September 13,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

 

Ridgewood NJ, the state of New Jersey along with  the New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center (BPRC) is pushing a plan to make your streets safer and more user friendly for ,pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles with a series of planning and design initiates .

According to there website , “Complete Streets are for everyone. They are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users… [so that] pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transportation users of all ages and ability are able to safely move along and across [the street].”

The Complete streets program  is being spearheaded  by the New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center (BPRC) assists public officials, transportation and health professionals, and the public in creating a safer and more accessible walking and bicycling environment through primary research, education and dissemination of information about best practices in policy and design. The Center is supported by the New Jersey Department of Transportation through funds provided by the Federal Highway Administration.

The Village of Ridgewood signed a Complete Streets Resolution back in 2013 , ( http://njbikeped.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Ridgewood-Complete-Streets-Resolution.pdf ) and while some efforts have been a success like well defined ADA compliant highly visible cross walks and curbs other attempts , like the “suicide bike lane ” and traffic easing under the trestle have been an unmitigated failure .

What are the Components of Complete Streets?

Pedestrian Component: defined as “the clear area located between the curb and the adjacent building frontage” . Key Complete Streets design elements for this component include appropriate sidewalk widths and ADA accessible curb ramps
Building and furnishing: refers to “street furniture, elements of buildings that intrude into the sidewalk, and commercial activities that occur on the sidewalk…” and includes design elements such as bicycle parking, pedestrian-scale lighting, benches/street furniture, and street trees
Bicycle: addresses “bikeways and other facilitates within the public right-of-way…” and includes design elements such as bicycle lanes (regular, buffered, contraflow, etc.), cycle tracks, share-use paths, shared lanes/sharrows, and bike route signs
Curbside Management: relates to “facilities between the cartway and the sidewalk” and includes design elements such as on-street car parking, on-street bicycle parking, loading zones, and transit shelters.
Vehicle/Cartway: describes the “portion of the public right-of-way that is intended primarily or exclusively for motor vehicle use…” [11] and includes design elements such as appropriately sized lane widths, speed humps/tables, raised medians, chicanes, and preferred/exclusive bus lanes
Urban Design: addresses “policies related to those aspects of urban form that affect Complete Streets” such as driveways, utilities, and stormwater management.
Intersection & Crossing:  includes treatments that “…facilitate safe movement of all modes at intersections” [13] including high-visibility crosswalks (striped, raised, etc.), curb extensions, pedestrian refuge islands, bike boxes, and a variety of signal treatments (e.g., pedestrian countdown clocks, HAWK/RRFB signals, bicycle signals, etc.).