Bicycle Policy Under Review

More than two years ago, NJ Transit changed its policy on the use of trains by bicyclists, publishing (in timetables) rules that restricted boarding or leaving trains with bicycles to stations with high-level platforms: it’s more difficult and perhaps less safe to do this at stations with low-level platforms, which requires the cyclist to carry the bicycle up or down the train-door steps.  Within the last year, NJT has begun enforcing the new rules.  Unfortunately, many NJT stations do not have high-level platforms, which severely restricts the use of the rail system by cyclists.  (NJT’s three light-rail lines, in contrast, are bicycle-accessible; and many NJT buses also are bicycle-capable.)  Bicycle advocates, including the New York Cycle Club, protested the changes and began working with NJT’s advisory committee on the issue.  Now, change may be in the offing, according to reporting by Larry Higgs in the Daily Record.  The advisory committee has recommended that cyclists be allowed to board and get off at all stations, although rush-hour trains would continue to prohibit bicycles.  Transportation Commissioner James Simpson noted that New Jersey is “one of the most bike-friendly states”, and said “we’ll try to put the issue to bed at the next (NJT) board meeting”.  Meanwhile, NJT staff will do some trials, loading and unloading bikes at low-level platforms.  The advisory committee also proposed increased signage showing where bikes could be stowed on various rail-car types, and increasing the number of bikes allowed to be carried on each car.  Segway motorized devices also fall under the bicycle policy.