NJ Bike & Walk Coalition Summit Sessions Are Ready To View!

In case you were not able to attend the Summit this year, here’s your chance to see these great presentations. Every session offered opportunities to learn ways to make our cities safer, more livable, accessible, and more equitable for everyone.

Friends and supporters will want to check out the session Advocates In Action Part 2: Pandemic And Beyond, presented at the NJBWC Summit on June 5th, which includes two founding members of Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition, Moderator Polli Schildge (http://apcopmpletestreets.org editor), and Pam Lamberton. In this session a panel of nine advocates shared ideas, initiatives, and frustrations.

The panelists gathered materials, graphics, videos, and valuable information for this engaging session of the 2021 Summit. We’re looking forward to continuing these conversations!

 

Check out all of the NJ Bike &Walk & Summit Sessions!

 

Advocates In Action Part 2: Pandemic And Beyond

Bike/ped advocates have long been champions of social equity, accessibility, health, and sustainability. Since the pandemic, people all over the world are finally recognizing what the advocates have known all along – to achieve these values, it is critical to reduce automotive dependency, offer safe and convenient alternatives to driving, and to think differently about how we use our valuable public space.

Using this momentum, we are reimagining our streets, neighborhoods, and business districts as places not just for cars, but for all people. In this session, hear experiences from advocates around NJ followed by the opportunity to ask questions of panelists about how they’ve succeeded – or are still working- to build better places for people.

 

  Polli Schildge, Moderator, Founding Member, Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition
  Anthony Talerico Jr., Mayor of the Borough of Eatontown
John Sullivan, President, Bike & Walk Montclair
.  Kathleen Ebert, Founder, Point Pleasant Borough Complete Streets
Kenny Sorenson, Advocate, Neptune Complete Streets
Lisa Serieyssol, Chair, Princeton Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee
Nancy Blackwood, Chair, Red Bank Environmental Commission/Green Team
Pam Lamberton, Founding Member, Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition
Shaun Ellis, Founding member of Ride Free, a transportation gap project by Free Bridge Mutual Aid
Todd Pagel, Former Councilman, City of Metuchen & President of Bike Walk Metuchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACTION! NJ Needs A 4′ Safe Passing Law!

Help us pass the SAFE PASSING LAW!

 

Summer is here, and those of us walking or wheeling – riding bikes or scooters or other wheeled conveyances are at the mercy of drivers who are inattentive, distracted, or aggressive.

Right now, NJ is one of only 8 states without a law telling drivers how to pass us SAFELY.  NJ does have a law about how to pass a horse and rider safely, but none for the rest of us.

Copy and paste the messages below into your email, personalize with your town and your name, and send to New Jersey Senator Stephen M. Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin to urge them to move the NJ Safe Passing Law to Governor Phil Murphy’s desk for signature as we enter the height of the summer season and the increased risks to vulnerable road users.

The state Assembly Law and Public Safety committee ultimately passed the law  by a 6-1 vote. It’ll now proceed to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.

NJBWC will now be leading a campaign to move the bill through the Assembly and onto the floor of the State Legislature.

COPY AND PASTE AND EMAIL:

Senator Stephen M. Sweeney: SenSweeney@njleg.org

Dear Senator Sweeney,
RE: SENATE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
SENATE, Nos. 2208, 1460, and 1463
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
219th LEGISLATURE
 ADOPTED MAY 20, 2021
As a resident of [town], I write to urge you to post the NJ SAFE PASSING bill for a full vote ASAP.
We’re now in the 100 deadliest days of the year for walkers, wheelers and bicyclists. This law will save lives and prevent serious injuries.
Please help move the bill to the Governor’s desk for signature as we enter the height of the summer season and the increased risks to the thousands of adults and children who will be out walking, running, riding their bicycles, wheeling on scooters and skateboards and sharing NJ roads with drivers of cars and trucks.
This law will make clear to drivers and non-driver users alike the safest way to pass—and share—NJ’s roads. The law will help drivers learn to safely pass us, our families and friends who are out on our busy roads to get to work or school, to shop or dine and to improve their health.
We need your support in making this the year NJ begins to better protect all road users with clear, enforceable guidelines about when—and how—to pass the most vulnerable on our roads by slowing down, moving over if possible and, if not, passing no less than four feet from walkers, wheelers and bicyclists.
[Name, email, town]

