NJAIM: Highlights of Weeks 13 & 14

NJAIM attended 9 events – reaching more than 1,500 people – during the second half of August.  Ambassadors conducted three classroom workshops on safe bicycling and walking, two at the YMCA camp in East Orange and one at the Rutgers University International Student Orientation. Ambassadors also conducted on-street outreach in Montclair, South Orange, and Red Bank, and assisted at a bike rodeo, a road safety audit, and a municipal bike parking study. Lastly, NJAIM met with representatives from the Chronic Disease Coalitions throughout the state.

On-Street Outreach

1. Bloomfield Avenue and Park Street, Montclair

Ambassadors distributed bicycle and pedestrian safety pamphlets to 250 people at this busy intersectionin Montclair’s town center, including families, professionals, and YMCA campers walking with counselors from the camp’s home base to the camp’s pool.

2. South Orange Avenue and Vose Avenue, South Orange

Ambassadors in Motion
Ambassador Caillean Carr distributes bicycle and pedestrian safety literature in South Orange.

Ambassadors distributed bicycle and pedestrian safety literature to 250 people at this busy intersection in the center of town. Pedestrian traffic was steady, yet not overwhelming, and consisted mostly of professionals out to lunch and some families.

3. Boardwalk, Red Bank

Ambassadors distributed bicycle and pedestrian safety literature to approximately 800 people at this busy main commercial strip in Red Bank. The Ambassadors encountered a very high number of large groups and families with children.

Classroom Outreach

East Orange YMCA

Ambassadors held the final two weeks of a nine week safe cycling course at the East Orange YMCA.  Ambassadors educated approximately 100 students each week.  In past weeks, the focus had been on the overall benefits of active transportation, the importance of helmets, basic cycling skills, and safety skills.  The final two weeks re-emphasized the importance of wearing a helmet properly and safety skills when cycling with other users, such as signalling, communicating, and yielding.

Rutgers University International Student Orientation

Ambassador Steve Courage presents to students from several countries during International Student Orientation Week at Rutgers University.

Ambassadors conducted a bicycle safety workshop at the Rutgers University International Student Orientation for approximately 30 students. Ambassadors focused on the benefits of active transportation, how to choose a bicycle, understanding the hazards of cycling with traffic, what do before cycling, where to ride, basic New Jersey Traffic Laws, taking a bicycle on public transit, and where to get more information regarding cycling in New Jersey.

Event Outreach

New Brunswick Bike Rodeo

The Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB), the New Brunswick Bike Exchange (NBBE), and Keep Middlesex Moving teamed up to hold a free bike rodeo in New Brunswick. The event promoted bicycle safety, including on-bicycle safety training for children, free bicycle mechanic labor, and free helmets to the public. A total of 77 cyclists participated in the Bike Rodeo, displaying a wide range of bicycle skill level. The ambassadors volunteered at stations promoting bicycle safety, which included helmet fitting, signaling, and yielding stations.

Ambassador Cailean Carr helps a young cyclist with helmet fitting.

 

Governmental and Technical Assistance

Lambertville Bike Parking Fact Finding

Ambassadors partnered with Lloyd Davis, a local bicycle advocate, to evaluate the needs and opportunities for bike parking in Lambertville.  The goal is to accommodate and encourage expansion of the existing cycling community by increasing the cyclist’s options for safe, secure parking.  Locations examined include stops along the Delaware and Raritan Canal Trail, popular restaurants and coffee houses, and local municipal buildings such as City Hall and the Acme building.  Ambassadors are currently working on detailed recommendations for appropriate infrastructure at the various sites.

Road Safety Audit

The Transportation Safety Resource Center of the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation partnered with the Somerset County Engineering and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority to conduct a road safety audit in Montgomery Township. The road safety audit surveyed County Road 601 (Belle Mead-Blawenberg Road) from CR 518 to Skillman Road/Camp Meeting Road in Montgomery Township, a section in the vicinity of Montgomery High School and Somerset County Skillman Park. Attendees, including representatives from NJAIM, NJDOT, Somerset County, Montgomery Township, and the Federal Highway Administration, examined the safety of the connection between Montgomery High School and Somerset County Skillman Park and the shops located on CR 518 and Camp Meeting Road.

Complete Streets Informational Meetings and Presentations with New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and City of Teaneck, NJ.

NJAIM held a meeting at the Township of Teaneck to discuss Complete Streets. Representatives from the municipal health, police, public works, recreation, and engineering departments attended and expressed an interest in developing more Complete Streets initiatives. The Township is densely populated with a traditional street grid and good access to public transit, so there are many benefits that could be derived from enabling easier and safer movement of pedestrians and bicyclists. An overview of the Complete Streets project was also presented to representatives from the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Up Next…

Over the next two weeks, NJAIM will be conducting in-class and on-street outreach as well as visiting with Chronic Disease Coordinators in several counties. Check in with us in early September to find out what the ambassadors accomplished!

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