Traffic Calming: Everything You Need to Know About Roundabouts

Asbury Park is the recipient of funds to implement traffic calming methods on 3rd and 4th Avenues.

Some residents have been vocal about their objections to mini roundabouts, citing loss of parking. This is NOT true – the parking they fear losing is not legal within 25′ of the corner. Yellow daylighting paint now clearly indicates required parking distance away from the corners at the intersections.

APCSC is happy to discuss the best ways to help prevent speeding, which can include other treatments like raised crosswalks, and speed humps.

Stop signs and signals are not traffic calming methods

Don’t rely on enforcement to stop speeding

Take a look at the information below.  As always, please feel free to reach out about proven ways to #slowthecars.

Onward~

Polli Schildge

APCSC Editor

Learn about roundabouts, including how to travel through them as a pedestrian, cyclist or driver.

PUBLIC OPINION

How Do You Feel About Roundabouts?

After driving roundabouts, the number of people who favor them more than doubles. A survey on drivers’ views of roundabouts before and after construction conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) illustrates public opinion. Before construction, the number of drivers in favor of roundabouts was only 31 percent, and those strongly opposed was 41 percent. After driving them, this shifted to 63 percent in favor and only 15 percent strongly opposed.

Studies have shown that roundabouts are safer than traditional stop sign or traffic signal controlled intersections.

Roundabouts reduced injury crashes by 75 percent at intersections where stop signs or traffic signals were previously used for traffic control, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Studies by the IIHS and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have shown that roundabouts typically achieve:

  • A 37 percent reduction in overall collisions
  • A 75 percent reduction in injury collisions
  • A 90 percent reduction in fatality collisions
  • A 40 percent reduction in pedestrian collisions

National Association of City Transportation Officials Guide To Mini Roundabouts

NACTO diagram of a mini rondabout.

Mini roundabouts and neighborhood traffic circles1 lower speeds at minor intersection crossings and are an ideal treatment for uncontrolled intersections.

Mini roundabouts may be installed using simple markings or raised islands, but are best applied in conjunction with plantings that beautify the street and the surrounding neighborhood. Careful attention should be paid to the available lane width and turning radius used with traffic circles. 

A neighborhood roundabout in Washington State. WSDOT

A Study of the Traffic Safety at Roundabouts in Minnesota

Roundabouts have become an increasingly popular intersection type by traffic engineers, communities, and transportation officials. The purpose of this report is to examine the safety performance of roundabouts by comparing the before construction crash rates and the after construction crash rates and traffic volume data. Overall, roundabouts are performing well when looking at the crash reduction record. Roundabouts in Minnesota have had over an 80% reduction in fatal and serious injury crashes

Minnesota has ~200 roundabouts, and like any other skeptical traffic engineering team, they’ve been documenting the results.

Carmel, Indiana has 138 roundabouts, the most of any city in the US. Roundabouts move traffic more efficiently and reduce the number of fatalities and serious-injury accidents. They work because of their safety record, their compatibility with the environment, their aesthetics and their ability to make it easier for pedestrians and bicyclists to navigate.

 

What Kind Of City Do We Want To Live In?

The reasons people choose/use different transport modes are complex, often sensitive and controversial – how about parking??

As advocates for active transport, and safe streets our messaging doesn’t have to be about bikes or cycling, skooting, or even walking.

We can focus our discussion on the type of city in which we all want to live.

n on

If we want to enable more people to engage in active transport, micromobility and transit we cannot afford to have a war with the same people whose hearts and minds we’re trying to win.

Driving a private car has become completely normalized and often unquestioned as the primary choice of transport.  But as more and more people are beginning to question it, we can encourage curiosity and interest, not put them in a position of defensiveness.

People who drive exclusively often have never experienced the joy, and health benefits of riding a bike or walking instead of driving.

Other people have no choice and ride bikes or walk because they don’t own cars.

So we must encourage our city leaders of the worthiness of designing road environments and public spaces for purposes and functions for everyone.

It’s about enabling movement of people and goods in various different modes of transport, including motor vehicles. It’s also about creating places where people can linger.

Local councils across the country are working toward implementing a framework to make more liveable cities.

Asbury Park can do it too.

Read the full article in StreetsBlog USA.

