TMA Council of NJ - Summer 2020
New Jersey's Transportation Management Associations
are busy working to improve mobility and sustainability where you live and work. In this issue, we share how they are accomplishing these tasks during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
EZ Ride Offers
Safe Routes to School Travel Toolkit
The Safe Routes to School Travel Toolkit, provides information about the commute to school options in the context of COVID-19 and especially addresses safety and social distancing plans. It includes five distinct sections: walking, biking, busing, driving, and school access points. Each section also provides suggestions and benefits and is designed to help:
Students - Be safe when travelling to and from school
School administrators - Face the challenges with the reopening of schools
Parents - Alleviate their anxiety about the reopening of schools
The toolkit was sent to more than 1,000 school principals and administrators in EZ Ride’s service area that could benefit more than 500,000 students and their families.This Toolkit and a wealth of other information can be accessed on the Bike/Pedestrian Program page of our website www.ezride.org.
For more information please call or email Lisa Lee 201-939-4242 ext. 123 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hudson TMA: Summer of 2020
In “normal” times, the Spring & Summer seasons are generally filled with activities sponsored by the Hudson TMA. Programs and events such as Youth Bike Safety, Learn to Ride Classes, the Annual Stride & Ride Bike Rodeo and Adult Smart Cycling Classes have provided a unique community service by enhancing bicycle safety for Hudson County residents of all ages. Unfortunately, given the COVID-19 pandemic, all in-person events sponsored by the Hudson TMA have been postponed until further notice.
To compensate, the Hudson TMA is providing families with access to helpful safety tips and best practices through its new Virtual Learning Center for children, teens and adults. This Virtual Learning Center offers a variety of fun and interesting activities, videos and other resources to increase safety for pedestrians, drivers, bicyclists and mass transit commuters, while also offering Family Projects that everyone can enjoy! Visit our Virtual Learning Center on the Hudson TMA website at: https://hudsontma.org/virtual-learning-center/
Announcing our newest at home activity for Hudson County residents age 13 and under - the Summer Bike Safety Poster Contest. This program provides Hudson County’s youngest residents with an opportunity to exercise their creative and artistic abilities while thinking about various bicycling safety rules and guidelines. Entries can be size 8x10 and up and must be received by Friday, August 21st by sending a clear photo of your submission to Kayt@hudsontma.org. Submissions will be placed in one of three age groups: 5,6 & 7 year-olds; 8, 9 & 10 year-olds, and 11, 12 & 13 year-olds. Each age group will be awarded one winner. For additional information, visit our website at: https://hudsontma.org/picture-poster-contests/
goHunterdon celebrates a
Summer of Cycling
After a successful virtual Hunterdon County Bike Month event during May 2020, goHunterdon is now promoting a “Summer of Cycling” through the organization’s “Bike Hunterdon” initiative.
“Hunterdon County offers so much for bicyclists of all ages and abilities. With peaceful rural roads, scenic vistas, exhilarating mountain bike trails, and miles and miles of family friendly multi-use paths, there really is something for everyone,” say Caryl Harris, goHunterdon Bicycle Specialist.
“During this unique time of COVID19, we have been inspired by the quote that “the bicycle is a simple solution to some of the world’s most complicated problems”, says Harris.
Nationally, bicycling has increased in popularity in recent months as individuals and families are looking for activities to replace traditional group activities. According to the NPD Group, which tracks retail-sporting-goods sales, children’s bike sales in March were up 56 percent compared to March 2019. Adult leisure bike sales are up a whopping 121 percent.
“There are so many people who have rediscovered a bicycle that may have been sitting in their garage or shed,” says Harris. “We’re encouraging Hunterdon residents to get out on their bikes and ride!”
goHunterdon’s Bike Hunterdon initiative promotes bicycling in Hunterdon County through the www.bikehunterdon.org website. The site features bicycle routes/rides, information on bike maintenance and listings of local bike shops and bike clubs. The site also provides important bicycle safety information and New Jersey bicycle laws.
