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December  14

Cyclists of the World Montclair Unite

If you're interested in safer streets for bicyclists and pedestrians, Bike Montclair urges you to come out next Tuesday night to Montclair's town council meeting, where they'll be asking for more bike racks, improvements to dangerous intersections in town and other bike-friendly infrastructure changes.

They've also released a map with the best and worse places to bike around Montclair. Streets in red and intersections in yellow are the most dangerous. (Click on map to see it full-size.)

Full text of Bike Montclair's letter to the public is below.

On December 20th, Montclairites will have an opportunity to show the Town Council their support for some specific ways to make Montclair more bike- and pedestrian-friendly. On that night, Bike Montclair and other community members will present a set of recommendations to the Council. The recommendations are in two parts – first, a set of infrastructure changes to specific intersections and roads in town that are especially hazardous to people walking and biking; and second, a proposed network of bike-friendly routes designated for safe travel around town.

Maybe the silver lining in the cloud of current gas prices will be a change in our transportation options. Here in Montclair, pressure to change car culture is coming from many different directions at the same time. The last year has seen the completion of a Bike/Pedestrian Master Plan, the selection of Rand School to be one of 3 pilot schools in the state to host a Safe Routes to School day, and the creation of a Task Force whose mission is to recommend priorities for cyclists and pedestrians to the Town Council.

The public is invited to attend the presentation to the Council on Tuesday night the 20th, at 7:30 PM. Come and hear about some specific proposals to make Montclair more bike-able and walk-able, including: improving intersections at Grove St. and Glenridge Ave., and Grove and Elm; encouraging the Council to commit to making future infrastructure improvements bike and pedestrian friendly; installing more bike racks and bike lockers; and supporting Safe Routes to School initiatives. A draft of the Bike Network Map will be distributed for discussion, to elicit comments and proposals for designating specific streets and routes for safe biking around town.

December 14, 2005 in Civic Virtue | Permalink


No surprise that Watchung is red. I hate riding my bike on that street. Walking isn't so great, either. You know the stretch of sidewalk along Watchung next to the "Marlboro Inn City" site is totally unshoveled and icy as heck? It's the only side of that street that has a continuous sidewalk from the train station to Broad St, so they really should keep it clear. Don't they give summonses for that sort of thing anymore?

Posted by: Captain Vegetable | Dec 14, 2005 3:11:20 PM

I would say that no more than 25% of the bicyclists I see make any kind of serious attempt to obey traffic laws. Yes, you are supposed to stop at traffic signals last time I checked. Until bikers start to act like real members of the trafficking world, I say stay keep them in the park.

Posted by: montclair_is_crazy | Dec 14, 2005 3:30:29 PM

oh man guys, check out this sweet bike i'm getting, only i'm getting it in the woman's version, cause i'm a woman:


Posted by: katie | Dec 14, 2005 3:46:11 PM

sweet bike...i like the comfy looking seat...

Posted by: The Iceman | Dec 14, 2005 4:03:19 PM

I think this is great. I hope Montclair adopts a strategy to support cyclists. More bikes and less cars will make Montclair at better place.

Posted by: lasermike026 | Dec 14, 2005 5:23:08 PM

I live on Park and usually go a mile out of my way to go down Ridgewood in Glen Ridge whenever I need to go North-South, where the shoulder is at least 6 feet wider than a parked car. Montclair can't pull off two of those on any of the thoroughfares, but one way bike lanes combined with single side parking could be pulled off on one north and one south street.

Posted by: Mitch | Dec 14, 2005 5:34:30 PM

"I would say that no more than 25% of the bicyclists I see make any kind of serious attempt to obey traffic laws."

Nice generalization. As a Montclair cyclist who trains 10,000+ miles on his bike every year and obeys the rules of the road, (more so than the hundreds of speeders I see every day) I can say this is a moronic reason not to support safer streets for cycling. I wonder if the poster even obeys all the rules him/herself.

Posted by: Alex | Dec 14, 2005 5:38:26 PM

Here's the bike my beloved gave me, and which I don't have the nerve to ride for the purposes it was designed: http://www.santacruzmtb.com/heckler/

Any fledgling mountain-bikers out there care to show a gal the ropes?

Posted by: angelica | Dec 14, 2005 6:34:26 PM


Montclair-is-crazy said 25% that s/he "sees." So then it is his/her opinion, not a generalization about all of you.

But I must agree. My wife and I joke when the "tour de Montclair" folks ride by-- they are bikes (not obeying traffic laws) when they need to be a cars (obeying traffice laws) other times. I find too many, too dangerous (not for me, I drive an SUV and will win any battle with a bike...).

I wish all were like you, but from what I see "not so much."

Posted by: Profchriss | Dec 15, 2005 7:18:19 AM

I'm surprised no one's tried to organize Critical Mass, Montclair Edition yet.