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2022/11/02/opinion-the-challenge-and-necessity-of-getting-drivers-to-see-the-light/

 

 

 

TIME SENSITIVE TONIGHT! SPEED CAMERAS SAVE LIVES

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition Supporters!

This is of the UTMOST IMPORTANCE.

Those who were at The Street Project
film screening at the AP library last week will understand:
NJ needs speed cameras.

I JUST RECEIVED THIS INFO:

Please take a moment before the End of Day TODAY to sign on to the following letter in opposition to Assembly Bill 4343 (legislation attached).
Red light and speed enforcement cameras are data-proven policy measures to reduce injury and fatalities from car crashes. SPEED CAMERAS WORK. 
A driver will only receive a ticket if they are speeding 10mph above the speed limit or if they run a red light, basic traffic rules that help save lives and prevent injuries.
PLEASE PLEASE write a short note directly to Tara Gill, tgill@saferoads.org to sign on. Tell her your name, position, and organization or affiliation and that you support speed cameras in NJ and OPPOSE THIS BILL.
Onward.
Polli

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition To Host In-Person Candidates’ Forum Oct. 10th

The Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition (APCSC) will host a live candidates’ forum

October 10th, 2022, at 7 pm, at Blackbird Community Commons, located at 131 Atkins Avenue, Asbury Park, 07712.

The forum venue has a capacity of 100 people.

Please submit questions by email to apcompletestreets@gmail.com.

Questions may also be submitted at the event.

The event will be moderated by the League of Women Voters as well as Asbury Park reporter for The Coaster, Carol Gorga Williams; District 3 Representative, Dan Harris; and President of West Side Citizens United, Nina Summerlin.

The candidates are:

For Mayor:

John Moor

Sonja Mack

Felicia Simmons

For City Council:

Jesse Kendle

Angela Ahbez-Anderson

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition is dedicated to its mission of transportation equity in Asbury Park including equitable access and safety for all users of Asbury Park streets. 

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Press Releases:

Film At The Asbury Park Library: THE STREET PROJECT

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition is excited to share this award winning documentary, The Street Project.

When: October 4th at 7pm (Doors 6:30), free of charge
Where: Asbury Park Library. See free tickets here.

There will be a Q & A, and a drawing for a bike from Second Life Bikes, gifts from Asbury Park Cyclery, Ada’s Gojo, Cryolete, Galley Pizza, Booskerdoo and more!

THE STREET PROJECT is the story about humanity’s relationship to the streets and the global citizen-led fight to make communities safer.

Digging deep into the root causes of traffic violence, the filmmakers engage a diverse array of experts including street historian Peter Norton, city planner Jeff Speck, and urban design expert Mikael Colville-Andersen. These expert interviews are interwoven with the stories of real people working to make their communities safer. 

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition is dedicated to its mission of transportation equity in Asbury Park including equitable access and safety for all users of Asbury Park streets. 

Contact APCSC: apcompletestredets@gmail.com

Follow: @asburyparkcompletestreets

YOU Can Help Make Walking And Biking Better! – A Survey And Interactive Map

Creating an Active Transportation Plan

About the Plan

Active transportation refers to human-powered travel, like walking, bicycling, and riding a scooter or skateboard. The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) is developing a Regional Active Transportation Plan for 13 counties in northern and central New Jersey. This is an important step in planning safety improvements to protect people walking and biking.

The goal of this plan is to help establish a safe and functional regional network of pedestrian and bicycle facilities to better connect where people live to where they need to go. Active transportation facilities include sidewalks, crossings, bicycle lanes, trails or other elements that provide safe and convenient opportunities for physically active travel.

Take Our Survey

Your responses will help us identify where there are challenges to safely walking or biking. Once you have completed the survey, please use the interactive map below the survey to identify specific locations in our region. The survey will be open through October.

The Quest for Safer Streets In Asbury Park – And A New Documentary

We’re excited to share the documentary,The Street Project, premiering on PBS International and Amazon Prime Video on Aug. 25.

The film will be illuminating for many, especially those who drive – which is almost everyone. It brings the American traffic safety crisis — and its possible solutions — to a TV audience.

Bicycle fatalities increased more than 40% between 2010 and 2020, according to the National Safety Council, and preliminary 2021 data from the Governors Highway Safety Association showed that last year saw 7,485 pedestrian fatalities, the most in 40 years.

