MLK DAY 2022: Mobility Is A Racial Justice issue

“…when we talk about transportation, when we talk about planning, when we talk about anything in the built environment, we have to be willing to talk about race.” -Tamika Butler

 

Today on Martin Luther King Day 2022 I present you with impactful thoughts in text and audio from two leaders in Mobility Equity.  Charles T. Brown and Tamika Butler have spoken and written eloquently and tirelessly about the need to make cities and towns fully accessible to people in marginalized communities, and that we must stop policing people of color on bikes and walking.

Street Smart offers a one-stop resource for city leaders and advocates to find what they need to address Mobility Equity, and Transportation as a Social Justice and Racial Justice issue in our cities.

Read on. Please comment.

Onward. -Polli

Arrested Mobility: Exploring the impacts of over-policing Black mobility in the U.S.

“Arrested Mobility is the assertion that Black people and other minorities have been historically and presently denied by legal and illegal authority, the inalienable right to move, to be moved, to simply exist in public space. Unfortunately, this has resulted — and continues to result — in adverse social, political, economic, environmental and health effects that are widespread and intergenerational. But they are preventable, which is why we are here talking about it today.” – Charles T. Brown

 

Mobility Equity: Whose Data Counts?

Transportation is the prism through which we should see many other social justice issues. Because I can’t be economically mobile, if I’m not able to be mobile. I can’t have health care, education or access to those things if I literally can’t get there.” Tamika Butler

 

Evidence and Insight for Healthy Transportation

“Transportation connects people to the places that are essential for their well being. We believe that transportation systems can create and support healthy, just, and climate-resilient communities.”



​”Yet, for many people, destinations are too far from home, transit is not reliable, walking and bicycling are impractical, or the streets are not safe. Rather than connecting people to opportunity, lack of adequate transportation is a barrier to reaching employment, schools, health care services, and social networks. Vehicular emissions expose communities to air pollution, increasing their risk of asthma and heart disease. Transportation is also the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the US, driving climate changes that will disproportionately affect many communities of color.”

“Find success stories with key lessons learned in one easy-to-search place. Why re-invent the wheel? Streetsmart offers insight via guides, case studies, and fact sheets relevant to each topic area. Learn from others working on issues similar to yours.”

 

 

 

Year In Review 2021 Part Two

And Now For Some Good News

Sharing the news collected and reported by our friends at StreetsblogUSA about reducing dependence on cars and improving conditions for walking, biking, and transit.

Let’s take a look at some of this year’s best news — and start thinking about how to build on it in 2022.

Advocates found big silver linings in a flawed bill

Those bright spots included new dollars for transit station accessibility, electric school buses, and road diets, as well as a 60-percent boost for the largest federal program aimed at building safe walking and biking infrastructure. A slate of new policies became law, too, like one that will force most urbanized states to spend more money on saving vulnerable road users lives, and a new requirement that automakers test how likely their vehicles are to kill a vulnerable road user in a crash and make those stats known to prospective buyers.

New US DOT leadership wrote some great grants

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been the subject of intense scrutiny among sustainable transportation advocates since he was confirmed to the top spot at US DOT in January, some of whom who questioned his mobility resume and commitment to radically reimagining the role of safety for communities of color in the street realm. But in the months sense, many have been pretty happy with how the former mayor’s team has wielded their limited discretionary power so far – and optimistic about how he’ll allocate the billions of new grant dollars that will fall under their sole purview in 2022 and beyond.

Feds promised a potential sea-change on safety

The other good news out the Buttigieg administration followed some of 2021’s worst news: that road traffic deaths were on track to reach their highest level in over a decade.

To its immense credit, US DOT responded to that news by immediately promising a new “National Road Safety Strategy,” which the agency said would be “rooted in the Safe System approach” that’s been embraced by the countries around the handful of countries world that have made the most progress towards Vision Zero.

The Covid-19 bike boom kept booming

The uncertainty of 2020 may have effectively scared many erstwhile transit commuters onto two-wheeled transportation — or at least scared them out of gyms and onto outdoor rides. But even after mass transportation was largely proved safe and gyms started re-opening their doors, many Americans stayed in the saddle, and advocates are hopeful that cities will start building infrastructure to serve that sustained surge in riders.

Big state and local wins

In sustainable transportation, some of the most seismic victories seem pretty small at first — and 2021 was full of significant local wins that could set an example for cities across America.

Happy New Year To All From Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition!

 

Year In Review 2021

Bad News First  

(Don’t worry: we’ll have the good news tomorrow.) 🎄

Thanks to our friends at Streetsblog USA for great journalism reporting every day.

