trenton supporters including the New Jersey Education Association, Shop Rite, AAA, state Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson-Coleman, Premier Research, Knapp’s Cyclery, Pennington-Ewing Athletic Club, the City of Trenton, Riegal Printing and ArtWorks.

Notable sights on the tour include: Revolutionary War Trenton Barracks, War Memorial, New Jersey State House, Battle Monument, and views from the D&R Canal tow path and East Coast Greenway path.

Registration Information:

·       Early Bird tickets purchased before May 7 are only $7/Adults and $3/Children under 18. Regularly priced tickets are $10/Adults and $5/Children. The first 100 registered riders will receive a free t-shirt.

·       Check-in begins at Cadwalader Park at 8:30 a.m. and the ride begins at 9:00 a.m.

·       To purchase registration, visit www.trentoncycling.org or mail a check to the Trenton Cycling Revolution at PO Box 1155, Trenton, NJ 08611. If you are mailing a check, please indicate what type of registration you are purchasing.

Members of the media are welcomed and encouraged to attend! Please contact Kate Bernyk or Dan Fatton at the information listed above to learn more or schedule an interview with Trenton Cycling Revolution leadership and past participants.

###

The Trenton Cycling Revolution is a local Trenton organization dedicated to creating a safe and healthy environment for bicyclists in the greater Trenton area through education, advocacy and promotion. For more information, visit www.trentoncycling.org.

Happy Earth Day!

April 23, 2010

Hopefully you got to celebrate Earth Day by riding your bike. As I wrote over at Garden State Smart Growth, one easy way to reduce our ecological footprint is to change our travel behavior. Riding a bicycle or walking represents an affordable and convenient way to get around, particularly for short distances, and travel by bike or foot is eco-friendly.

Riding your bike requires no gas, emits no carbon and creates no chemical run-off. If you didn’t have a chance to ride your bike today, start this weekend. Or join us on Saturday, May 22 at the 14th annual Trenton Bike Tour!