Way to Go: Alternate Transportation
For more information about this task force, contact Barbara Berman bab96 at verizon dot net.
Mission Statement: We are an advocacy group creating awareness, influencing allocation of resources, acting as a liaison with and rallying support of government, community and businesses to make Cherry Hill a safe pedestrian/bike accessible town without the use of a car.
In January 2011, Sustainable Cherry Hill‚Äôs Way To Go Task Force assisted the Township in applying for funds from New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Local Bicycle/Pedestrian Planning Assistance Program grant.¬† The funding, awarded to the Township in January, covers the costs of a Planning Consultant (Michael Baker Jr, Inc.) and a project lead from NJDOT to work with the Township to create a comprehensive Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan (‚Äúthe Plan‚ÄĚ) that will guide future improvements for bicycling and pedestrian activity. The Plan will provide recommendations for short, medium, and long-term improvements, and identify educational and enforcement recommendations based on the specific needs of Cherry Hill.
The first steering committee meeting was held in April 2011. The Steering Committee is comprised of representatives from the Township Municipal Office and Police, members of the Way to Go Task Force, local businesses, and regional organizations.¬† This initial meeting identified areas of concern for bicyclists and pedestrians, routes that are currently bicycle and pedestrian friendly, and where there are areas of opportunity.
At the Art Blooms Earth Day Festival, in late April, the first community outreach effort was undertaken.¬† The Way to Go Team and Denise Chaplick (Planning Consultant) solicited input from community residents with a large map of the Township (and a lot of markers!).¬† We received a lot of good information from the exercise, and the residents got their first glimpse of the building of the Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan.¬† A survey is available until the end of June 2011 at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Cherry_Hill_BikePed – allowing people who live and work in the Township to provide input for the plan.¬† An on-line mapping exercise will soon be available, which will allow residents to point to particular locations in the Township and provide comments about those locations.¬† In addition to this outreach, the Consultant will be meeting one on one with a select group of stakeholders.¬† The Plan is scheduled to be completed in April 2012.¬† Upon completion the Plan will be made available for public review after which it will be adopted as part of the Township Master Plan.
The residents of Cherry Hill want to get out of their cars. We want to be able to safely walk or ride our bikes to the store, to work or to a friend’s house in another neighborhood. ¬†We even dream of having some sort of little cooking oil fueled bus to take us around town. ¬†We want this because we like the outdoors, we’re sick of our cars, we’re trying to be healthier and we want to decrease our ecological footprint. We want our kids to have more freedom and get more exercise, instead of having to throw them in the car for even short trips. ¬†The problem is that we live in a town designed in a time where we were trying to get away from the trappings of city life. ¬†Our founding fathers and pioneers in Cherry Hill wanted to make the suburbs something new, desirable and most importantly, drivable!
Well, times are a changing and we need to work with what we got. ¬†Fortunately we have a municipal government who is motivated to work on this challenging issue and an active Sustainable Cherry Hill task force, called “Way to Go” that is planning to advocate for a new way of getting around town. ¬†Find out more about this group here.
The Philadelphia Inquirer has a great article this morning called “Cherry Hill tries to be more walker friendly” . ¬† Recently, The Courier Post wrote an article called Activists take on clogged roads about this issue. ¬†Check them out!
Contact Barbara Berman at¬†bab96 at verizon dot net for more information or to join the Way to Go task force.
It’s been less than six months since our summer visioning conference and Sustainable Cherry Hill’s volunteer driven, solution oriented task forces are really getting established. Last week, our Zero Waste/Composting task force was in the news with its historic food waste composting pilot program at Mirabella Cafe and yesterday, our “Way to Go” task force got some nice press for its preliminary work to address Cherry Hill’s “Car Only” culture.
From yesterday’s Courier Post:
Activists take on clogged roads
Sustainable Cherry Hill, which promotes clean energy¬†and waste reduction in the township, has a formed a task force to specifically address clogged roadways. The 10 or so volunteers say they are in a study phase, and they plan on becoming a visible presence before Mayor Bernie Platt at town council meetings.
“We are an advocacy group working with the township to make it a safer place for us to ride bikes, for us to be able to walk, take public transportation, and get cars off the road.” said Barbara Berman, who led a meeting in the municipal building earlier this week.
Read the whole article here.