TMA Council of NJ (TMAC NJ) is comprised of the Executive Directors of New Jersey's eight Transportation Management Associations. TMAs are non-profit organizations that work with businesses, commuters, county and local governments, and state agencies to implement programs that reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. Funding for the TMAs is provided, in part, by the Federal Highway administration through NJDOT and also by NJ TRANSIT.
Bicyclists and Pedestrians: Safety While Sharing the Road
As increasing numbers of bicyclists and pedestrians enjoy getting during spring, The TMA (Transportation Management Association) Council of New Jersey offers a reminder about safety laws and suggestions while sharing the road.
Pedestrian Safety Law
Have you seen this sign? Do you know that New Jersey Law requires motorists to stop and stay stopped for pedestrians in crosswalks? Stopping for pedestrians waiting to cross in a crosswalk is not just being a good samaritan - it's the law!
- 2 points on your driver's license
- $200 fine
- 15 days community service
Bicycle Safety Laws
- Sharing the Road - Bicycles are considered vehicles and therefore are required to follow the same rules that apply to all other motorists on the road.
- Wearing a Helmet: It's the Law
Photo courtesy of TransOptionsYoung people under the age of 17 are required to wear an approved
helmet when cycling, roller skating, in-line skating, or skateboarding.
- Required Cycling Equipment - Bicycles are also required to be equipped with a horn or bell and proper lighting (white light in front and a red light on the rear) when operating during nighttime hours.
It's challenging for motorists to see bicyclists and pedestrians during morning and evening hours and on cloudy days. Wearing bright and reflective clothing can help pedestrians and bicyclists stay safe by being seen.
Learn more about bicycle and pedestrian safety in New Jersey at www.njsaferoads.com.
Keep Middlesex Moving
serving Middlesex County
Spring into KMM's Ozone Action Partnership
The quality of the air we breathe can have huge implications on our health and well being. Ground level ozone is most dangerous during the hot summer months when strong sunlight and hot weather combine and react with ground level pollution. According to the American Lung Association, 58% of the US population live in areas with unhealthy ozone levels.
Unhealthy ozone levels can make it difficult to breath deeply and damage the airwaves. Children, the elderly, and those with lung disease are most vulnerable during elevated ozone days. Therefore it is important we take necessary precautions on those particular days and try to avoid prolonged outdoor activities.
We can also do our part to reduce ground level ozone by following some simple steps:
- Don't Idle. Not only is burning gas "fuelish", but exhaust emitted from vehicles releases carbon dioxide into the air and contributes to climate change.
- Refuel during the evening and don't "top-off" your fuel tank.
- Postpone mowing the lawn and grilling until later in the day.
- Schedule strenuous activities for early morning or late evening.
- Register for KMM's Ozone Action Partnership.
Air Quality Guide for Ozone
|Air Quality Index||Protect Your Health|
|No health impacts are expected when air quality is in this range.|
|Unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion.|
|Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
|The following groups should limit prolonged outdoor exertion:
|The following groups should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion:
|The following groups should avoid all outdoor exertion:
serving Morris, Sussex, and Warren Counties; suburban areas of Passaic, Union and Essex Counties
Is Your Community "Bicycle Friendly?"
TransOptions Can Help
A bicycle friendly community welcomes cyclists by providing safe accommodation for cycling and encourages residents to bike for transportation as well as recreation. The League of American Bicyclist's Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) program offers a way for communities of all sizes to be recognized for their hard work and support of bike riding at a national level.
TransOptions can assist communities in northwest New Jersey to reach this goal by providing your residents and neighbors with the tools and resources your community needs. From small organizations to large, TransOptions will do the work for you by providing the bicycle programs and hands-on assistance that will help engineer, educate, encourage, and evaluate your community to be more bike friendly!
Your community can benefit from TransOptions bicycle programs including:
Bike to Work Month
Emergency Ride Home
Bike Right Workshops, Classes and Presentations for Kids
Bike Right Safe Routes to School Curriculum for Teachers
Bike Right Newsletter
"Transit Stand" bicycle informational materials
For more information or to become a Bicycle Friendly Community, contact Bill Feeney at (973) 267-7600 or bfeeney@TransOptions.org.
Are You a Distracted Pedestrian?While you may think that safe walking is fundamental and common sense, pedestrian habits have become a cause for concern. More and more pedestrians are "multi-tasking." Unfortunately it's become common to see pedestrians talking on cell phones, texting and listening to music as they cross city streets, suburban roads, jaywalk or illegally dart out from between parked cars. Pedestrians can also be distracted walking indoors as illustrated in the following video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mg11glsBW4Y.
Improperly crossing streets is the single greatest cause of New Jersey fatalities. TransOptions urges all pedestrians to stay aware and alert.
TransOptions urges pedestrians to keep these safety tips in mind:
- Be visible. Wear bright colored or reflective clothing, especially at night and during inclement weather.