Bicycle infrastructure on Asbury Park streets, particularly protected infrastructure) is far behind were we have hoped it to be since we began advocating in 2015, outlined in the AP Complete Streets Resolution, and in the city’s Plan For Walking And Biking.

Asbury Park Slow Roll, June, 2021

The surge in vehicle crashes is disproportionately harming lower-income families and Black Americans.

Many people in Asbury Park walk and ride bikes or scooters for daily transportation.

Pedestrian behaviors like jaywalking (fake, made up by the auto industry) have been a smokescreen to get drivers off the hook for the surging numbers of walker and bicyclist injuries and deaths in the US. Drivers have gotten off for years claiming, “she came out of nowhere”, and the media, influenced by the auto industry has been blaming people walking distracted by cell phones, or blaming people riding bikes and scooters.

It’s almost NEVER the case that crashes happen because people ride or wander into traffic.

The US leads the world in traffic deaths.  Crashes have increased to catastrophic numbers in 2022, the highest in 20 years, and it’s NOT due to the behaviors of people walking or rolling.

The design of our roads encourage (or do little to deter) speeding, and the proliferation of huge vehicles, and driver distraction from dashboard screens have led to a surge in crashes, injuries and deaths of people outside of vehicles.Tom Flood, a former auto ad executive, now a walking and biking advocate using his ad skills created this jarring video: Dashboard screen experience: iCrash, iKill.

Apple Car Play dashboard screen.

Drivers are speeding in gigantic “living rooms on wheels”, with built-in dashboard distractions, on roads that were designed to expedite the movement of vehicles. The incredible power of auto industry advertising has hijacked our brains into believing that we have a human right to drive, that our vehicles are tied to our identity, and that drivers own the road. Safety campaigns aimed at the behavior of people walking and rolling, and the mistaken idea of “shared responsibility” on our roads are contributing to the ongoing problem of traffic violence.

The government has blamed the increase on speeding, impaired driving and other reckless driving behavior.  The USDOT has pledged to fund investments in speed enforcement and to build safer roads. We can do the same here in Asbury Park. 

We can do things right now to stop traffic violence in Asbury Park.

Crash on Memorial Ave in August 2022.

Crashes have been occurring with greater frequency in Asbury Park.

Reducing car dependency with alternative transit options (Via in Jersey City is an idea!) will reduce traffic. Traffic calming measures are not always laborious or expensive, and there is already grant funding appropriated for projects which have not yet begun. AP administration has been advised by APCSC of NJDOT grants, and Federal grant programs: SS4A and RAISE grants.

There is funding available, but it takes prioritizing, commitment, and political will to get things done.

We are advocates of safe streets for the most vulnerable road users in Asbury Park – that’s literally anyone not inside a car. Cars still rule here, and there’s a political fear of alienating and angering drivers. We get it. Drivers vote, and votes matter. But what matters more is the human health crisis of traffic violence.  We believe that a message promoting a safe and healthy city will win votes.

APCSC supports bold candidates who will step up to make permanent change on our streets. Stay tuned.

Onward~

Polli Schildge Editor APCSC

 

No Rain, And Another Fun Slow Roll!

The Asbury Park Slow Roll on Tuesday, July 12th!

The threat of tornadoes, thunderstorms, and high wind turned out to be nothing at all, and we had a great time!

We rolled a few miles around the city, ending up at The Turf Club @asbury_amp listening to the awesome @whodatlivecrew 🎺🎷🎶
➡️Stay tuned for the August Slow Roll!
➡️check out APComplete StreetsCoalition.com.
➡️Send your email address to apcompletestreets@gmail.com to get on the mailing list!
On the Emory Street Bridge

We stayed a while to hear the awesome Alexander Simone (grandson of Nina Simone!) & Whodat? Live Crew at at The Turf Club.@Asbury_AMP

We Need Open Streets

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition has always believed that this city could be a model of progressive development for people to live, and to move about the city safely with less dependence on cars.  As a 1.4mile square city, and mostly a grid design, we have great potential. We were so excited that the city adopted ReOPEN Asbury Park …

Remember this? Asbury Park’s Cookman Ave ReOPEN plan was busy even on damp, cloudy days.

We are disappointed that Asbury Park has decided not to keep the ReOPEN plan in place permanently, even a few blocks, or at all for this summer season.