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin: asmcoughlin@njleg.org

Dear Speaker Coughlin,
        RE: ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
ASSEMBLY, Nos. 5570, 5571, and 5656
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
219th LEGISLATURE
 ADOPTED JUNE 2, 2021
As a resident of [town], I write to urge you to post the NJ SAFE PASSING bill for a full vote ASAP.
We’re now in the 100 deadliest days of the year for walkers, wheelers and bicyclists. This law will save lives and prevent serious injuries.
Please help move the bill to the Governor’s desk for signature as we enter the height of the summer season and the increased risks to the thousands of adults and children who will be out walking, running, riding their bicycles, wheeling on scooters and skateboards and sharing NJ roads with drivers of cars and trucks.
This law will make clear to drivers and non-driver users alike the safest way to pass—and share—NJ’s roads. The law will help drivers learn to safely pass us, our families and friends who are out on our busy roads to get to work or school, to shop or dine and to improve their health.
We need your support in making this the year NJ begins to better protect all road users with clear, enforceable guidelines about when—and how—to pass the most vulnerable on our roads by slowing down, moving over if possible and, if not, passing no less than four feet from walkers, wheelers and bicyclists.
[Name, email, town]

Asbury Park Scooter Share

Asbury Park has initiated a new scooter share, and we have great hopes to see it succeed. The purpose of a scooter share and bike share in any city is to reduce car dependency. We have excessive traffic in Asbury Park, especially in the summer months, and parking is at a premium, so for those who might be interested in getting to destinations in the city car-free, a scooter is a great alternative transportation option!

There are rules in place that apply to scooter riding, which are similar to the rules for bike riding. We have a dream of a completely walkable and bikeable, car-free city. While we encourage everyone riding bikes and scootering to adhere to the rules, it may take time for users to feel safe and comfortable riding on streets along with motor vehicles, with only painted stripes between them and multi-ton vehicles. Until we effectively lower traffic speeds and reduce the volume of cars, people riding bikes and scooters are faced with the decision of where they can ride safely.

Currently the users of bike lanes in Asbury Park are not protected from vehicular traffic, and almost every existing bike lane is between traffic and in the “door zone” next to parked cars, which places these vulnerable road users in a position to possibly get hit by a driver door, or have to swerve into traffic. Scooter riders and bike riders are often quite literally invisible to many drivers. Some drivers are distracted or inattentive. And there are some aggressive drivers who are angered at the very sight of other road users.

Walkers often say that they were “almost hit” or are “scared” of riders on the sidewalk. People who ride bikes and scooters are almost literally between a rock and a hard place: whether they are willing to endanger their own lives on the road or whether they might frighten walkers on the sidewalk.  So some riders will be courageous enough to claim the narrow painted strip of asphalt designated for bikes and scooters, but others may feel safer on the sidewalk.

We will have to allow time to get along. While we continue to build infrastructure on our streets to make them safe for people, we can build a cooperative relationship between walkers and riders. Let’s all focus on the real dangers of drivers of motor vehicles, responsible for killing over 40 thousand people a year in the US.

Fewer cars on the roads will save lives, improve human health and the environment. Enabling people to ride bikes and scooters safely will help make Asbury Park a city for people, not for cars.

Link Electric Scooter Sharing Information

Electric Scooter Sharing

Scooter share provides residents, employees, and visitors with an electric foot scooter to rent for a quick errand, a trip to the beach, or a climate-friendly commute. Riders can rent the nearest available scooter, ride it to where they want to go, and leave it responsibly parked for the next person to ride.

The City of Asbury Park has selected LINK powered by Superpedestrian to deploy an electric scooter share program across the entire City starting May 21, 2021. The program includes up to 250 scooters stationed at over 50 designated parking locations around Asbury Park.

In selecting the LINK team to help launch Asbury Park’s e-mobility project, the City is sure to receive quality products and commitment from the experienced e-scooter provider. These scooters will be equipped with front and rear safety lights, a bell and a speed limiter of up to 12mph. They will be available for rent Monday to Sunday from 7am to 9pm for riders 18 years and older.‍

Everything you need to know about scooter riding in Asbury Park

 

Creating a Walking Plaza on Asbury Park’s Ocean Avenue

We have an idea…

Vehicles have taken over our waterfront landscape, and we believe that people can take the space back. One way that people are succeeding in creating places for people on city streets is tactical urbanism.

That’s the message of “The quick way to make pedestrian plazas,” a new video by City Beautiful, a YouTube channel that features the strategies of tactical urbanism for the edification of city planners and livable-streets advocates. It mixes boosterism with some helpful pointers, such as best practices for dealing with Americans With Disability Act requirements and businesses that need freight loading zones.