Posted by: htb | Dec 15, 2005 9:40:30 AM

"But I must agree. My wife and I joke when the "tour de Montclair" folks ride by-- they are bikes (not obeying traffic laws) when they need to be a cars (obeying traffice laws) other times. I find too many, too dangerous (not for me, I drive an SUV and will win any battle with a bike...)."

Huh? Who are the "Tour de Montclair" folks? The 500 people (kids, mostly) who rode in the Tour this year? And do you "battle" regularly with bikes? I'm sure you're very brave.

And the implication that because some cyclists ride across empty intersections, (does that actually bother people? Why?) they should be restricted to parks is what I take issue with.

Posted by: Alex | Dec 15, 2005 10:44:44 AM

I'm with Mitch... Ridgewood is one of the few streets that I feel safe biking. Also, what's up w/ Brookdale Park not being on the map?

Posted by: Greg Spinelli | Dec 15, 2005 11:28:54 AM

Easy Alex....

My "Tour de Montclair" folks was in quotes as it is relates to what my wife and I call those folks all dressed up for their 20 stage journey through Baristaville... Forgive me if I get a great laugh at some 200+ pounder in spandex and little shoes. THAT will always be funny to me.

But I do feel caught, because I do enjoy doing "battle" against the little buggers..

And YES. Those "cyclist" who choose to ignore lights, traffic patterns, etc. are a huge problem. Not to mention when you got 8 of 'em riding together, talking and not paying attention.

That you don't realize this is crazy. So let me be clear:

When the accident happens because someone chose to disobey the law, I won't be the one with the life threatening injuries. That was my point.

One Love, Peace Out and all that!

Posted by: profchriss | Dec 15, 2005 12:18:04 PM

In short, when you're out and about, whether in or on a motorized vehicle, on a bicycle, or simply walking, be wary of your place in space and be considerate of others, DAMMIT.

Posted by: Chris | Dec 15, 2005 12:32:13 PM

the guy who lives under me is all about bikes. he bikes all the time. his name is todd and we call him the jaegermeister, because that's kind of like his last name. but don't tell him that. also he might hate us cause we stomp around a lot. but i bet follows traffic laws cause he's nice.

Posted by: katie | Dec 15, 2005 12:43:34 PM

I'm a Montclair cyclist and I will certainly agree that too many riders are occasionally reckless. I cannot claim never to have made illegal moves on the bike. I sometimes take it up on the sidewalk when the street feels too risky. But I wait for lights to change, and I always try to signal. On the other hand I have also jaywalked, sped, and parked my car illegally on occasion. I doubt there are any sinless drivers or pedestrians among those throwing stones at cyclists here. I've never really understand why there is so much venom directed at bicycle malfeasance in particular, particularly with so much other craziness on the road.

I would be more than happy to see the police citing cyclists whenever they break the law. Would this make the bike-haters any happier, though? Perhaps not if the police also stepped up their enforcement against drivers who illegally menace cyclists, fail to signal, or bolt out of driveways and parking lots without looking.

Posted by: Songdog | Dec 15, 2005 2:46:30 PM

I ride
wear a helmet
stop at red lights
and am always watching the
suvs im my mirror that can't judge the side of the road.
What I don't like is people who ride by and yell something out their window!
We need more bike lanes besides Ridgewood Ave.
Montclair should get on board.
Pet peeve: Parents who ride helmetless. It doesn't set a good example.

Posted by: Le PAZ tour | Dec 15, 2005 3:46:52 PM

oh man le paz tour, i definitely love to yell out the window. i bet everyone in montclair has been yelled at by myself. sorry.

Posted by: katie | Dec 15, 2005 6:47:37 PM


What do you say when you yell? Great buns! Nice thighs! WOOO-HOOO! Love that spandex! Speed up- I want to pass you again!

or is it

Get a horse!

Posted by: badd_patti | Dec 18, 2005 10:17:41 AM

Ah....I empathize with the harried bikers. However, let us consider also the case of the pedestrian! What gives Montclair drivers this sense of run-em-over entitlement?

I have recently moved to Montclair and have yet to form an opinion although...Well, more about that in another post.

If you see me wheeling a lavendar backpack full of college texts (I am a college prof, among other things) please be kind. Let me cross Bloomfield Avenue to the bus stop--resist that urge to let your SUV or BMW practically run over my feet. And, in return, I will be thankful and alive to write more.

Posted by: Deborah | Dec 18, 2005 3:46:18 PM


usually just something they are doing, you never know how funny it is until you try it. for example:

a guy is walking his dog, you gotta yell "WHAT ARE YOU WALKING YOUR DOG?!" oh and it has to be in question form.

oh man, sounds stupid but it's like stress relief.

Posted by: katie | Dec 19, 2005 4:43:17 AM

Park and Haddon when Lacordaire gets out -- lethal!

Posted by: sammyd | Jan 13, 2006 9:45:49 PM

Hey, Does anyone know of any good cycling clubs in Montclair area? I just moved into the area.

Posted by: Max | Mar 30, 2006 2:20:34 PM

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