Safe Routes Scoop

New Jersey Ranks 8th in the
Nation as a Bicycle Friendly State

 

Since 2008, New Jersey has ranked in the top ten of Bicycle Friendly States through the League of American Bicyclists.  The 2010 rankings were announced in May, coinciding with Bike to Work Week, and New Jersey improved its standing from 10th in 2009 to 8th in 2010,  also winning a Bronze Award. This is the highest ranking the state has ever received.

 

 “The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has made great strides to improve the conditions on our roadways for bicyclists as well as pedestrians”, said Commissioner James Simpson. “The Department continues to invest in intersection and roadway improvements statewide that are designed to keep our pedestrians and bicyclists safe.”  To emphasize this commitment, NJDOT has implemented a Complete Streets policy to ensure all future roadway improvement projects include safe accommodations for all users including bicyclists, pedestrians and transit riders of all ages and abilities.

 

 The Bicycle Friendly State Program links the League’s work at the federal level and community advocacy throughout the nation and recognizes states that actively support bicycling.  The state rankings, first released in 2008 are conducted annually and are based on a 95 item questionnaire that covers the following six key areas:

 

Legislation: This component covers

 

basic laws and regulations that govern bicycling. Questions include whether cyclists can legally use the shoulder, signal turns with either hand or leave the right-hand portion of the road when their safety requires it. This section also covers motorist responsibilities like passing at a minimum of three feet and making sure traffic is clear before opening automobile doors.  

 

NJ ranked 15th

 

Programs & Policies:  Covers what state agency requirements are for accommodating cyclists, be it a Complete Streets policy, a plan or agreement for mountain bike trails, how much state agency staff time is dedicated to bicycling, and whether or not bicycling is included as part of the state’s carbon-reduction plan.

 

NJ ranked 3rd

 

Infrastructure: This is a critical element of the BFS questionnaire, and the question aim at collecting data on specific performance measurements, i.e. in the amount of facilities and spending amounts for bicycling. Other examples include the percentage of state highways with shoulders, signed bike routes, trail miles, and bicycle-related project obligation rates for available federal funding. As states improve their numbers for many of the BFS questions, the bar will continue to rise for states in regards to bicycle-

friendliness.

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