There was a time in the early years of Asbury Park before cars were prioritized, that our waterfront was for people. Imagine restaurants and cafes, musicians, activities, and people strolling, bicycling and scootering along a car-free Ocean Avenue. Some have cited possible difficulty getting trash pickup and deliveries, and inconvenience to customers if they have to walk to their establishments. We know that businesses thrive all over the world where traffic is eliminated or reduced.

There are a (limited) number parking spaces on our waterfront, causing a continuous flow of vehicles all season with drivers  circling, looking to snag an empty space.  This constant (often torturously slow) movement of vehicles is the definition of traffic. The effect of traffic everywhere is environmentally disastrous, leading to disease, and catastrophic numbers of injuries and deaths yearly to people outside and inside vehicles.

We believe that city leaders get that we need to do something about traffic and we’re working on a solution to create a safe, inviting car-free,  or much more people-centric Ocean Avenue. We’re looking for ideas for jitneys, pedicabs, other ways to get people to their beach destinations. Help us reimagine Asbury’s waterfront. We might also want to consider some tactical urbanism!

 

 

Parks In Asbury Park

An article appeared in my inbox this morning, then an email appeared on the same subject: parks – a tool to evaluate accessibility to parks, and parks for teenage girls.

Asbury Park has large and lovely real estate devoted to parks, which has existed since the inception of the city. These tree-filled, “passive” parks are mostly located in only certain neighborhoods, and parks are completely lacking in others.  According to The Trust For Public Land, Asbury Park ranks 76%, meaning that 76% percent of people can walk to a park within 10 minutes. That’s not an impressive score in a tiny 1.4 mile sq. city. Boston ranks 100%. Washington 98%, Alexandria, VA is 97%, and NYC is 99%.

Over 20% of  people are unable to walk to a park within 10 minutes in Asbury Park, and existing parks are devoid of amenities for people. A park should be a destination, not just a place to pass through.

A “passive park” like the design in the master plan for Sunset Park would be a large, lovely ornament in the city. The design is intended for  strolling, or dog walking, just as it was designed in the original plan for the city in the 1870s.  It should not be designed that way in 2021.  We believe that an Asbury Park is committed to equity and inclusiveness should actively invite everyone to every park in the city.  

The underutilized Sunset Park

We need all of our existing green spaces, large and small to offer active engagement for kids, families, and elderly.  And we need more parks in every neighborhood in the city.
According to this data over 20% of people can’t walk to a park in less than 10 min in our tiny city – and we need to do something about it.
Let’s start with kids, teen girls in particular:

Teen Girls Need Better Public Spaces to Hang Out

Basketball courts, skate parks and playgrounds overlook an important demographic: teenage girls. A burgeoning design movement is trying to fix that.

 

Susannah Walker, co-founder of the newly created British charity Make Space for Girls, saw in Swing Time something that would have delighted her 17-year-old self.  “At the end of the summer holidays my friend and I ran out of money,” Walker wrote in a March post. “We had nothing to do and there was nowhere to go. So we’d go and hang out on the swings in the early evening and chat as the light slowly faded into dusk. It was better than sitting around at home.”

She highlights Swing Time to illustrate two points: One, girls love swings. And two, there aren’t enough swings made for teenage girls. “They are almost always placed with the equipment for younger children, so that if teenagers use them they are seen as invaders.”

The New Jersey Bike And Walk Summit 2021: June 1st through June 5th

 

The NJBWC Summit is New Jersey’s statewide meeting of bicycle and pedestrian advocates, elected officials and other township leaders, transportation and urban planners, bike shop owners and managers, cycling, walking, fitness and health enthusiasts and experts, recreation, trails and club leaders and others who are interested in making our state a better place to live.

Drawing on the momentum for change spurred by the pandemic, NJBWC is pleased to offer you the opportunity to learn lessons from communities that took action to open their streets to people, learn more about current Vision Zero, Complete Streets, and equitable mobility initiatives impacting your community, gain insights into different stages of trail development, learn about available public funding sources for your bike/ped projects, and identify strategies to advocate for a more bike and pedestrian friendly and therefore, more livable New Jersey.

Register for sessions at the Zoom New Jersey Bike & Walk Summit June 1st through June 5th

The final session of the Summit at 9:30am on June 5th features panelists from nine cities and towns in NJ, including Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition representative! This editor is happy to be moderating a panel again this year,  Advocates in Action Part 2: Pandemic and Beyond.

Panelists from these nine municipalities will share inspiration, ideas and implementation of ways they have worked to enable people to move about their cities and towns safely during the pandemic. They will speak about how they have engaged with city leaders, the focus on equitable access, and plans to maintain these spaces in the future, for the health of residents and visitors, and for the health of the planet.

