Health & Wellness

Montclair Named Top Among Bicycle Safe New Jersey Municipalities

The Westfield Recreation Department may bring its popular training wheel toss back this fall.

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Township of Montclair was named a forerunner among New Jersey municipalities that are exemplary in their investment in a safe and convenient bicycling environment.

The Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) commisioned a study in 2014 to review the state of local bicycling investment in New Jersey municipalities. The data reviewed only pertained to the years 2013 and 2014. Entitled, the New Jersey Bicycling Benchmarking Report, coordinators reviewed the state of bicycle infrastructure, policies, programs, and safety across 60 New Jersey municipalities by issuing an extensive survey and gathering secondary data from online resources.

Key areas findings in the report pinpointed the implementation of modern bicycle infrastructure and policies with the anticipation that the findings will inspire municipalities across New Jersey to re-examine their support of bicycling in their own communities.

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Montclair, noted as a top contender among the sixty municipalities surveyed, answered questions regarding their level of spending on bicycling, their bicycle policies, and their implementation of programs such as Safe Routes to Schools and Complete Streets. 

The report highlights Montclair along with nine other municipalities that are exemplary in their investment in a safe and convenient bicycling environment. The notable communities identified in the report are (in alphabetical order):

-Belmar, for having 9% of commuter trips done by bicycle, and having a police force fully trained to patrol on bicycle.
-Chatham Borough, for its investment in Safe Routes to Schools.
-Hoboken, for installing bicycle infrastructure on 37% of its streets, and deploying innovative bicycle facilities such as bicycle boxes to keep riders safe.
-Jersey City, for having the most bicycle route mileage of any surveyed municipality, and for joining the Citi Bike bicycle share system in the near future.
-Montclair Township, for its investment in Safe Routes to Schools, and for being the first municipality in New Jersey to pass a Complete Streets policy.
-Newark, for having the largest expenditure in bicycle infrastructure, and for using innovative bicycle facilities such as green bicycle lanes to keep riders safe.
-New Brunswick, for its progressive ordinances requiring motorists to pass bicycle riders safely, along with hosting the largest Ciclovia (open streets) in the state.
-Ocean City, as a model shore town for its investment in bicycle infrastructure, such as one of the only bicycle boulevards in New Jersey.
-Princeton, for its high bicycle mode share among residents, its extensive off-road bicycle infrastructure, and bicycle-friendly policies.
-West Windsor, for having the largest per capita investment in bicycle infrastructure, and showing how a suburban community can embrace bicycling.

Findings of the report include:

-A huge potential for improvement in New Jersey, even among the notable cities.

-The level of bicycling investment varies widely in New Jersey, but cities that have demonstrated commitment to bicycling are not limited to a specific geographic area or size.

-Few municipalities offer bicycle education or bicycling programs for residents.

-Most municipalities did not spend money on bicycling in 2013.

-Innovative bicycle infrastructure, such as green bicycle lanes, advanced stop lines, and protected bicycle lanes are still rare in New Jersey, and many municipalities have no dedicated bicycle infrastructure at all.

-Shore communities have the highest bicycle mode share, and also have among the fewest numbers of bi­cycle-automobile collisions.

Click here to read the full report.

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