South Orange Board paves the way to bike lanes
SHU community bikers could see a bicycling network when traveling to and from campus if the South Orange Board of Trustees’ plan for a bicycling network is implemented.
The plan was presented by Dan Peterson, chair of the South Orange Transportation Advisory Committee, at a Board of Trustee meeting on March 14. Trustee Walter Clarke, on the Recreation and Cultural Affairs committee, called Peterson the “brainchild” of the bike plan in an email interview.
“This initiative was started to increase bike ridership by making it easier for people otherwise not encouraged to ride. Being a transit Village, South Orange is positioned to benefit from increased multi-modal transportation,” Clarke said. “A more bike friendly Village equals less cars equals less traffic. More biking and walking equals happier, healthier South Orange.”
While there is a small demand from hardcore cyclists, the plan is aimed to encourage people who would not normally cycle to be, “confident enough to bicycle by giving them specific routes to follow,” Clarke said. The idea is to cultivate a more bicycle friendly environment in the town.
Clarke added construction is not required to implement the plan other than signs and streets being marked for the bike lanes.
The plan, “Takes bike riders off of many of these main streets traveled mostly by cars and encourages them to use less trafficked streets to get from point A to point B. This should make riders more comfortable (and safer) knowing they will encounter less automotive traffic,” Clarke said.
Seton Hall students were happy to hear about the possible addition to the streets.
Burak Eraslan, a freshman finance major, said a bike lane would help him practice his Pen
ny board, a type of plastic skateboard, skills without the fear of running into people or cars.
“Once the weather gets nice again I ride three to four times a week. Mainly on South Orange Avenue, but also through the streets behind the Ward Gate,” Eraslan said.
Stephanie Nwaiwu, a sports management and marketing major, also Penny boards around campus and in town.
“I ride it almost every day since I got it on campus and down into the village,” Nwaiwu said, “I can’t skate on the sidewalks and it’s quite dangerous to ride in the street, but it’s really all I can do. Having a partition delegated to us (bike and skateboarders) would benefit us not only from the viewpoint of the skater but the viewpoint of the driver as well.”
As a driver, sophomore psychology major Colleen Ward had a different opinion.
“I feel like it will create more traffic issues because South Orange already allows cars to park along the street so you have to constantly move in and out of lanes to avoid hitting parked cars,” Ward said.
Alexandra Gale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.