News

Check out our new spring event: the Bike Scavenger Hunt!

Join us throughout Montclair on May 18, 2014. Solve all the clues and you’ll be entered to win the $1,000 Cash Grand Prize or one of our other prizes, including a new bicycle or jet simulator ride valued at $2,500.

This is not a race. It’s a family-friendly event with additional activities throughout the day at Lackawanna Plaza, which will be closed to cars throughout the event.  Sunday, May 18, 2014 in Montclair with festivities at Lackawanna Plaza. Sign up now and enjoy a fun day of mystery solving, riding and family fun!

Bike&Walk Montclair and Diamond Cycle are excited to present a new event: the Montclair Bike Scavenger Hunt.

The event will take place throughout Montclair on Sunday, May 18, 2014 from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.  Additional festivities will take place at Lackawanna Plaza, including a barbecue.

Solve all the clues and participants will be entered to win the $1,000 Cash Grand Prize or one of our other prizes, including a new Cannondale bicycle or jet simulator ride valued at $2,500.

The Montclair Bike Scavenger Hunt will take place as follows:

(1) Register for the event at www.bikewalkmontclair.org. Register before May 5 for the “early bird” discount. The event is $35 per person for Bike&Walk Montclair members and $40 for non-members.  Kids under 5 are free.  The activities at Lackawanna, including the barbecue, are included with the registration fee.

(2) We will release the clues on the Bike&Walk Montclair Facebook page at 9:00 am.  You must “Like” us on Facebook to be eligible for the prize drawing.

(3) Solve each clue by taking a picture of yourself in front of the marked clue and posting it to our Facebook page.  Ride at your own pace, whether alone or with friends & family.  All clues are in Montclair.  Clues are appropriate for all ages.

(4) Stop by for all these additional festivities at Lackawanna Plaza, all of which are included in your registration:

- 12:00 “Learn to Ride” Bike Rodeo

- 1:00 Learn to Trick Ride Like Chris Clark

- 2:00 Push Bike Race (kids under 5 only)

- 2:30 Bike Obstacle Course

- 3:30 Chris Clark Stunt Bike Show

- 4:00 Barbeque on the Plaza

- 5:30 Prize Drawing at info@bikewalkmontclair.org.

Bike&WalkMontclair is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to create a bicycle-friendly and walkable Montclair to improve our health, clean our air, make our streets safer and improve our overall quality of life. Bike&Walk Montclair eagerly seeks new members from Montclair and surrounding communities to help us with our mission.

Bike&Walk Montclair is a partner in the Eat. Play. Live… Better movement to improve our community’s well-being where we live, learn, work and play.

There is No Such Thing as a BLF – Why Bike&Walk Advocacy Matters – April 17

When: Thursday, April 17 - 7:30pm
Where: Montclair Fire Department Headquarters 1 Pine Street, Montclair, NJ 07042

Its spring and bikes and feet ARE on every street with people choosing their own power to get around.  Advocating for people on foot or on bike takes more than a Bike Lane Fairy – it takes YOU and it’s FUN!

Bike&Walk Montclair has been front and center in advocating for safe streets and promoting policy and infrastructure changes to help make biking and walking easy choices in daily life. This has been an award winning year and some of the kudos of which we’re most proud are our Bike Friendly Community and Walk Friendly Community recognitions.

But these designations are just the beginning, and are our collective call to action to prioritize biking and walking in Montclair because it’s what our community wants.  According to a community survey conducted in 2012 by MSU’s Center for Research and Evaluation the most popular suggestions for making Montclair safer for bicycling and walking were: better lighting and sidewalks, more on-street bike lanes, more off-street bike trails/paths, and more bike racks.

Join us next Thursday, April 17 at our monthly public meeting where we focus on the importance of Bike&Walk Advocacy.  Communities change when WE make it happenwe are ALL Change Agents/Advocates/Zealous Nuts.  And we’re not crazy – we’re right, and we have truth on our side.

It won’t happen without YOU.  Say YES and be the change you want to see in Montclair!

This meeting will also be a great opportunity to support Bike&Walk Montclair by becoming a member.  Membership allows us to share education, advocacy, and fun events with our community.

*Challenge: We’re challenging all of our members to come to the meeting and bring a friend who is new to the organization. Each new “friend” will receive a raffle ticket for the chance to win a prize at the conclusion of the meeting.

