Changes in Latitude – KMM Summer Blog Series

SummerBlogPhotoWelcome to our new Summer Blog Series,

Changes in Latitude…

From time to time, we all need a change in latitude to help us relax, re-energize, reboot, and reconnect with family, friends, or our true selves.

Each Wednesday, KMM’s staff members share stories and anecdotes about their memorable vacations, recent and past.  These will be personal recollections about trips to our beloved Jersey shore, across America, and around the world. 

Of course, being in the business of transportation, our travel logs feature different modes of travel.  You don’t need a passport to come along as we take bikes, boats, planes, trains, hot air balloons, and other means of conveyance to places far and wide.  Join us for …

                                                Changes in Latitude………..

 

NJ Summer Shore – Get Ready, It’s Almost Here!

Android_NJ_playFor many New Jersey residents, driving down the shore is part of their very summer being.  It’s as natural as waking up and brushing their teeth.  This year, more than ever, returning to the Jersey Shore is a symbol of triumph and strength after suffering devastation at the hands of Super Storm Sandy.

In less than 10 days, the Jersey Shore will officially open its beaches on Memorial Day Weekend and kick off the 2013 Summer season.  Along with the smiles and splashes in the ocean waters, however, comes the traffic and delays on the roads.  And while I am sure it will be a welcome sight for many,  sitting is traffic can totally be avoided this year.

How you ask?

The NJ Turnpike Authority recently launched the SafeTripNJ application for all smartphones.  This hands free app offers you traffic advisories in real-time as you are traveling.  The app will remain on while you drive, automatically activating when you approach an area impacted by an  advisory. The app will broadcast  any travel alerts for reported conditions within a set mile-range (that you can set for yourself) of your current location.

So this summer, download the app and jump onto your route to the Jersey Shore.  Smile as you pass your favorite landmarks to your final shore town destination – all while avoiding sitting in summer traffic.  Because this year,  We are Jersey – Jersey Strong.

Grab Your Helmets!

2013logoBicycling to work not only benefits our environment, but our personal health as well.  Dependence on the automobile harms our planet and can create unnecessary stress in our lives.  Choosing an alternative form of transportation,  like the bicycle, can help to improve pollution, traffic congestion, and safety concerns. It even saves you money!

Bike to Work Week is an international event that encourages commuters to ride their bike to work at least once during the week.  The event ultimately raises awareness about the ease of using a  bicycle for everyday transportation needs and the environmental and health benefits of doing so.

So grab your helmets and join KMM and bike to work.  Remember, biking to your school, train station or even biking while runnning errands qualifies as biking.  Everyone who registers for this program will even be entered to win tickets to a show at the State Theater in New Brunswick or Playhouse 22!  For all the details and to register, visit the KMM site and get biking today!

Make an Impact this Earth Day

leaf_plug_logo_final

 

The idea that even the smallest changes can impact and create big change rings very true this Earth Day.  KMM is taking this idea and giving you the chance to make a change.

How?

It’s easy –   GO Green!

 

 

Go Green while driving. Turn off your car when idling and avoid using drive through for banking, coffee and other errands. icon_car

 

 

GO Green at home! Unplug all appliances that use standby power: coffee machines, alarm clocks, toaster ovens, blenders and lamps. icon_house

 

 

icon_work

Even at the office – Go Green and walk or brown bag your lunch. Everyone who takes the pledge will receive a small packet of seeds to plants and a handy info graphic pledge card.

 

Visit http://www.kmm.org/kmm_earthday2013.php to take the pledge today!

How do YOU get to Work?

nj tmac, nj, tmaRegardless of where you live in New Jersey, there is a TMA that can help YOU get to work.  What is a TMA?  Don’t worry.  You are not alone in asking this question.

For starters, KMM is a TMA (yes, that is a mouth-full of acrynoms).  In a nutshell, our office helps commuters find ways to get work and communicate all things related to commuting.

Officially, TMA’s are transportation management associations that serve specific counties throughout the state of New Jersey that work with businesses, commuters, county and local government and state agencies to implement programs that reduce traffic congestions and improve air quality.  No matter where you live in New Jersey, there is a TMA that can offer you travel options across the state.

So take a moment to find the TMA that serves your area.  Most of the programs and services they provide are free and are ready to help you with….

Train Schedules

Carpools & Vanpool

Bike Lockers and Maps

Commuter Reward Programs

Bus

Shuttles

Park & Ride

Traffic Alerts

….Because there is always more than one way to get to work!

~CCF

Smarten up your Commute to Work

Cell phones are no longer used exclusively for talking. Chances are you or someone you know has bought into the smartphone technology. While there is a lot of talk (including here at KMM) about distracted driving due to smart phone usage, developers have now created apps (applications) that can help you have a safer commute.  From apps that measure your distance between cars, read your email, or inform you of approaching traffic, there’s an app for that!

Don’t drive to work? No problem! There are apps for NJ transit riders, and Rutgers University transit users, apps that track miles pedaled and apps that teach you how to repair your bike out on the road. You can even take a Hike or a bike ride through the Monmouth Battlefield with an app. It’s all there, right in the palm of your hand. So read on and maybe you’ll find a new favorite app that can smarten your commute. Then go on to Facebook and tell us about some of your favorite commuting apps.