For more information, visit any of the online sites noted above, or contact Caryl Harris, email@example.com
Transportation Management Association: What is one and how can they help me?
Cross County Connection TMA can help explain! Your area TMA is a MOVING FORCE. Long taken for granted, recent world events illustrate the importance of mobility–whether it means getting essential goods to distribution points, or workers and residents to essential services. Mobility is a driving force for the economy, and accessibility to transportation, and mobility options for ALL, must exist for the region to prosper.
Commuting challenges aren’t just an inconvenience— they dramatically affect our quality of life, our independence and mobility, our ability to get to work, school, medical appointments, conduct our business. Learn all about Cross County Connection, southern New Jersey’s Transportation Management Association, and discover all the ways they work to help keep the region moving. Their new publication, the Overview of Services booklet, is now available in print and online. Lean all about what a TMA is, and how one can help you. Visit www.driveless.com and download your copy today.
Bike Rack Pop Ups
While municipalities continue to advance their pandemic response recovery and the reopening of businesses, TransOptions is providing free, temporary bike racks.
The TMA for northwest New Jersey is excited to announce that its Bike Rack Pop-Up program is now on the ground in Berkeley Heights and Newton. The program is designed to encourage safe bicycling and appropriate bike parking in downtown business districts and parks.
Many towns have seen an influx of people walking and riding to outdoor dining and retail locations this summer, especially in locations where streets may be closed to through car traffic in order to create space for people adhering to social distancing protocol outdoors. The racks available are light weight and there is a tremendous amount of flexibility in how they can be set up and best utilized.
This program gives people visiting stores and restaurants on bike and foot the reassurance that they will have a secure and designated place to park their bicycles while they adhere to additional safety regulations. It also encourages people to leave their cars at home which will alleviate pressure on curbside pick-up space and car parking.
For more information on how TransOptions can help your town get its own bike rack pop-up contact Lisa Leone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RideWise Summer of
Safe Biking and Walking
If there has been one positive from the coronavirus, it’s the positive attention it has brought to the benefits of getting outside to bicycle and walk. Cycling and walking promotes physical activity, offers an alternate means of transportation, and connects us to the outdoors.
The team at RideWise has spent the last few months providing programs related to cycling and walking to help our worksite and community partners get outside and enjoy the beautiful spring and summer weather.
In May, RideWise partnered with fellow TMAs Keep Middlesex Moving and Greater Mercer TMA on You Ride, We Give for National Bike Month. For each pledge to ride we received, a donation was made to Somerset County food banks. Participating cyclists helped raised $1,000 which was distributed to the following food banks:
Food Bank Network of Somerset County
Salvation Army Bound Brook
St. Bernards Episcopal Church (food pantry)
Franklin Food Bank
Hillsborough Township CAN Food Pantry
Peapack Reformed Church (food pantry)
Little Free Food Pantry (Somerville YMCA)
Zarephath Church Food Pantry
Our love of biking didn’t end there. In June, RideWise held Love to Ride Somerset, a virtual bike challenge aimed at safely connecting family, friends, and coworkers while promoting health and fun through biking. Sixty people, 12 organizations, and 9 new riders used their pedal power in June. Altogether, participants biked 8,257 miles, burned 305,527 calories (the equivalent of about 600 bars of dark chocolate!) and saved 91 pounds of CO2.
In July, eight Somerset County schools were recognized by NJDOT for Safe Routes to School programming that encourages students to safely bike and walk to school. The following Somerset County schools were certified in 2020 and this recognition is valid for 3 years:
Silver: Hamilton School (Basking Ridge)
Bronze: Weston Elementary School (Manville) East End School (North Plainfield) Somerset School (North Plainfield) Stony Brook Elementary School (North Plainfield) West End Elementary School (North Plainfield)
First Step: Bound Brook Borough YingHua International School (Kingston) John F. Kennedy Elementary School (Raritan)
Schools and municipalities that have earned NJ SRTS recognition and are also enrolled in the Sustainable Jersey certification program can earn points for both programs.