- Cross in designated crosswalks; don't jaywalk or dart between cars.
- Walk facing traffic to be seen and to see oncoming cars.
- Look left, right and left again before crossing.
- Make eye contact with the driver before crossing in front of a vehicle.
- Use the buddy system; walk and cross with others when possible.
- Stay alert while walking in the parking lot; don't be a distracted pedestrian!
Greater Mercer TMA
serving Mercer and Ocean Counties
Safety is Always in Season
Safety is always in season, but with the increase in cyclists and walkers in the spring and summer, GMTMA always finds an increase in the need and demand for its bicycle and pedestrian safety program.
This spring Greater Mercer TMA held pedestrian safety programs for seniors in Robbinsville and in Hopewell. We know that walking provides great health benefits and opportunities for socializing, but seniors tend to be at greater risk for injury than other age groups. The program taught seniors to identify the situations that posed the greatest risk for injury and how to take control of the situation and become defensive walkers.
All pedestrians should keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Always walk on sidewalks when they are available.
- If there are no sidewalks, always walk facing traffic
- Before crossing look left, right, left and all around for cars
- Make eye contact with the driver before crossing; don't assume a vehicle will stop
- Be alert; watch for backing vehicles
- Don't be a distracted pedestrian - don't talk or text on a cell phone or wear headphones
Contact GMTMA at 609 452-1491 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on any of our programs.
Cross County Connection
serving Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties
Bike Crash Prevention
Like most transportation challenges, bicycle crashes are caused by many factors and have just as many methods of prevention. Safety efforts like driver education, better bicycle facility design, and bicyclist training all work together to increase safety by addressing the three parties often involved in bicycle accidents - the bicyclist, the drivers around them, and the built transportation environment in which the cars and bicycles travel. While bicyclists and drivers are usually the only ones mentioned in crash reports, the built travel environment can play a big role in either contributing to or preventing an accident.
Three of the most common types of bicycle accidents even have names: 'Right Hook', 'Left Cross,' and 'Broadside'. The following outlines a few things bicyclists, drivers, and those responsible for creating and maintaining transportation facilities may do to help prevent these all-too-common accidents.
Bicyclists: Make sure you are visible. Use a headlight and taillight (even in daytime), wear reflective clothing or accessories, and equip your bike or helmet with a mirror to increase your awareness of surroundings. Avoid riding in a right turn lane unless you are making a right turn. Do not ride up alongside a vehicle with the expectation that they are aware of you. Position yourself so that you are visible to surrounding cars.
Drivers: Be aware of your surroundings. Check your mirrors and blind spot when turning to make sure that a bicycle is not "hiding" around your car. Use your turn signal to ensure that others around you are aware that you are going to turn.
Transportation Officials: Where appropriate, place "Share the Road" signs and/or pavement markings to help increase motorist awareness of bicycles. Where bike lanes are present, consider adding dashed bike lanes, or "skip stripes," through the intersection if not already present and right-turn-on-red restrictions for motor vehicles. Avoid routing bike lanes to the right of right-turning motor vehicles.
Bicyclists: Similar to previous, be sure you are visible to other roadway users. Try to make eye contact with drivers in opposite lanes to make certain that they see you. If you are unsure that the driver sees you, make sure that you have adequate stopping room to prevent being hit. Avoid passing vehicles on the right, or riding to the right and behind a car where you are not visible to oncoming traffic.
Drivers: Again, be aware of your surroundings. Do not try to "beat the light" when turning left. Make left turns with the expectation that there may be a bicycle or pedestrian crossing your path.
Transportation Officials: "Share the Road" signs and pavement markings, and "skip striped" bike lanes through intersections may both be used to increase motorist awareness of bicycles.
Bicyclists: Ride with, not against, the flow traffic on the right side of the road. Obey traffic controls at intersections such as stop signs and traffic lights. Use caution when approaching driveways and cross
streets even if you have the right of way. If it is safe to do so, consider taking the full lane to increase your visibility and room to maneuver. Also, take the previously mentioned measures to increase your visibility.
Drivers: Use extra caution when exiting driveways and anticipate vehicles travelling on the far right hand side of the roadway. Just as above, obey traffic controls at intersections such as stop signs and traffic lights.
Transportation Officials: Consider including rotated bicycle symbols in bike lanes that are oriented to motorists exiting or turning into driveways. If appropriate for the roadway context and orientation of driveways, examine placing bike lanes on the left side of a one-way street. All of the engineering and signage treatments listed above are currently permitted by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Devices and may be implemented immediately.
Drivers: Keep your attention and eyes on the road. Slow down! Fatality rates for cyclists drastically increase with the speed of the other vehicle involved. Drive with the expectation that bicycles will be travelling on the same roads you are. Make sure that you maintain a safe distance while passing bicyclists - think three feet.
