Trying to plot an all sidewalk/bike path route in NJ
Been at this all day. Starting from John Hall rd. I've plotted a route using google maps street view to Griggstown Canoe & Kayak Rentals 1076 Canal Rd Princeton, NJ 08540 with minimal vehicle interaction. If there's no sidewalk or bike path I've usually found a road not used a lot I will feel comfortable on. Eventually, I want this route to go all the way to the Delaware Water Gap but I'm working on a smaller section right now.
Now I want to get from Griggstown Canoe & Kayak Rentals 1076 Canal Rd Princeton, NJ 08540 to Hopewell Wertsville Rd. It's proving difficult finding a road in street view where I have enough shoulder or continuious sidewalk the whole way through. I want to create a route where I don't have to put my faith in drivers to see and not to hit me. I'm definitely favoring safety over the straightest way to get from A to B. I have routes that meander through quiet subdivisions just to avoid the highways and vehicle congested roads. So speed is not on my agenda.
Like I said, been at this all day and am a bit burnt out and stuck. If anyone would like to take a crack at plotting a safe way based on my criteria to get from Griggstown Canoe & Kayak Rentals 1076 Canal Rd Princeton, NJ to Hopewell Wertsville Rd I certainly could use the help. Plus I will draw up the full route once it's finished and post it for everyone. I've had a lot of fun trying to figure this out knowing that other cyclists quite possibly would appreciate cycling a route through NJ without having to be in close quarters with cars and trucks.
The criteria is all roads have to either have somewhere to ride where the cyclist is not directly next to speeding traffic. It could be a sidewalk, a bicycle trail, a quiet subdivision, or even a trail in through the woods that people are allowed to ride on...The point is, they all must connect in one chain that gets you to Hopewell Wertsville Rd. All the roads I've looked at just seem to have stretches way too long where there's no sidewalks and no shoulder so the traffic is going to be right on top of you...It certainly is a puzzle to piece together but I'm determined...Hope someone out there likes puzzles too...
Last edited by chillspike; 05-23-14 at 08:46 PM.
Doesn't seem very likely!
Our NJ roads, pretty much suck - even though we pay exorbitant taxes. Wonder where the money goes.
Also, riding bikes on sidewalks is not a good idea and it's illegal in many places. For example, downtown Princeton has signs posted. Of course you wouldn't want to ride there anyway, since there are lots of pedestrians.
Here are a couple of suggestions for mostly low traffic roads.
I assume you got to the Griggstown Causeway (where the canoe place is located) via the tow path along the D&R Canal. If you get off the tow path at that point, you have no choice but to ride narrow high speed shoulderless roads (without sidewalks). Both Canal Road on the east side of the canal/river and Millstone River Road on the west side are like this.
If you take the tow path south you eventually get to Trenton. There's some riding on roads in Trenton (take a map or GPS, because the path is not well marked), and the path eventually connects to the feeder canal tow path which you can take all the way to Frenchtown. At Frenchtown, you can walk your bike across the bridge over the Delaware River to Uhlerstown, PA. There you can connect to the tow path along the Delaware Canal. At this point, I have only ridden south. However, I understand this tow path goes north at least to Easton. At that point you should be able to cross back to NJ and look for a way to get to the Gap.
For your specific question, Griggstown Causeway to Hopewell Wertsville Road, the first thing to note is that Hopewell Wertsville road does not meet your criteria. It's the main road north from Hopewell over the Sourlands into the Amwell Valley. It's 2 lanes, no shoulders nor sidewalks, and fairly high speed (45mph, I think). On the plus side, the portion of the road which climbs out of Hopewell has just been repaved. I occasionally ride a loop that includes Hopewell Wertsville to Griggstown Causeway. Here's a link to one of my rides on ridewithgps. Dutchtown Zion Road is a dirt road for roughly a mile after the junction with Long Hill Road. In the direction I go, it's downhill. You would be going up hill. On my to do list is to check out Long Hill to Hollow to Grandview to Pin Oak to Dutchtown Zion to see if that's a good way avoid the dirt part. An aside: Hollow Road is a pretty route from Route 518 into the Sourlands. A good part of it is along a brook and since you're going uphill (slowly, at least in my case) there's plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. End of aside. The linked route does not meet your criteria, but I doubt you'll find anything that comes appreciably closer.
LOL! Come to PA, where the word "shoulder" doesn't exist in most vocabularies. I just did a 66 mile ride in Cumberland County yesterday. Plenty of shoulders and empty, decently-maintained roads. And I ride fairly often in Hunterdon & Warren Counties. Lots of lovely roads there, too. It all depends where you ride.
Originally Posted by groth
OP: Stay off the sidewalks. As noted, it's illegal in many places, and you might hurt someone. You might also want to take an effective cycling course to help you get over your irrational fear. Do you have the same fear when you get behind the wheel?