As a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly town, Highland Park was the ideal place to host New Jersey’s first bikeability assessment.  Similar to a walkability assessment but on bikes, a bike assessment helps schools, parents, students and community members identify barriers that may make it difficult or dangerous for children to bike to and from school.  The assessment evaluates the sidewalk, road and neighborhood conditions around the schools, and identifies key safety improvements that can make bicycling a safer and easier way to get to and from school.

Participants in Highland Park ready for the bike assessment

Participants in Highland Park ready for the bike assessment

The assessment took place on August 24, 2016 with over 30 volunteers participating in four separate routes around Highland Park, and focused on the 4 public schools as well as connecting Johnson Park’s East Coast Greenway with Donaldson Park.  Participants rode each bike route, taking many photographs and documenting issues and areas of concern.  Participants included the Mayor, Superintendent, Council, Police, Borough Staff and community members along with staff from the NJ Department of Transportation, the Safe Routes to School Resource Center and Safe Routes to School Coordinators from the Transportation Management Associations throughout the State.

After riding the bike routes, the group members assembled to review the issues from each route and possible solutions to make bicycling safer throughout the town.  A summary of the issues including photographs and next steps will be

Summarizing results from each bike route

Summarizing results from each bike route

prepared and disseminated to all participants and feedback will be gathered.  This summary will assist the borough with making bicycling a safer and more appealing option for students and community members.

Thank you, Highland Park for hosting and participating in New Jersey’s first bikeability assessment!