It will take a comprehensive effort from bicyclists, motorists, the transportation community, educators, and outreach organizations to reduce the number of bicyclists killed and injured on our roadways. Next time you go for a ride, make a decision on transportation infrastructure, or see a cyclist from your car, think: "How can I make this safer for everyone?"
serving Hudson County
DRIVERS ED AND BIKES:HOW TO SHARE THE ROAD
Few motorists on the road today ever learned how to drive with bicyclists
pedaling alongside them. And, up to a few years ago, not too many bikes
ventured onto the streets. But now, bike commuting is on the rise, which
means motorists need to know what to expect from these two-wheeled,
people-powered vehicles sharing the road with them.
"For many years, the Hudson TMA has been providing programs only for our elementary students. We were thrilled to have such an interesting and relevant program come to our High School. We are always willing to be involved in proactive safety programs which directly benefit our children and community," says Bayonne School District Superintendant, Patricia L. McGheehan.
Thanks to a grant from the NJ Division of Highway Safety, the Hudson TMA offers high school drivers education classes a free, 40-minute, interactive program. Students learn how the bicyclist's perspective on the road varies greatly from a car driver's, how that affects decision-making while driving, how to handle tricky car-bike road situations, and much more. Help keep commuting safe for everybody and contact us to request the program for your high school at 201.792.2825 or email email@example.com.
serving Somerset County
RideWise of Raritan Valley receives $900K to develop demand responsive rideshare system
The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority Board of Trustees recently awarded a $900,000 grant to RideWise for the creation of a demand responsive rideshare system between the Somerville Rail Station and local employer and tourism destinations. The funding is part of $3 million in federal funding intended to help communities in the NJTPA's 13-county region develop services that connect riders with transit hubs, job centers, educational facilities and tourism events.
The RideWise proposal was one of five submissions that were competitively chosen to receive funding through NJTPA's Local CMAQ (Congestion Management and Air Quality) Mobility Initiatives program. According to the NJTPA Board of Trustees, the intent of the funding is to "advance strategies that reduce traffic, driving alone and harmful emissions."
This grant money will allow RideWise to develop a pilot program to match riders bound for similar destinations, at the same time, with a local transportation provider. The intent is that passengers will pay a flat fee, at a pre-negotiated rate, for a flexible and affordable last mile connection from the rail station to their final destination.
"Our vision is for this demand responsive service to be convenient and flexible. If a train is running a few minutes late, the rider won't miss his/her connection, which sometimes happens with a fixed bus route," said Donna Allison, executive director for RideWise. "Shuttles typically solve the last mile problem, but their fixed routes and limited operating hours prevent them from serving a significant number of travelers," she said.
As the transportation hub of Somerset County, the newly renovated Somerville Rail Station was the logical choice for pilot's implementation. The station's close proximity to major employment and recreation sites makes it a viable transfer point for inbound rail passengers.
HART Commuter Information Services
serving Hunterdon County
"Let Yourself Be Seen"/Hazte Visible"
Campaign Focuses on At Risk Bicyclists & Pedestrians
A review of census numbers and bicycle/pedestrian crash data in Hunterdon County prompted the development of a bicycle and pedestrian safety campaign in recent years by HART Commuter Information Services. Launched in 2010, the Let Yourself Be Seen (Hazte Visible) program educates "at-risk" individuals, primarily Spanish speaking immigrants, who rely on bicycling and walking as their primary mode of transportation.
Approximately 39% of Hunterdon's bicycle/pedestrian accidents have occurred in the Flemington/Raritan area. Flemington/Raritan also has the largest Hispanic population (31%) of all municipalities.
"Let Yourself Be Seen" (Hazte Visible)" emphasizes the importance of being visible to motorists by following the rules of the road , and wearing visible/reflective clothing. The program provides direct education on safety and offering needed safety equipment (low cost reflective items).
Funding for this initiative is provided by the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety.
To date, more than 2,600 individuals have been educated and/or provided with safety equipment.
To address the unique needs of the Hispanic community, the campaign was developed to be very "hands on" and at "street level". Outreach is conducted in the early morning at local shopping centers, as day workers gather to wait for work, or late at night when workers were returning from work. Similarly, outreach is conducted at churches, community centers, and public health and social services facilities.
A three ring binder is used as a "portable classroom". The binder contains photos and graphics to communicate the value of wearing reflective items. The binder is shown to individuals and small groups. For those individuals who cannot be reached directly, image based "hang tags" and flyers have been developed. The tags are left on bicycles seen behind stores, restaurants and other locations where members of the at risk groups work.
In addition to individual and small group outreach, HART participates in local street fairs, health fairs, and similar community based events, setting up an information table, as appropriate.
Low cost, high visibility reflective vests, reflective tape and wristbands are distributed to those individuals who listen to the safety presentation (either one on one, small group or at an information table). Bicycle helmets, donated by the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey are also provided to those in need. Reflective tape is applied to bicycles, illuminating them in the dark.
For more information, contact Tara Shepherd, 908-788-5553 or firstname.lastname@example.org.