Can’t wait to see you there!

Light refreshments will be served.

“Never ever feel like bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure is ‘fluff.’  Every time you enable people to be physically active, you are helping to prevent chronic illness, disease and premature death. It is appalling that our culture is in denial about that fact.” ~Janet Heroux, NJDOH

 

 

 

 

Bike&Walk Montclair’s Bike Bonanza Extravaganza! May 3.

Bikes and Feet on Every Street!  Where it’s safe, get kids walking and biking. Where it’s not safe, make it safe.

Bike Bonanza Extravaganza @ MSU
Learn to Ride Class AND Bicycle Ride Rodeo

Saturday, May 3rd, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Build Your Skills - Ride Right - Be Safe!

FREE and OPEN to the COMMUNITY!

Bike&Walk Montclair and Meadowlink TMA in partnership with Montclair State University, bring you a Bicycle Ride Rodeo and Learn To Ride Class in a 3-hour Bike Bonanza Extravaganza!

Learn to Ride Class

This class teaches a safe, easy, effective way to learn to ride. Using this “balance first” method, our facilitators help get their children rolling while the child does most of the work. Participants learn the basics of balancing, starting, stopping, and steering a bike, as well as proper helmet fit and adjustment. Most people learn to ride their bike while taking the class, but even if they don’t, they will leave with an easy and low-stress way to learn to ride.

Bicycle Ride Rodeo

If you can already balance and ride a bike while tracing a figure 8, you are likely ready for the Ride Rodeo!  Riders will learn how to scan for traffic behind them, maneuver through an obstacle course, recognize hazards and signal their intentions to drivers and fellow riders.

The Bike Bonanza Extravaganza will include stations for bike check, helmet fitting and tire pressure.  Parent volunteers to assist where needed.

Parent/Guardian presence is required along with a signed waiver. An appropriately sized bicycle in good working order and helmets are required. Free helmets, courtesy of Meadowlink will be available in limited quantity.

Questions?
education@BikeWalkMontclair.org
www.BikeWalk Montclair.org

Location – Lot #28 is nearest to the Clove Road Entrance of Montclair State University, between the Ben Samuels Children’s Center and Montclair State University train station.

Driving directions from Montclair:  Take Upper Mountain Ave. northbound past Normal Ave.  The road becomes Long Hill Rd. in Little Falls.  Bear right onto Clove Rd. on your right, approximately 1/10 mi. north of Normal Avenue.  Turn right into Lot 28 at the traffic light.

Spring Onto Safe Streets: A Safety Forum for Pedestrians, Drivers and Cyclists

2014 Bike to Work Challenge

New Jersey commuters can get their pedals ready. The TransOptions Bike to Work Challenge is returning to northern New Jersey. Challengers can now sign up early for no cost and prepare to celebrate National Bike Month in May by incorporating a bicycle trip into their ride to work and competing for prizes!

 

The Bike to Work Challenge is a free, friendly competition where both expert and beginner bicyclists have the chance to win prizes in multiple categories. To get started, riders can create an online profile at GoForGood.TransOptions.org starting today and track their bike commute trips and miles from May 1st to May 31st.

 

No commuter’s trip is too far or too difficult for them to participate in the Bike to Work Challenge. Participants can drive to a Park & Ride and bike the rest of the way to work, bike to a train station, or take their bike on the bus. As long as the commute incorporates a bike ride, it counts. Riders do not have to commute by bike every day, but with every ride, participants have a greater chance of winning bigger prizes.

 

Challenge participants can also create teams and invite friends or coworkers to join them as a way to add to the excitement and amp up the motivation. Giving them a chance at winning additional prizes, bike commuters can team up with up to four other bike buddies at any time during the Bike to Work Challenge.

 

For more information on the 2014 Bike to Work Challenge or TransOptions’ Bike Right® classes, visit GoForGood.TransOptions.org or call (973) 267-7600.

April Sharrows Bring Bike-Friendlier Streets!

 

Wayfinding and Sharrows help to Complete Glen Ridge Ave

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Huh?  What’s a Sharrow?

 

It’s a mix of words (share and arrow) for a nifty pavement stencil called a “Shared Lane Marking.” No joke!

