National Night Out

This year marked the 29th year the National Association of Town Watch. The Maplewood Police Department invited the public to join them in observing National Night Out.

National Night Out took place on Tuesday, August 4th from 6PM till 9PM. The event was held at DeHart Park, 120 Burnett Avenue in Maplewood NJ.

The event promoted various crime prevention programs including: neighborhood watch groups, neighbor home security surveys, crime prevention tips and bike registration.

Since 1984, the National Bike Registry (NBR®) has been working with law enforcement to return stolen bikes to their rightful owners. A bike registered with NBR, the only true national database, can be identified by police and returned to its rightful owner instead of being sold at an auction.

By registering your bike in the National Bike Registry. You will receive a Certificate of Registration and a tamper-resistant NBR label to identify your bike. Then, if your bike is ever stolen and recovered, no matter where, it can be returned to you.

All members of the community participated in this year’s event. The event was free to participants and included food, drinks, music, video game truck, bounce house, dunk tank and other activities. A police car, fire truck, and an ambulance was on display. All participants were be able to their register bicycles.

Interview

I want to ride my bicycle

I want to ride my bicycle

I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Doris Fernandez, the recreation aide in the Maplewood Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs. Doris provides information regarding activities and registration procedures and is entrusted with organizing and promoting recreational activities within the township.

1) What were your expectations for Improving Bike Safety in Maplewood?

The expectations for the bike network plan to provide a safe and inviting bicycle infrastructure. We want to improve the quality of life for the residence of Maplewood, by improving providing safer streets to ride on. By improving the air quality, reducing congestion on our streets and keeping everyone cycling for fun, exercise and transportation.

2) What has surprised or delighted you during the project?

Maplewood’s Bicycle Safety Program began last fall under the auspices of Overlook Medical Center – Atlantic Health. The first part of the project was when our Police Department registered bikes and gave free helmets at the Wellness Fair in our main park.

We were truly delighted by the turn out! Half of the helmets we purchased with the grant funding were given to residents

3) What unanticipated obstacles or challenges have you experienced?

When the street markings for the additional bikeway blocks were put on the asphalt, an error was made. The vendor acknowledged the problem and installed an additional marking at no cost. A challenge with a great outcome!

4) Do you think that the bike infrastructure will bring a positive impact to our community?

The bike infrastructure will bring a positive impact to our community by providing connectivity to destinations such as workplaces, schools, parks and public transportation. We also anticipate that the improvements will attract new riders.

Maplewood Is A Great Town To Bike

Maplewood is constructing a safe and convenient bicycling infrastructure.  Here’s what Maplewood is doing to make the streets safe:

  • Upgrading curb ramps and crosswalks to be safer and compliant with modern Americans with Disabilities Act standards
  • Creating curb bump-outs at intersections to improve pedestrian safety by reducing crossing distances and physically preventing illegal parking in crosswalks
  • Making bike lanes designed to reduce speeding by narrowing excessively wide travel lanes

Maplewood is a great town to bike in by incorporating the needs of bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists we are making sure all of our residents, feel safe and are safe as they bike the streets of Maplewood.

SHARING IS CARING

The Road to Working With Facilitators and the Challenges

There are several factors which have helped “Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative” to successfully conduct the “Improving Bike Safety in Maplewood Project”.  Careful planning, attention to detail and effective communication to make a project succeed are factors which allow us to work in collaboration with local businesses, public libraries, South Mountain YMCA and Maplewood police Department, Green Team, Freewalkers to continue to move forward, meet deadlines and staying organized.

Currently the challenge we are focusing our energy on is keeping the project scope clear and taking a small step a fresh look at the overall project, reviewing how things have gone so far, and how we can improve future project goals based on what has already changed along the way.

Communicating openly and encouraging feedback at every step to create greater engagement among all of our participants has been extremely helpful through these challenges.

MAPLEWOOD is developing a bike path that will connect Memorial Park and Meadowland Park, the road to developing this vibrant addition to our community lead us to identify and recruit potential partners by staging a presentation on “Improving Bike Safety in Maplewood” which outlined our goals and objectives to the community.  This presentation was met with great interest and enthusiasm by the community.

The keynote partner organizations are a collaborative representation involving the whole community. One of the centerpieces of the Health Neighborhoods Initiatives is the Maplewood Loves Wellness committee. Established in 2012 the Maplewood Loves Wellness partners with public libraries, adult school, school district, South Mountain YMCA, Maplewood police Department, Green Team, Freewalkers, East Coast Greenway and local business.

Our volunteers are an essential element to this project! They are active and energetic members of the community that are excited about introducing physical activity through cycling. Our volunteers hope to put Maplewood in motion by increasing safety, protection and bicycle maintenance education to the youth of Maplewood.

Maplewood recognizes that building healthy surroundings for our community is not something that can be led by one individual or organization alone. It is a collaborative effort that must involve the entire community.

The key community decision-makers involved are Deputy Mayor Kathy Leventhal, Keith Knudsen, Director of Recreation and Judy LoBianco Supervisor of Health, Physical Education and Nursing in SO/MSD.

BIKE SAFETY and MAINTENANCE EVENT – Get your bike ready for spring! Wednesday, April 15th at 3:30PM in Memorial Park, at the Skate House on Oakview Road. Sponsored by Maplewood Loves Wellness.

http://www.twp.maplewood.nj.us/index.aspx?NID=466

http://www.maplewoodisgreen.org/

http://freewalkers.org/events/maplewood-south-mountain-reservation-walk

http://www.greenway.org/explore-by-state/nj