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UPDATE: The city government has posted an official map that indicates “complete streets” lanes will be installed on Somerset Street and part of College Avenue. It also displays which lanes will be dedicated lanes, and which streets will only get “sharrows,” indicating that cars and bikes should share the road.
Also, a local expert on digital maps has created a Google Map showing the plans. Check it out.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—After more than a decade of broken promises from the city’s mayor and council, and the state and county government, it appears New Brunswick will finally be moving forward with plans for bike lanes this fall.
Some lanes will be shared with auto traffic, while others will be “dedicated” exclusively to bicycles. It’s unclear which lanes will be which type.
But what is clear is that the city is moving ahead with bike lanes on fifteen different streets in two parts of town.
The bike lanes will be on the following streets in the predominantly student neighborhoods of the Fifth and Sixth Wards:
- Hardenbergh Street
- Plum Street
- Harvey Street
- Hartwell Street
- Robinson Street
- Woodbridge Street
- Central Avenue, between Woodbridge and Guilden Streets
- Guilden Street, between Hamilton and Bristol Streets
- Bristol Street
- Bartlett Street
- Wyckoff Street, between Bartlett Street and Buccleuch Park
- a short block of Delafield Street, between Central Ave. and Bristol St.
Additionally, about a mile away in the Second Ward, a 1-mile lane will run from the city’s border with North Brunswick, down Remsen Avenue, to Sandford Street, and down Commercial Avenue, ending at George Street.
The combined cost of the approximately four-mile system is $106,680. The City Council voted 4-0 to approve the contract with Traffic Lines, Inc., of Farmingdale, at their September 5 meeting.
The lane markings will be painted on city streets in the coming months, and all lanes are expected to be completed by the end of October.
Reaction has been mixed on NewBrunswickToday.com’s Facebook page.
Facebook user Jose Erazo Mendoza posted, “it was about time!!!!!!”
“This is great…a few days ago I saw a guy getting hit by a off duty cop…not seriously injured,” posted Carlos Nunez.
But not everyone was pleased with the price tag:
Celita Alford posted, “they have money for this bullshit..what about these schools in this city that don’t have damn books, or anything else for these kids to keep out of trouble.”
Others were critical of the routes themselves:
Kate Gans, who described herself as an avid biker, posted, “these routes seem to have no real function. in addition to probably cutting back already crowed parking on residential streets, these routes do not really lead anywhere and from my own experience are not problem areas for bikers.”
AJ Bozenmayer, a former volunteer with the New Brunswick Bike Library, said that a lane down Suydam and Louis Streets would be “the most logical route in the city for a bike lane. It would benefit permanent residents and students alike.
“These lanes are mostly low traffic residential roads that don’t really go anywhere. I suspect most riders will not bother using them and continue using the more direct routes to where they are going.”
Meanwhile, plans for a long-awaited crosstown route are on hold. Earlier this month, County Engineer John Reiser said he was optimistic that a more elaborate and expensive bike lane connecting the College Avenue and Douglass campuses of Rutgers would “hopefully” begin construction sometime in 2013.
The so-called “New Brunswick Bikeway” project, a 1.9-mile lane running from the Route 18 Bridge to the intersection of George and Bishop Streets, has been in the works for years. The route would take riders down George Street and Neilsen Street mostly.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.