The Perilous Politics of Parking

The average car moves just 5% of the time. To improve cities, focus on the other 95%.

In Ireland people ask St Anthony to help them find parking spaces. In Chicago, if you shovel the snow from a space, it belongs to you. In Shanghai people beg their parents to reserve spaces by sitting in them. Everywhere parking is a big reason law-abiding people pay fines to the government and a cause of screaming rows between strangers. More important, it profoundly shapes cities — usually for the worse.

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What’s a Street? What’s a Road?

What’s the difference between a street and a road?  What’s a stroad?  Find out here.  Asbury Park is mostly a grid of streets and avenues and we want to maintain that by design.

“We design our streets like roads, as if their primary function — and sometimes their sole function — is the movement of automobiles.

Many people don’t grasp the difference between a street and a road. They think the terms are interchangeable, and rightly so. In the United States, we’ve spent decades — and trillions of dollars — blurring the distinctions.”




A Street

A Road


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Streetfilms: The Right to Walk

Traffic injuries are the leading cause of death ages 15-29…but it doesn’t have to be the case in Asbury Park.  APCSC advocates for streets that provide safe access for everyone, especially the most vulnerable.

What does walkability mean?

“Every person has the right to walk. Choosing to move on foot—to work, school, or the market—should be safe and easy for urban residents. Yet city streets are increasingly being built for high-speed, personal vehicles, with hazardous intersections and narrow or nonexistent sidewalks. In many cities, simply getting anywhere by foot has become a dangerous: thousands of pedestrians are killed on the world’s roads each week.”



Great News! Main Street Renovations Beginning

Excellent Coverage in The Coaster!

“Project improvements include the resurfacing of Route 71/Main Street, upgrading 29 intersections with ADA compliant ramps, and several pedestrian upgrades including curb and sidewalk replacement.

Additional improvements include bike lanes, 17 new traffic signals, the replacement of steel utility poles with standard wooden poles, landscape restoration, utility relocation, and improved lighting to enhance the safety of the road for the thousands of motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists using the road each day.”

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The Atlantic and Citylab. The Car is the Star?

This article nails it–and so does the link to the accompanying article and short film.  “The Car is the star” for sure in the US.  But in Asbury Park it doesn’t have to be the case.  We’re working on prioritizing safety and advocating for equity for all users, especially the most vulnerable: pedestrians and bicyclists.

Considering the constant fatalities, rampant pollution, and exorbitant costs of ownership, there is no better word to characterize the car’s dominance than insane.


“The car is the star. That’s been true for well over a century—unrivaled staying power for an industrial-age, pistons-and-brute-force machine in an era so dominated by silicon and software. Cars conquered the daily culture of American life back when top hats and child labor were in vogue, and well ahead of such other innovations as radio, plastic, refrigerators, the electrical grid, and women’s suffrage.”

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And more here from Citylab…

Here We Go Again-Another Snowstorm

Here we go again.  It might be the last snowfall of the year, but here it is, and  it’s messy.

Snow and the Walkable, Bikeable, Accessible City


“It’s a common winter scene that should remind us just how valuable these public assets are. After major storms, while roads are still impassable and public transit service is often curtailed, walking may be the best, safest — indeed sometimes the only — option for people to get around. Clearing sidewalks quickly is especially important for wheelchair users, the elderly and others with limited mobility who can’t easily navigate mountains of crusty snow.”

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“Bikes May Use Full Lane”

Bicyclists May Use Full Lane signage is much more effective than the current ubiquitous “Share The Road” sign.  BMUFL signs are great, but even more important, AP is working on improved infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians.

“Bicyclists May Use Full Lane signs treat cyclists less like potential hazards and more like the legal road users that they are…”

NPR: Pedestrian Deaths Are At A 33-Year High- How To Prevent Them


“A new report shows how dangerous it has become to walk along the street. The Governors Highway Safety Association estimates the number of pedestrian deaths last year was 6,000 nationwide.”

Pedestrians: wear bright or reflective clothing, remove earbuds, make eye contact with drivers, cross only at crosswalks, never talk, text or use electronic devices in an intersections. Drivers: carry on. #CarCulture


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How to Address Gentrification

One of the most important focuses of Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition is equity.  AP is in a renaissance period, and there’s a great and understandable fear that residents may be displaced.  We want to help prevent that from happening.  The city is keenly aware of the need to work within the community to come up with solutions, and the advocates of APCSC is happy to be a part of this work.



In graduate school, I had a professor who would refer critically to the “white proximity model” of neighborhood revitalization. Shelterforce describes this model as follows:

Somehow, policymakers and government officials have bought the myth that simply by living next door to each other, wealthy white professionals will lift poor Black people out of poverty — serving as role models and handing out job referrals.

Few people might consciously agree with that provocative statement, but common narratives about how to deal with concentrated poverty — disperse it, and facilitate moving poor people into “opportunity neighborhoods” and wealthy people into poor neighborhoods — are laden with unconscious and unexamined bias about what makes a neighborhood rich with opportunity in the first place.”

“Far too many of us listen to people looking for where they’re wrong. We immediately go into dissecting, “Fisking” mode. At our worst, we’re hoping to score points rather than engage with what we might learn from what they’re saying.

Instead, when you listen to someone you disagree with (especially someone you disagree with), listen for where they’re right. Everyone is right about something. Everyone believes what they believe because of something in their own experience, some basic truth that motivates his or her world view. Find that person’s ground truth. 

You can learn something from everyone who cares about your city.”

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