LOVE this blog post. It covers it all for people commuting by bike, thinking about commuting by bike, people who will never commute by bike (that means YOU drivers) – or for people riding bikes in general.
Choose a route that places minimal reliance upon the diligence or competency of drivers
My winning tweet was as follows: “Choose a route that places minimal reliance upon the diligence or competency of drivers” as per the title. That’s because most drivers are useless, malicous or tossers. I’m sure most of them are lovely people normally but for some reason, they get behind the wheel and turn into horrible people.
I didn’t want to post this. There is a ton of information out there on this subject, I’ll only add to the noise. But then, I saw the same old nonsense, over and over again.
I posted a tweet that got a lot of love. So I’ll pass on my 40+ years experience, take it if you like or do something different. There’s no science here, just my experience. These are in order.
Read the list:
Have a chat with a police officer. They want to engage.
If you walk or ride a bike: Share your concerns about your rights and responsibilities as a person walking or a person on a bike. Understand the facts. What is “jaywalking”? How can you stay safe riding your bike ? And maybe encourage our police officers to ride bikes!
If this event doesn’t draw a big crowd APPD says they’ll schedule another meeting at another time!
Community Meeting Will Discuss Diversity on Boards, Environmental Justice and the Asbury Park Waterfront
The Asbury Park Women’s Collective will be hosting a community meeting entitled, Let’s Talk About Diversity on Asbury Park Boards and Commissions, Environmental Justice and the Asbury Park Waterfront, on Tuesday, December 11th at 7pm at Second Baptist Church of Asbury Park located at 124 Atkins Avenue.
If a city is designed from point of view of kids the city will function for everyone.
A city’s spaces designed WITH kids, rather than spaces designed by adults FOR kids:
Adults tend to think of kids as “future citizens” — their ideas and opinions will matter someday, just not today. But kids make up a quarter of the population, so shouldn’t they have a say in what the world they’ll inherit will look like? Urban planner Mara Mintzer shares what happened when she and her team asked kids to help design a park in Boulder, Colorado — and how it revealed an important blind spot in how we construct the built environment. “If we aren’t including children in our planning, who else aren’t we including?”
Mara Mintzer thrives on engaging children, youth and underrepresented communities in participatory planning, an approach that aims to integrate the views of all community members into designing exemplary communities.
Watch the TED talk:
When I read this story I pictured myself, or anyone riding a bike on what may be unprotected bike lanes on the newly reconfigured Main Street, Asbury Park.
“Save lives not parking” …there “is no excuse to maintain the status quo or adopt incremental change.”
When Boston proposes protected lanes on only a small segment of Massachusetts Avenue, despite it being one of the most dangerous roads in the city, it is implicitly accepting more injuries and deaths.
Protected bike lanes are one of the easiest steps state & local transportation agencies can take to dramatically improve safety. They are also one of the most cost-effective infrastructure investments, delivering an immediate payback. When Calgary installed cycle tracks in its city center, it saw a 95 percent average increase in weekday bike trips in three months and a 7 percent increase in women riders. When Salt Lake City replaced parking with protected bike lanes, it saw an increase in retail sales. After the construction of a protected lane on Ninth Avenue in New York City, local businesses saw a 49 percent increase in retail sales.
Every foot of roadway where cycling takes place and remains unprotected is an added foot of danger and uncertainty. Every foot of roadway where meaningful cycling protection is added is a foot of roadway that unlocks opportunities for people of all ages to ride for fun, exercise, to get to work, go to a friend’s house, or run an errand.
The essential truth that my experience reveals, and that we far too often overlook amid calls for road users to “just get along” is this: The most significant impacts on the safety and lives of vulnerable road users are made by how we design our roads and how we drive our cars.
Read more about it:
Equitable transportation is a social justice issue. The ability to get to work isn’t a given for many people who reside in this city. Many Asbury Park residents walk and ride bikes for their main mode of transportation throughout the city – and beyond. (5% of AP residents ride bikes as their main mode of transport compared with 2% nationally.)
The largest number of residents in AP is in the south west quadrant, according to data from the last census. Most do not own a car. Our focus must be on offering community support to those who walk or ride bikes, plus safe design and built infrastructure – to enable everyone to get to destinations… and back home again safely.
APCSC has had an ongoing bike light donation campaign for over a year. We recently met with APPD about enlisting their help to distribute and install lights for residents who need them. In this way police can be a part of the process to engage and assist. We need to combine resources with city agencies, and with Asbury Park Police Department to focus on equity and safety for the most vulnerable residents.