Cookman Ave was an open street (not a closed street as some would say – focusing on restriction of cars rather than open to people) and it was successful and popular, with only a few businesses complaining about deliveries and parking.

Perhaps most surprising is Asbury Park in their nixing of extended outdoor dining is Asbury Park, the dining capital of the Jersey Shore.

Even more surprising to us is the quote from Asbury Park Deputy Mayor explaining away the fact that cars are now dominating the business district. “We created the ReOPEN Asbury Park program to support our local businesses when indoor dining restrictions were put in place,” Asbury Park Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn said. “While we are not currently closing the streets for dining this summer, we will continue to reevaluate the program should we see a surge in COVID-19 cases.”

Open streets are thriving all over the world in cities where leaders have realized the benefits of creating more spaces for people and less for automotive traffic.

Laura Brahn, co-owner of Asbury Park brunch destination Cardinal Provisions, says in the June 3rd NJ.com article that “the city underestimates customers’ appetite for outdoor dining”.

“Outdoor dining is still ‘the thing’ and will still be ‘the thing’ for a long while. It’s less dangerous for those still practicing caution and it just plain feels great,” Brahn said. 

Open streets are indeed “a thing”.

We had a great opportunity to visit Jersey City and see first hand how successful the new Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall is. It began as a “quick build” with paint, and is now almost completed as a beautifully designed space, with businesses bustling and and restaurants thriving, a true destination in the city.

Jersey City “quick build” initial phase of the now almost completed Newark Ave Pedestrian Mall

Now renovations are almost finished along Jersey City’s Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza.

Benches awaiting installation in Jersey City’s Pedestrian Plaza

Jersey City’s Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza

Maybe there is still hope for Asbury Park. We believe that we can move past the objections of the minority of businesses who believe that vehicle traffic is more beneficial than foot traffic. We believe that city leaders can have the will to make decisions to make a more walkable, more bike-able, healthier, better city.

Polli Schildge ~Editor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Wheels Good

I’ve loved riding bikes for most of my life.

“What? I have to slow down?”
“Yay here I go!”

I rode my bike to elementary school, and through college. I rode my kids for errands and for fun on kid seats, and pulled them to preschool in a trailer. I ran beside them as they each learned to ride on their own.

Eventually they all became proficient, and some have competed on road and mountain bikes, one becoming a professional cyclist.

I ride my bike almost every day for errands, and for recreation and exercise too, and experience hair raising close calls on every ride.

We have all ridden bikes in cities all over the world, and in all of those cities it’s safer and more enjoyable than it is in the US.

I have a fear every time I’m on my bike that it might be my turn, or that one of my kids’ will be in a crash.

It’s taking a very long time for America to grasp the importance of prioritizing bicycle riding over driving. Bikes are 10x more effective than electric cars for the environment, and the benefits for human physical and mental health are well documented. But American progress is stymied by laws that have been created (invented), and infrastructure built to expedite the movement of vehicles over the safety of people on bikes, and other countries are far, far ahead of us in changing that culture.

Maybe we can change the culture in our tiny city of Asbury Park.

Here’s a a bit of the thoroughly enjoyable and informative article about the history of the bicycle, and bicycling law, and personal bike riding experiences of the author. I hope you’ll read it in its entirety, and love to know your thoughts.

Onward~

Polli Schildge Editor – Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition

Bicycles Have Evolved. Have We?

The New Yorker

From the velocipede to the ten-speed, biking innovations brought riders freedom. But in a world built for cars, life behind handlebars is both charmed and dangerous.

Bicycles are the workhorses of the world’s transportation system. More people get places by bicycle than by any other means, unless you count walking, which is also good for you, and for the planet, but you can travel four times faster on a bicycle than on foot, using only a fifth the exertion.

 

To ride a bike, in her book Two Wheels Good THE HISTORY AND MYSTERY OF THE BICYCLE  Jody Rosen points out is to come as close to flying by your own power as humans ever will. No part of you touches the ground. You ride on air. Not for nothing were Orville and Wilbur Wright bicycle manufacturers when they first achieved flight, in Kitty Hawk, in 1903. Historically, that kind of freedom has been especially meaningful to girls and women. Bicycling, Susan B. Anthony said in 1896, “has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.”