Montclair Police Dept. Traffic Bureau and Bike&Walk Montclair are collaborating to make the “pop-up” bike lane show what “safe routes” for biking might actually feel like on Montclair streets.
The protected lane will be usable from 6:30 to 9:30 AM eastbound on Walnut Street from Park Street to North Fullerton Ave., and northbound on North Fullerton from Walnut St. to Rand Place (across from Renaissance). The bike lane will be will be staffed by police officers and separated from traffic by safety cones, temporary lane markings, and fall décor.
Renaissance was chosen as the flagship school for this event because it was Montclair’s pilot Safe Routes to School (SRTS) in 2005, and helped Montclair to win a district-wide Gold SRTS award from NJ SRTS and the NJ Dept. of Transportation in 2014.
“If this pilot complete street works well, we can look forward to the possibility of extending it to additional Montclair schools in the future,” says Sgt. Stephanie Egnezzo, of Montclair Police Dept. Traffic Bureau. Egnezzo helped the township to secure funding for the project from the NJ Division of the Department of Highway Traffic Safety.
Norma Tassy, Executive Director of Bike&Walk Montclair, represents the organization on the Pedestrian Safety Council, where the idea for the pilot bike lane was born (check out the inspiration for a pop-up bike lane). Said Ms. Tassy: “This is a first in Montclair and we are really excited about partnering with school administrators, the Police Dept., the Township Engineering Department, the Pedestrian Safety Council, and numerous volunteers to work together for safer streets for our kids. This pop-up protected bike lane is a product of the momentum and collaborative spirit Montclair stakeholders have toward their commitment to healthy, active travel. We agree that a lifetime of healthy habits can begin by walking or biking to school.”
Renaissance ins’t the only Montclair school celebrating International Walk & Bike to School Day.
Hillside will hold a raffle for everyone who gets to school on their own power. There will be meet-up points so that people who live too far away can participate as well. Walkers and bikers will be greeted by a sign-in banner, cheering, and a map showing how far they have come.
Bradford has designated the first Wednesday of every month as Wellness Wednesdays in an effort to increase participation and focus for health and wellness. For October Walk & Bike to school day, walking, biking and no cars at drop-off are encouraged. There will be a “walking school bus” starting from Sunset Park for those that live too far from school to walk; families will meet at the park and walk to school. All walkers, bikers and busers will receive stickers, fresh fruit, and whole wheat bagels.
Edgemont plans to make a banner for kids to sign when they arrive at school. All bussers will be encouraged to walk a few laps around Edgemont Park with chaperones. Kids will receive healthy snacks and a sticker to celebrate their achievement.
The Mt. Hebron PTA challenges all students, teachers and staff to go Car Free for a day. They encourage everyone to join students and parents from across New Jersey and celebrate the benefits of walking and bicycling, and don’t forget to thank crossing guards with cards, drawings, coffee or hugs!