Many residents have seen and heard about #SLOWTHECARS. Speeding is a critical problem all over the city, even on streets with stop signs at every intersection- drivers speed to each stop. 4th and 3rd Ave are main entrances to the city, and drivers speed through these roads and into our neighborhoods. The great volume of vehicles are clocked regularly exceeding the speed limit. Residents have voiced their concern. Kids and families are at risk.
We believe that this city has the potential to be a national model of a welcoming, safe and inclusive city. We believe that our residents and our administrators and those working in city agencies are good, caring people. We believe that we can work together to make this happen.
When we heard recently about a young black man stopped by police while riding a bike on his way home to Asbury Park from work many miles away, this article resonated. We’re being confronted by the reality that in places like Asbury Park, employment may be out of reach unless you have the means to own a car. This young man being stopped while riding his bike and ultimately charged has brought us to a critical moment. We believed that Asbury Park was becoming a model as a community that works to bring people together and supports social justice. We have work to do.
Stories About Marathon Walking (*Or bicycling*) Commuters Receiving Benevolent Donations of Cars Are Actually Terrible
These stories aren’t heartwarming. They highlight systemic, persistent injustice that goes unaddressed.
The work ethic and determination of these men is stunning, but don’t paint their stories as triumphs of the American spirit. When we hear about desperate, exhausting commutes to jobs far away from home, we’re being confronted by the reality that in places like Birmingham and Detroit, employment is out of reach unless you have the means to own a car.
Dig into the story a little bit and there are other red flags. For example, Carr was picked up by police because he was walking (while black), and the officers took him out for breakfast when “his story checked out,” reports Carol Robinson at the Birmingham News. What appears as a friendly interaction in the article began as an instance of racial profiling, where Carr had to prove his worth as a human being.
Read about it:
We constantly hear and read complaints from drivers: “Bike riders don’t obey the law!” “Bike riders think they are entitled to run stop signs!” You might be surprised to learn that it’s legal—and the reasoning will help you understand how we can build our places better for everyone. Important takeaway: Bike riders are not cars. They are people.
Here are 2 items in the list:
5. No, most cyclists don’t want to be “treated like cars.” They want to be treated like humans.
Another of the most common misconceptions I hear from drivers is, “If cyclists want to be treated like cars, then why do they [insert transgression here]?!?!” To which I usually respond, “Well, first of all, they don’t.”
Bicycles are not cars. They don’t move like cars, take up the same amount of space as cars, or operate at the same speed as cars. It doesn’t make sense to pretend otherwise, and consequently, it doesn’t make sense to apply all auto-oriented traffic laws to cyclists. As described earlier, while laws like the Idaho Stop may seem counterintuitive, they can actually decrease collisions. So can installing bicycle-specific lights, such as those in Paris.
Most cyclists I know, myself included, have no wish to “be treated like cars.” We want to be treated like people. We mostly would like to operate and occupy space on the road without our lives being threatened.
6. Cyclists don’t commit more infractions than cars, and seeing a cyclist break the law isn’t a reason they “shouldn’t be on the roads.”
This one is admittedly more anecdotal. But everything from my personal conversations with friends and family about cycling, to the conversation on my local radio shows, to every comment I’ve ever read on an article about cycling—hones in on this one thing. It always comes back to that one time you saw a cyclist running a light, running a stop sign, not wearing a helmet, or committing some other unforgivable sin on the street that only seems unforgivable when a cyclist does it. I’ve literally had this conversation on the patio of a coffee shop while watching seven cars roll the stop sign outside within a matter of minutes.
Motorists commit traffic infractions and do it often. I have never heard this used in a conversation about the viability of cars on the road. So the question becomes: why is this so often used in the conversation about the viability of bikes? I don’t have control over other cyclists on the road. Some of them break laws or don’t signal correctly. Sometimes drivers assume cyclists have broken laws when actually they haven’t, as explained above. Both scenarios should be irrelevant to the conversation about creating better bike infrastructure.
APCSC advocates for equitable access for everyone throughout the city of Asbury Park. We are confident that the city of Asbury Park and iStar will be diligent supporting “a planning process that supports a “community-based” vision for the redesign which he said should include a long term solution for the Bradley Cove development site.”
ASBURY PARK – iStar has agreed to meet with city officials to “begin the redesign process” of controversial infrastructure improvements under way at the north end beachfront.
Brian Cheripka, iStar’s senior vice president of land and development, said in a letter to the city that the city’s master waterfront developer is “willing to come back to the table to discuss the project.”
Mayor John Moor said the letter is a step in the right direction between the city and iStar and that “middle ground” can be reached on the project when the two sit down at the scheduled Nov. 30 meeting.