Bike_officersRepresentatives of Bike Montclair met with Montclair Mayor Ed Remsen, other town officials and a consultant from Princeton yesterday in an effort to make Montclair more bike friendly. The bicycle group won a $75,000 grant from New Jersey’s Department of Transportation to help the town develop a bike and pedestrian plan.
“The whole idea behind it is to make Montclair a better place for people to walk and bike around,” said Jerry Fried, president of Bike Montclair. “Changing the behavior of drivers. A lot of our roads are used like highways.”
The $75,000 design study is pretty much at the drawing-board stage. Items being mulled: more bike lanes, diagonal parking on Bloomfield Ave. and a protected bike path next to the train track in Upper Montclair. However, Fried noted, some of the ideas are politically unlikely, such as the diagonal parking.
Fried said in the 1970’s, the bike racks in front of Montclair High School used to hold as many as 500 bikes daily. Now, he says, you’ll usually find just five bikes there. “Montclair used to be a relatively safe place to bike,” he said. With more aggressive drivers, people hurried in general and large SUV’s, many people are afraid to ride, and don’t even think about riding to the store to get a quart of milk.
“There’s a lot of accidents and there’ve been a few fatalities,” he said.
There are 100 members of Bike Montclair’s Yahoo user group, where you can sign up for bike news.

4 replies on “Making Montclair More Bike Friendly”

  1. am I the only one who finds Montclair bike friendly, or as bike friendly as streets get when they are populated by latte swilling, cell phone using moms in SUV’s they can’t control even if they weren’t focused on the child(ren) in the back seat.
    I mean, I feel as safe on my bike as I do in my car.

  2. Funny. I was just reading this Barista update and thinking how, as a jogger, most of my near-death experiences have been at the hands (or oversize wheels) of SUVs. More than once I’ve been nearly hit by SUVs making right turns, with the driver not bothering to really look to the right. (It’s also happened when I’m out walking.)
    Once I was actually brushed by the gigantic front bumper of an SUV, but I don’t think the driver even saw me, as she was yapping into a cell phone.
    I’d love to see actual lanes for the car-less, but give it a Marlboro Inn’s chance of ever happening.

  3. Kevin raises a good point. Driving in Montclair probably is only a little safer than riding a bike. Bike Montclair’s efforts are not solely to improve cyclists’ lives as riders, but they will benefit driver safety, too. Things like traffic calming make roads safer for bikes, pedestrians, and drivers.

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