For more information on RideWise programming for cycling and walking, visit the agency’s website at www.ridewise.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
KMM Launches the
2020 Webinar Series
As in person events and meetings came to a complete halt in March of 2020, Keep Middlesex Moving's team launched a new webinar series that was made available and conducted completely online using the online platform, Zoom. Webinar topics were also customized to address the issues that were prevalent on many minds. Below is a list of webinars and links to the recordings. The series is expected to continue in the fall covering topics such as adapting community landscapes, micro mobility and preparing for the new work/office life.
May 20, 2020- Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Learn why public charging (especially fast charging) is important, the goals for public charging set by the new law, how to access generous state incentives for public chargers, and the potential role for municipalities in hosting public charging locations, from two of the industry’s leading experts, Mark Warner of Gabel Associates and Andrea Friedman of NJDEP. For copies of the presentation, please email us.
May 25, 2020- Safe Route to School; Active Communities Connect
We are all spending our time much differently than we imagined for this time of year, and as significant parts of our communities remain closed, many families are taking the opportunity to appreciate the outdoors in their neighborhoods and parks. This could have a positive and lasting impact on the physical and mental health of our communities. KMM and the NJ Safe Routes to School Resource Center have teamed up to provide families and communities with ideas and strategies to promote physical health and wellness from home. This webinar covers topics to support healthy and active learners, as well as strategies to sustain healthy habits into the next school year. Presented by Christopher Gonda, KMM’s Safe Routes to School Coordinator, and Trish Sanchez, Public Relations and Outreach Specialist at Voorhees Transportation Center/Public Outreach and Engagement Team, for the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
June 5, 2020 – Covid-19 Impact on the Workplace
Learn the tips, tools, and strategies implemented by Anthony DeGraw, CCFS and his team from Domain Computer Services on how this company adapted to remote working. This webinar also features mental health strategist Ken A. Verni from New Jersey Center for Mindful Awareness, who offers tactics on how to deal with work-related stress.
June 18, 2020 – Senior Shuttle. More than Transportation
In many communities, senior citizens rely on county or municipal shuttle services for shopping, social activities, medical appointments, and even dialysis. For many seniors, the shuttle is more than a ride. Particularly for those who live alone, that weekly grocery trip may be the only regular human contact a person has. What happens if a crisis forces services to be suspended? Learn about the impact of social isolation on health and the benefit of connectivity, and how Highland Park rallied the community to continue services for seniors. Presented by Karen Alexander of Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, Rutgers University, and Kim McGraw of Highland Park Boro.
June 25, 2020 – Maximizing Social Media Outreach
Learn how your non-profit, municipality or organization can enhance its outreach efforts through the development and implementation of an effective social media strategy as well as tools and programs that are free or low cost and easy to use. Presented by KMM Marketing Manager, Cristina Fowler and Greater Mercer TMA Marketing Coordinator, Julia Ibara.
Greater Mercer Trails Plan Interactive Trail Map
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the biking boom. The biking industry has seen nearly double the sales of bikes, helmets, and other accessories from a typical year.
Trails are also seeing double their usual usage and proving to be essential for both recreation and transportation. While there are great trails throughout the country, people are discovering that there are great trails to use close to home. GMTMA believes trails cannot only be enjoyed but enjoyed and be an important element of the transportation network.
The Greater Mercer Trails Plan study, completed this past year, was conducted to support the development of a network of multi-use (biking and walking) trails and paths in the Greater Mercer area. An interactive map is now available to make it easier to see both proposed and existing (off-road and on-road) facilities.
The interactive map, Trails Plan, and Design Guide can all be found on GMTMA website’s Trails Page.
GMTMA welcomes the opportunity to present the Trails Plan to your group. Please contact us to present (virtually) the Greater Mercer Trails Plan to your Municipality’s planning board or council, business or organization.