We have heard all of them, and heard them repeatedly, regardless of which town we are in or which project we are working on. Here are three of the most common myths about the Complete Streets approach to building communities, and our perspective on why these are myths.
As statewide advocates, we lead or participate in many discussions about Complete Streets, traffic calming, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and creating livable communities. From municipality to municipality, we’ve heard the same rhetoric from the uninformed who rarely have any data to back up these claims. Here are the three most common myths we hear about Complete Streets, and our debunking of these myths:
Myth #1: “That won’t work here. Our town is UNIQUE!”
Reality check: Just about everyone will tell you their town is unique. If they didn’t, they probably wouldn’t live there. But while we applaud individuals for feeling such strong civic pride, what is unique about towns has little to do with the streets and sidewalks and how people interact with them. A community’s uniqueness is related to its architectural and cultural assets, interesting destinations, creative and one-of-a-kind businesses, and the mix of cultures of the townspeople themselves. People drive, walk, shop, ride a bicycle, and spend money pretty much the same way wherever they go in the world, regardless of a town’s uniqueness. What is also common among most New Jersey towns is the high rate of pedestrian crashes; getting hit by a vehicle is not unique to any town, and neither are the preventative countermeasures that towns can take to eliminate them. For more information and the facts, see the Federal Highway Administration’s Proven Safety Countermeasures.
“Over the last 60 years, Amsterdam’s leaders, planners and designers have by trial and error created a template for a city where bikes are the dominant force in transportation planning and design. That template has five essential characteristics; skip or short-change any one of them and your city of bikes won’t work as well.
1. All streets are bike streets
In most cities, the network of bicycle tracks and lanes is far sparser than the overall street network for vehicular traffic. In Amsterdam, the street network map is the bike network map. Almost all streets in the city have excellent bike facilities of one type or another. What is extraordinary is that in Amsterdam you are more likely to need a specialized car map than a bike map, since many streets have limited or no car access.”
Cycle helmets – an overview
“It is at first surprising to many people that the wearing of helmets by cyclists is a controversial subject. However, cycling safety is a much more complex issue than many people realise, where best evidence and real-world experience sometimes conflict with received opinion. Key considerations about risk when cycling, what influences cycling safety and the inter-relationships between safety interventions, cycle use, behaviour and health (both individual and public) are often poorly understood. In particular, opinions as to whether cycle helmets are an appropriate, proportionate or effective intervention are often dominated by emotion and expressed with exaggeration, which can make it difficult to know what to believe.
The Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation (BHRF) and cyclehelmets.org were established to provide a resource of best-available factual information and to challenge evidence and policies that do not stand up to scrutiny. BHRF is pro-cycling and pro-health and seeks to judge the evidence on its merits.
This overview is an attempt to distill the most important evidence and arguments about cycle helmets. Readers are invited to explore the cyclehelmets.org website for comprehensive information on the topics covered with in-depth technical analysis and references.”
The Complete Streets Summit Taskforce (NJDOT, New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center) selected the Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition to receive a Complete Streets Champion Award at the New Jersey Complete Streets Summit at Rutgers University yesterday. We’re proud and honored to have been recognized for our efforts to help make streets safer for everyone in Asbury Park. Our work will continue with the support of Mayor Moor, City Council, and Transportation Director Mike Manzella. We’re grateful for invaluable guidance from NJ Bike & Walk Coalition.
The plaque is for the city Complete Streets Policy. The glass award is APCSC!
The auto industry started brainwashing us nearly a hundred years ago when they invented the concept of the “jaywalker,” the hapless rube sauntering into the middle of the street and engineering his own demise. Armed with this piece of propaganda, they not only defeated legislation that would have slowed cars in cities but also successfully criminalized the act of walking.
APCSC will receive this honor tomorrow at Rutgers University!
The Complete Streets Summit Taskforce has selected the Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition to receive a Complete Streets Champion Award at the 2017 New Jersey Complete Streets Summit on October 24, 2017.
An issue of equity, starting with beautiful, and visible piano key crosswalks on Springwood Ave.
Portland Crosswalk Shows How Drivers Think (or Don’t) About Pedestrians
“If the unconscious or semi-conscious biases of drivers impact their decision to yield, crossing the street is all the more dangerous for black men.”
“In addition to furthering their thesis that racial bias impacts pedestrian safety, the researchers say their findings show a need for reducing the perceived discretion drivers have for yielding to people waiting to cross. When there is no crosswalk, drivers assume they have a choice of whether to yield or not — even when there’s a law saying otherwise. With a marked crosswalk in place, there is less perceived discretion.”
REAL piano key crosswalks!
Piano key crosswalks being striped on Springwood Ave @inAsburyParkNJ for Better Block event Saturday, October 14 – safer & celebrate area’s musical history!
Australian report notes benefits of compact, walkable neighborhoods and Complete Streets.
Read more: https://www.healthybydesignsa.com.au/resources/
Doing it in Asbury Park!