In order to avoid some potential confusion about those funny “sharrow” stencils that are popping up on Montclair’s streets*, let us explain.

Shared lane pavement markings (or “sharrows”) are bicycle symbols carefully placed to guide bicyclists to the best place to ride on the road, avoid car doors and remind drivers to share the road with cyclists. Unlike bicycle lanes, sharrows do not designate a particular part of the street for the exclusive use of bicyclists. They are simply a marking to guide bicyclists to the best place to ride and help motorists expect to see and share the lane with bicyclists.

What do sharrows mean for motorists and bicyclists?

Motorists:
• Expect to see bicyclists on the street
• Remember to give bicyclists plenty of space when passing
• Follow the rules of the road as if there were no sharrows

Bicyclists
• Use the sharrow to guide where you ride within the lane
• Remember not to ride too close to parked cars
• Follow the rules of the road as if there were no sharrows

Is It The Same As A Bike Lane?
No. It marks a lane shared by vehicles and bikes.

So What’s The Point?
A sharrow is a visual reminder that bicyclists share the road, and offers an ideal ‘line’ for bicyclists to take on the street. They have many uses, such as bridging a gap in a bike lane network – which we are working toward here in Montclair!

Where Are They Placed?
They are placed 11 feet from the curb if there is on-street parking, to guide cyclists away from the “door zone.” Without on-street parking, they are placed 4 feet from the curb. Riding away from the curb keeps bicyclists away from debris and discourages unsafe passing by motor vehicles.

Are Sharrows a legitimate traffic control device?
Yes.  Sharrows were added to the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices in 2009. They’re usually combined with “Bikes May Use Full Lane” signs.

Are They As Good As A Bike Lane?
Nope. They aren’t recommended for streets with speed limits of 35 mph or higher. If a street can support a bike lane, a bike lane makes the road safer for everyone.

So, Sounds Like A Bicycle-Friendly Addition To A Street, But Not As Great As A Bike Lane.
Yup. Ride safe!

Definitions:

  • Bicyclist or Cyclist – a person using a bicycle (for recreation or transportation)
  • Motorist – a person using a motor vehicle (for recreation or transportation)
  • Pedestrian – a person walking or using walking assistance like a wheelchair or scooter (for recreation or transportation)
  • What do they have in common?  They are people – they are you – your mom, doctor, teacher, barista, brother, daughter – and you will find them using the public streets.


Do I have a say in this?
Yes! Bike&Walk Montclair has been working with the Township to develop a Comprehensive Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. We are still in the beginning stages and could use your help. Please get involved with our Advocacy Committee and help Complete our Streets by contacting info@bikewalkmontclair.org! There’s no such thing as a Bike Lane Fairy.

More Cool Sharrow Videos

 

Sources:

Federal Highway Administration, Seattle Department of Transportation, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia

*In an effort to improve the bike-friendliness of Montclair’s streets, Montclair Township will be installing sharrows in certain locations in conjunction with regularly scheduled road improvements. Locations will be determined by the draft Bike Route Network in the Township Master Plan.

 

 

 

Another Successful Bike Swap at Hillside!

This Bike Swap event, part of the Hillside School Swap, was actively advertised by both Jane Marcus (Hillside Swap) and BikeWalk Montclair. Jane was interviewed by the Montclair Times the week before, the resulting article being accompanied by a picture of the bike swap from last year:

6 bikes were pre-collected, we received 24 bikes on Friday, and another 6 on Saturday morning for a total of 36. 75% of them were 20 inch wheel size or less, with the rest being mostly 22 inch (from Japan) and 24 inch, and only 3 adult bikes. We also received a bike seat in perfect condition including the bike rack and all hardware.

Friday evening, 2 volunteers from the High School, recruited by Norma, helped receive the donations, pumping up air in tires as needed and storing the bikes in the cafeteria for the night.
Saturday, Jon Savitch had put together a great team of volunteers, so happy to help they even rode the tricycles down from the cafeteria to the display area. Another 2 volunteers from last year came back, bringing the total to 7 person present to help the distribution run smoothly.
The line at 9 AM was reasonable, and after introducing BikeWalk Montclair and stating the rules of the swap verbally to the attendees, we let the first three families in the display area to choose a bike.

