Lunch Time by Foot

walkingKMM is located in the heart of vibrant New Brunswick, NJ where banks, the post office, all sorts of stores, and even the State Theater are within walking distance. Our staff relishes all this convenience, especially at lunch time when the city is our oyster.

American, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Caribbean, and Ethiopian cuisine as well as the Hyatt’s Glasswoods Tavern offer attractive eat in options. For something fast, New Brunswick boasts barbeque, burgers, soups, salads, hot dogs, subs, and sandwiches. And, if we just can’t decide, we head over to the new supermarket which has an abundant take out menu. We frequent delightful ice cream and yogurt shops guilt free because we are walking to and from the yummy establishments.

Admittedly, winter has curtailed our lunchtime outdoor activities somewhat. For now, we’re mostly brown bagging around our conference table.

Despite the cold, wind, snow, and ice, we do get out, waiting for the “perfect” day, defined loosely as one with temperatures above 20 degrees and no precipitation. Lacing up our boots, putting on our mittens, and wrapping up in scarves, and hats, we’re ready to brave the elements. Walking gingerly to avoid ice, we mince our way down the sidewalk to a nearby eatery for something hot to eat-in or take out.

Sadly, we’ve haven’t enjoyed too many of these excursions. When it comes to walking in winter, we use common sense. If it’s cold, if it’s slippery, if the snow is piled high at intersections, we stay in the office and look longingly at our sneakers sitting untouched in the corner waiting, like us, for Spring.

Say Cheese and Drink Hot Chocolate

WinterPhotoContest2The weather outside is certainly frightful and Winter 2014 is turning out to be memorable –  if nothing else.  So the staff at KMM decided that we need to help make the winter commute brighter and warmer.

Beginning this month and running until supplies last, KMM will send every commuter who submits a photo of their winter commute (either via our Facebook page or via wintercommute@kmm,org) a packet of delicious hot chocolate!  Once the photos are submitted, fellow commuters and Facebook fans can vote on their favorite photo.  The photo with the most votes at the end of the program will receive the Grand Prize Gift Basket filled with winter goodies.

As for the photos?

Be creative.  Whether you carpool, vanpool, take mass transit, ride a bike or drive alone – take a picture of what you winter commute looks like.

There is a delicious hot cup of chocolate waiting to be sent just to you!

Happy and Safe Commute!

We do remind everyone, to exercise safety and common sense when taking their photos.  Please do not take photos while driving.

Remove Your Car From the Street… It Could Save Your Life

Awhile back, I was a member of the governing body in my town.  From time to time, constituents would call about any number of issues.  Calls piled high immediately after a snow storm.  Mostly, residents complained that they had been ticketed for leaving their cars on the street.

MH900289534I would explain that our town, like many communities, requires vehicles to be removed from the street when snow fall reaches a certain level. For some towns, it’s two inches.  In others, it may be “when the street is snow-covered.”  In my town, the day before a storm, the Public Works guys post signs up and down the street, reminding people to move their vehicles off the roadway.  Some communities use reverse 911 messaging systems to call residents.

These policies were not adopted to be mean.  They are not meant to inconvenience people.  They are definitely not meant to be revenue generators, as a disgruntled citizen always suggests.  They are meant to save lives.

Think about it.  Cars parked on the street, impede snow removal.  If the snow can’t be removed, the roads cannot be plowed adequately.  If the roads cannot be plowed adequately, ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars may not be able to respond quickly to emergencies.  If emergency personnel cannot respond quickly, a house could burn down or someone could die.

So, follow the rules.  Get your car off the street prior to a major snowfall.  Squeeze your family’s vehicles into your driveway or onto your lawn.  Make arrangements with your neighbor or a local business.  Learn if your town allows residents to move their cars to municipal parking lots.

Yes, it’s a pain.  But it would be a lot more painful if you or your family needed emergency services, and first responders couldn’t respond.

~RAK

Winter Driving Tips

snow
With winter in full swing here in Central New Jersey, we thought it would be best to brush up on our winter driving skills.  Before you climb into your car, take a moment to review and refresh!

Driving in Bad Weather

• Carpool: two heads are better than one.
• Sign up for the KMM Emergency Traffic Alert system and receive traffic reports for the roads YOU travel on.
• Be alert. Don’t drive when fatigued.
• Allow plenty of extra time for trips.
• Have alternative routes for how you’ll drive from point A to point B. Anticipate worst-case scenarios and prepare for them.
• Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and have the charger handy.

Tips for Readying Your Car

• Keep the gas tank at least half-full when driving in bad weather. You’ll be more prepared for periods of slow driving or when traffic stops altogether.
• Keep your wiper blades in excellent condition to ensure good visibility.
• Make sure your tires have good treads.
• Carry emergency supplies in your vehicle, no matter what the weather. A good emergency checklist includes a blanket, window scraper, flashlight, first-aid kit, shovel, jumper cables, flares, and non-perishable snacks.

Braking and Skidding

• When applying the brakes on a vehicle equipped with conventional brakes, avoid locking them by pumping.
• For vehicles equipped with anti-lock brakes, apply the amount of brake pressure needed, and don’t pump the brakes.
• To avoid skidding, stay within the speed limit, and, in poor weather, slow down. Keep adequate distance between your vehicle and others.
• Slow down before entering turns or bends, steering steadily.
• While on icy or slippery roads, don’t brake heavily or jerk the steering wheel.

Snow, Ice or Mud Conditions

• If your car is stuck in snow, ice, or mud, proceed carefully. Acceleration that is too rapid will spin the wheels and only dig the vehicle in deeper.
• Try to stay calm and turn the steering wheel gently from side to side to clear snow, ice, or mud away from the wheels. Lightly accelerate forward with the wheels straight ahead, alternating with a slow movement in reverse. This may help rock the vehicle out of its rut.
• Be aware that moisture on overpasses and bridges becomes icy more quickly than on ground-level roads, since cold air is beneath these structures.

This is the perfect time of year to investigate ridesharing or mass transit as an alternative for your commute. Contact KMM to inquire about carpool or vanpool matches for your route, and get free mass transit schedules for your area. Why not start commute habits now that will benefit you all year-long? It could make for a better commute!