Always remember, whether you’re driving, biking, or walking, please put the cell phone away and keep your eyes on the road. You’re only one distraction away from an accident.

iMH900443361OntheRoad – An app that uses the smartphone’s native camera and sensors to detect vehicles in front of the vehicle, alerting drivers when they are in danger. As your distance between the vehicles in front of you lessens, iOnRoad signal changes colors, from green to yellow to red. This lets you know you are dangerously close to the car ahead of you, allowing you to carefully decelerate. Avaiable for free on Android, coming soon to iPhone.

DriveSafe.ly™  –  DriveSafe.ly is a mobile application that reads text (SMS) messages and emails aloud in real time and automatically responds without drivers touching the mobile phone.
DriveSafe.ly is the solution to texting while driving. Free version available for Android, iPhone, Windows Mobile, Blackberry. There is also a paid version.

iMapMyRIDE – tracks the route, distance, pace, and more in real-time using GPS. Users can track the route, time, distance, speed, pace and calories in real-time for their fitness activities using their GPS enabled mobile device. iMapMyRIDE+ is great for cycling, bike riding, weight loss, calorie counting, training, and more, and is an integral part of the MapMyRIDE platform, by MapMyFITNESS. Available free on Android, iPhone and Blackberry.

Bike Repair by Atomic Softwares – Bike Repair has 51 highly detailed photo repair guides and 71 bicycle problems explained, including common aches and pains while on the bike (there are simple things to do to get rid of that knee pain). Bike Repair is the most simple and complete bicycle repair app for your smartphone. It has over 230 studio quality photos explaining you step by step what to do. Available on iPhone and Android for about $3

All Trails-Hiking & Biking by AllTrails, Inc. – The outdoors at your fingertips! AllTrails is THE app for finding trails nearest you. Going on a trip to a national park? Looking for a place near home to hike or run? Looking for something new to do on the weekends? Even in a big city you might be surprised by how much nature surrounds you. Browse through over 40,000 high-quality trail guides for outdoor activities including everything from hiking, mountain biking, and trail running to fly fishing and snowshoeing. Available free on Android & iPhone.

Be Prepared – And its New Meaning

Many of us thought that if we had batteries stocked, bottled water stored and our smart phones handy, we were prepared.  Unfortunately, we were proven wrong last October as Hurricane Sandy crashed upon our shores.  Since then, our approach to preparedness has changed.  Our emergency kits haveMH910221066 evolved and our attention to warnings has heightened.

With the New Year upon us, we at KMM thought to share with you what is in our emergency kit.  Some of these items have been listed before, but it is important to keep the kit current.

  • Water in plastic containers – one bottle per person.
  • Cell Phone/ Laptop Chargers – this should be in addition to your everyday charges – one that is always in your kit.
  • A list of important numbers – local police and fire and township and insurance agency – these days, most numbers are programmed in devices that only work with power.
  • Evacuation Routes and Center location – know before a storm where to go.
  • Copies of Important Documentation – insurance, mortgage and social security cards.
  • All medicines, prescriptions – enough for two weeks.
  • Transistor radio – when power is lost, this can be your only lifeline.
  • Subscribe to Nixle, NJOEM, American Red Cross and our very own ETN – alerts will be sent to your smart phone and keep you updated.

So along with eating healthy, exercising more and saving money – make sure to be prepared is right there on your list of things to change for 2013.

From our office to you and yours, A Happy and Safe 2013!

~CCF

Don’t Clown Around

MH900442373Earlier this year, I watched my youngest board the big yellow bus.  He kissed me goodbye without any reservation, hugged me tight and gleefully boarded the bus.  Having seen his older sibling board the bus each day for three years, this day was long coming for him.   As the bus pulled away, I waved and wiped a tear away.

Fast forward to present day.  While kisses and hugs are still shared, the novelty of the bus has worn off and I no longer shed tears.

“Mommy, please drive us to school today.  I want to be the first one in class so I can get the “cool” jobs.”

“Mommy, the bus is so boring.  I have to sit in my seat and not move.”

Needless to say, my Little Man is growing up fast.

However, last week while I waited for the afternoon bus,  I was witness to a crash at the intersection in our neighborhood.  And I was not the only one.  The afternoon bus, which was making its way to our stop, also was close enough to the crash to see what happened.  As the bus slowly made its way to our stop, I could see the shock in the eyes of the children on the bus – including my own children.

“Mommy, did you see that!  I am so glad I was sitting with my seatbelt.  We had to stop and I wasn’t paying attention because we were so busy talking about Santa and by the way I need to change my letter to Santa and………”

And so my friends, it never hurts to brush up on our skills.  I came across this video the team over at Middlesex County Traffic Safety Program created to help children learn the rules of bus safety.  I share this video with you and encourage you to share it with others – especially your little ones!  Please click on the link below.

http://vp.telvue.com/player?id=T01258&video=136576&mini=true

~CCF

Hello world!

KMM-small-1KMM is proud to launch our very new Intersections blog!  Here we will share our thoughts, ideas and information to those who are interested in alternative modes of commuting, sustainable issues and community programing geared to safety.  We hope you enjoy our blog as much as we enjoy blogging!

Happy and Safe Commuting

~CCF