The first bike to go was, unsurprisingly, the brand new 20 inch BMX mongoose donated because it didn’t fit its original owner.  We had 2 trail-a-bike, which went uncollected, meaning that the public to this event was less of the family-on-bikes type. But one was distributed later.

We were finished and packed by 10 AM, the bulk of the distribution taking about 40 minutes.

From documented waiver forms, the public came from as far as Morristown, Whippany and Newark, with the large majority of bikes going to Montclair (12) and surrounding towns (10 for Bloomfield, Cedar Grove, Verona, West Orange).

One young boy, about 10 year old, saw a bike the Friday evening, tried it and was really motivated to come back on Saturday to pick it up. The next day, the line was quite short, but he wasn’t there. We had told him that he had to be there early enough (8:30 the latest) to have a chance at picking it up. When he finally arrived, he was behind about 15 people, looking anxiously each time an earlier patron was approaching “his” bike. Finally, he was next on line, waiting to be ushered in. However, that is when his heart sank: the boy just before him was his size, and looking at the same bike. He then moved to a couple of shiny red 20 inch bikes, but they were definitively too small for him, and he came back to THE bike and claimed it for himself.

Our young sleepy-head was clearly disappointed, but took it in stride, being in effect the master of his own demise: When asked why he didn’t get up when he was called by his parent, he replied that he ”was in my deep sleep” and just turned over. A life lesson for him we hope.

 

SPRING ONTO SAFE STREETS – A PEDESTRIAN SAFETY FORUM

Hosted and broadcast by TV34

A discussion on making Montclair streets safe for everyone.

When: Noon – 1 PM, Saturday, March 29 2014

Where: Montclair Township Building, Council Chambers, 205 Claremont Avenue

PANEL MEMBERS
• Kim Craft, Montclair Township Engineer
• Sergeant Stephanie Egnezzo, Montclair Traffic Police
• Robin Schlager, Town Council Member
• Norma Tassey, Executive Director, Bike&WalkMontclair

Bike helmets will be raffled off, there will be safety items for all, and a certificate of attendance for Scouts.

Please send us your questions and comments:
cabletv@montclairnjusa.org

 Funded in part by a grant from the Partners for Health Foundation.

 

The Pedestrian Safety Forum is an example of Eat. Play. Live… Better partners working together to improve our community’s well-being where we live, learn, work and play.

 

 

MHS Seniors: Spend your Senior Option with Bike&Walk Montclair

If you’re looking for an an internship opportunity where you can make a difference for your town, look no further than Bike&Walk Montclair.  For senior option, you can work on anything from studying bike and pedestrian safety in the field to planning a huge community bike ride event.  Or, if you have an idea for an internship project that would help make Montclair more bike- and pedestrian-friendly, we can help you get the ball rolling.

I spent last summer as an intern with Bike&Walk Montclair, working on a number of projects including counting bike parking, making an interactive map of bike parking in town, and applying for Bike- and Walk Friendly Community awards. No filing or coffee runs at any point.  Montclair won both awards and it was very gratifying to see the newspaper coverage (needless to say that this was a great resume-booster).   If you do senior option at Bike&Walk Montclair, you can actually work on meaningful projects that will benefit our community!  Contact our President Rika Alper at info@bikewalkmontclair.org if interested.

-Axel Hellman

Bike&Walk Montclair Spring Into Fashion FUN(d)Raiser, March 29!

Bike to Work in Style and Make the Sidewalk Your Runway
Bike&Walk-Friendly Flair to Go Anywhere!

Put the pep in your step and zeal in your wheels!  Let’s get together for some fashion and fun!  Join us for a spectacular afternoon at StudioD&G on Saturday, March 29.

Sparkling Wine and Light Refreshments! 50-50 Raffle!  Prizes! Helmet-friendly Hairstyles! Makeup that Lasts! Day to Evening Jewelry! Light and Bright Scarves and Bags! Chair Massages! And That Crazy Wrap Thing!

Where: StudioD&G, 111 Watchung Ave, Montclair, NJ 07043

When: Saturday, March 29, 2014  3pm – 6pm

Fee: $20

RSVP HERE

Enter Promo Code 32913 to receive your free gift when you arrive.

Questions? Contact Liz Brady liz.brady13@gmail.com

Photo: Painted Eye Photography