Register for Summit sessions individually here.

Register for Summit sessions individually here.

 

Asbury Park Bicycle Patrol Unit Launches – Finally!

Community policing with officers on bikes!
We’ve been advocating for cops on bikes in Asbury Park for years. We’re very happy that our effort was finally successful. After being told variously that police bikes were somewhere in storage (previous city manager), or that we couldn’t do it because it was too expensive, or the course was at the wrong time of year…
Finally after reaching out to other municipalities with bicycle patrol, we made direct personal contact last year with the head of the Monmouth Police Academy Police Bicycle Patrol Training Course, who had great suggestions. He provided the course catalog, which was shared with AP City Manager and city leaders. Thanks to one and all!
Onward!
The city announcement of Asbury Park Bicycle patrol.

NJDOT Commemorates Asbury Park’s Main Street Road Diet

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition was created in 2015 when we learned about the proposed NJDOT reconfiguration on RT 71, Asbury Park’s Main Street. After some initial hesitancy, and much lobbying on the part of APCSC, Mayor Moor and City Council agreed to move forward with the project, which is now nearly completed. Almost all agree now, including many original naysayers, that this was a great step in enabling Asbury Park residents and visitors to walk, ride bikes, and drive more safely on Main Street, and to improve the health and economic stability of the community.
Among many documents and evidence of the effectiveness of this type of traffic calming measure was an educational piece, A Better AP Main St FINAL ROAD DIET PAPER, created by APCSC founding member Doug McQueen. It was helpful in communicating the goal of a road diet to community members and city leaders.
As an advocate for safe, equitable access for everyone in Asbury Park, I personally appreciate the ability to engage with city leaders, and NJ legislators who want the best for our city, and NJ. It was a pleasure to see and speak with Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, NJDOT Commissioner Gutierrez-Scaccetti, Senator Vin Gopal, NJ Representatives Eric Houghtaling, and Joann Downey.
This is a great example of how our legislators truly get what it means to embrace complete streets philosophy. Making streets safe for everyone, especially the most vulnerable. Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition worked with AP city council and DOT to move forward to implement the Rt 71 road diet, improving the way traffic flows, and creating a safer, better, healthier environment for people and businesses on Main Street, Asbury Park. This is how we work together.

NJ Bike & Walk Summit!

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition founders will be participating in the NJ Bike Walk Summit on June 5th! Polli Schildge is moderating again this year, and Pam Lamberton will be representing Asbury Park in a FREE virtual Zoom round table discussion with representatives from 9 municipalities in NJ entitled Advocates In Action Part 2: Pandemic And Beyond.

Register and donate:

NJBWC SUMMIT 2021

Drawing on the momentum for change spurred by the pandemic, NJBWC is pleased to offer you the opportunity to learn lessons from communities that took action to open their streets to people, learn more about current Vision Zero, Complete Streets, and equitable mobility initiatives impacting your community, gain insights into different stages of trail development, learn about available public funding sources for your bike/ped projects, and identify strategies to advocate for a more bike and pedestrian friendly and therefore, more livable New Jersey.

 

Tuesday June 1- Saturday June 5

*via Zoom*

Welcome to the Twelfth Annual 2021 New Jersey Bike & Walk Summit, to be held during the week of
June 1 – 5.

The NJBWC Summit is New Jersey’s statewide meeting of bicycle and pedestrian advocates, elected officials and other township leaders, transportation and urban planners, bike shop owners and managers, cycling, walking, fitness and health enthusiasts and experts, recreation, trails and club leaders and others who are interested in making our state a better place to live.

 

Cars Don’t Bring Business. People Do.

ReOpen Asbury Park Returns!

This is the way a city makes space for people, and enables businesses to expand and grow.  Cities all over the world have had plazas and open streets for people to gather, dine, and shop since long before the pandemic. Asbury Park is among these most beautiful and progressive cities.

To allow for the expansion of dining and retail and create a Downtown Pedestrian Zone, the following areas will be open to pedestrians, and closed to through traffic and parking on Friday 4/30 at 1pm:
  • Cookman Avenue from Bangs Avenue to Emory Street – will be open to pedestrians, and closed to through traffic and parking, 7 days a week beginning Friday, April 30, 2021 at 1pm through Monday, November 29, 2021 at 7am.
  • Cookman Avenue from Emory Street to Main Street – will be open to pedestrians and closed to through traffic and parking on weekends beginning Friday, April 30, 2021 at 1pm through Monday, November 29, 2021 at 7am. Parking and through traffic will be prohibited each week from Friday at 1pm through Monday at 7pm.