New York City by Four

1497648_688135747892945_821497177_nThe Big Apple during the Holiday Season is truly magical – especially through the eyes of  a child experiencing it for the very first time.

Recently, I took a day off from keeping Middlesex moving (no worries, Middlesex kept moving because of our terrific staff) and I practiced what I preached.

Together with my husband and two absolutely delighted children, we drove to our local train station.  And because we were commuting with children, we raced to grab the NJ TRANSIT Northeast Corridor train bound for the Big Apple just in the nick of time.

The train ride into NYC was filled with late morning commuters who I swore, cracked a smile when they noticed my gleeful children asking the train agent if she had hot chocolate to share , “You know, like on the Polar Express!”

Soon we pulled into New York Penn Station and we tightly gripped the children’s hands and headed up to the busy Manhattan streets, that under the gray skies truly looked like they were paved with glitter.

On foot, we navigated the Avenues pointing out landmarks the children had either seen on tv or read about – until we reached our destination –  Rockefeller Center.

Despite the complaints about the long, fast paced walk, the pay-off was priceless.

After completing the obligatory holiday stops: the Christmas Spectacular, visiting the Lego, American Girl and FAO Schwartz stores and a quick prayer in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, we piled into a bona fide yellow NYC cab at rush hour to meet with friends for dinner in Tribeca.  “No seatbelts!?!??!” cried the kids in glee.

Dinner was splendid and filled with much laughter and smiles despite the trip being almost over.  But the trip would not be complete without a ride down under – that is, the subway.  So as the night came to close, we hoped on the 2 express and grabbed the only available seat and huddled together as we swayed along the bumps and jerks of the New York Subway.

As we waited for the NJ TRANSIT train home in the nicely decorated waiting area, the children were still smiling ear to ear.

“Thank you Mommy and Daddy. I wish we could do this every year!”

We saw New York City by four with four and created memories that I hope, they will enjoy for a long time!

 

 

 

Over the River and Through the Woods

It’s that time….Tis the season to travel over the rive and through the woods for…..

Seasonal dinners.

Visits to family and friends.

Shopping and sightseeing.

Ice Skating and a tree lighting.

Yes, the 2013 Holiday season is here! This year, enjoy comfort and convenience and avoid the hassles of traffic and parking by taking mass transit trains or buses this season. Let KMM’s interactive map help plan your trip and while you are online, register for the new INN – Information Notification Network traffic alerts.

From our families to yours, a safe and joyous holiday season!untitled

New Jersey Kick-offs New Pedestrian Safety Pilot Program

streetsmartStreet Smart urges all roadway users to obey vital roadway signs to prevent crashes

A new pedestrian safety pilot program is underway in Newark, Woodbridge, Hackettstown, and Jersey City. The “Street Smart” campaign, a collaborative effort between public, private and non-profit organizations, urges motorists and pedestrian to “check your vital signs” to improve your safety on the road.

The “vital signs” message reminds both drivers and pedestrians to pay attention and adhere to posted signage, which will make travel safer for all roadway users. For motorists, that means observing posted speed limits and stop signs, and stopping for pedestrians in marked crosswalks. If you’re on foot, use crosswalks and wait for the walk signal. If everyone heeded these signs, crashes could be prevented and lives saved. The message may seem simple, but it’s vitally important.

The campaign is long overdue. New Jersey ranks 14th in the nation in pedestrian fatalities and is designated a “focus” state by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Between 2009 and 2012, 565 pedestrians were killed and more than 17,000 injured on our roadways — that translates to one death every 2.5 days and 11 injuries daily. Last year, 568 people died in motor vehicle crashes in New Jersey — 25 percent were pedestrians.

At a campaign kick-off event held November 1 at the New Jersey Institute of Technology campus in Newark, representatives from the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, which is coordinating the campaign in partnership with FHWA, the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, joined with municipal and law enforcement officials, and safety and public health advocates. They unveiled the campaign message and outreach materials, and discussed the effects of speed on pedestrian safety. If a pedestrian is struck by a car going 20 mph or slower, the odds of survival are good. At speeds above 35 mph, the impact is likely to be fatal.

The campaign uses advertising, grassroots public awareness efforts and law enforcement to address pedestrian safety. Community groups are joining with businesses, schools, churches, hospitals, and non-profit organizations to post and distribute information including tips for all roadway users.

Police officers in the pilot communities are enforcing pedestrian safety laws. They’re focusing on motorists who fail to obey New Jersey’s law requiring them to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk, as well as pedestrians who jaywalk. They’re also addressing speeding, illegal turns and distracted and inattentive driving and walking, which contribute to pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes.

Despite the program being piloted in these four communities, roadway users throughout New Jersey are urged to get on board. The goal of the Street Smart campaign is to reduce the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities on all roadways. It is possible. Check your vital signs. Obey the law.  Lives are on the line.

 

credit: NJTPA

Distracted Driving – The Basics

driving_putyourphonedownsignDistracted Driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from their primary task of driving.  Types of distractions besides texting and using a cell phone include: eating and drinking, grooming, reading including maps, adjusting a radio or CD player. But because text messaging requires visual, manual and cognitive attention, it is by far the most alarming distraction.  Cell phone use may not be the only distraction for drivers, but when you combine the risk with the frequency and prevalence, the reason for putting an end to this deadly behavior becomes clear.

Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4-6 seconds. When driving 55 mph, this is the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field BLIND.

 

What can we as drivers do immediately to avoid distraction?

  • put down the cell phone
  • pull over to talk or text
  • eat or drink only when the vehicle is stopped
  • pre-select your music playlist before starting out
  • take care of grooming at home

Small steps will make a big difference. Drivers who used their cell phones and were involved in a crash didn’t start their call with the intention of injuring or killing another person or themselves. Don’t become a statistic! You are driving a 2 ton vehicle. There’s a lot going on around you.

Stay focused. Stay alive.