Here were the five biggest bummers on the Streetsblog beat last year, and a few thoughts on what we can take away into next year.

Traffic violence on the rise…

…And legislators were slow to respond

Bad news for pollution — even during a pandemic

EV-mania instead of mode shift

An infrastructure fight with disappointing results

As always, love to hear your thoughts.

Onward.

Safe Routes to School Project

This is BIG.

Safe Routes to School Project

Making streets safe for the most vulnerable road users. #equityintransit #equitabletransportation #equitableaccess

Safe Routes to School Project

PROJECT BACKGROUND

The purpose of this project is to support Safe Routes to School (SRTS) safety and access improvements by implementing traffic calming measures on Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue between Prospect Avenue and Comstock Street. The project Design and Construction cost is funded by federal funds administered through NJDOT Local Aid Transportation Alternatives (TA) Program and Design Assistance.

PROPOSED PROJECT LIMITS AND IMPROVEMENTS MAY INCLUDE:

  • Installing mini-roundabouts at the intersections of:
    1. Fourth Avenue & Prospect Avenue
    2. Fourth Avenue & Bridge Street
    3. Fourth Avenue & Pine Street
    4. Fourth Avenue & Comstock Street
    5. Third Avenue & Prospect Avenue
  • Installing Driver Feedback (Your Speed Is) signs at the intersections of:
    1. Fourth Avenue & Central Avenue
    2. Fourth Avenue & Jeffrey Street
    3. Third Avenue & Central Avenue
    4. Third Avenue & Bridge Street
  • Installation of a four-way stop at Third Avenue & Comstock Street
  • Removal of the Existing Traffic Signal at Third Avenue & Pine Street
  • Shared lane markings / bicycle lanes on Third Avenue (between Ridge Avenue and Memorial Drive)

ANTICIPATED PROJECT SCHEDULE:

Design Phase Completed: 2022

Construction: 2023

VIRTUAL PUBLIC MEETING INFORMATION FOR WEDNESDAY 12/15/21:

The City of Asbury Park will hold a Public Information Center (PIC) to provide local residents and businesses with information on the 2018 SRTS Asbury Park – Traffic Calming, Bike and Pedestrian Safety Upgrades, Third Ave & Fourth Ave between Prospect Avenue and Comstock Street project. You are encouraged to actively participate by providing comments at the meeting, by mail, or by email.

PARTICIPATION INFORMATION

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

From 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Brief Presentation at 6:05 PM and 7:05 PM

The purpose of the meeting is to provide an opportunity for input on the project. The Public Information Center will be held online:

Participate on a Computer / Smart Phone:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5773006012162768396

– OR –

Participate by Telephone:

Call In Number: +1 (631) 992-3221

Access Code: 962-301-191

You will have an opportunity to review exhibits, ask questions and discuss any concerns. Property owners with rental units are advised that tenants are also invited and encouraged to participate.

PUBLIC COMMENT DUE BY 1/5/2022:

If you are unable to participate in the public meeting on 12/15/21 or want to provide comments after the meeting, please click here to provide comment by January 5, 2022.

WORLD DAY OF REMEMBRANCE For Road Traffic Victims 11.21.21

#WODR2021 Sunday, November 21st, 2021

Please join Families for Safe Streets in commemorating World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Together, as those who have been personally impacted by crashes, we will join with the Vision Zero Network and other street safety organizations, community members, faith leaders, elected officials, and dignitaries from across the country and globe to REMEMBER, SUPPORT, and ACT.

Each year, 1.35 million people are killed around the world in traffic crashes. Over 100 Americans are killed every single day and millions more are injured each year.

Together we can amplify the heartbreaking cost of traffic crashes and the urgent need for change.

World Health Organization Key Facts On Road Traffic Deaths And Injuries

Critical Key Fact: Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years.

Read more…

The Infrastructure Bill: A Dinosaur Of A Federal Transportation Program

For those applauding the passage of the Infrastructure Bill…

Step one for repairing a problem: Stop making it worse

  • The refrain “roads and bridges” – there is no provision to repair anything before building new and bigger roads adding to environmental disaster.
  • Money for transit, but billions to promote more driving will undermine it as long as we keep building new roads and prioritizing driving as an unalienable American right.
  • The US has a horrible history of  building highways bisecting and destroying already poor neighborhoods, yet the practice continues with Louisiana’s current $750 million plan to bulldoze a Black neighborhood in Shreveport.
  • Subsidizing oil and gas industries keeps fueling cars and the construction of new roads, continuing the destruction of the environment.
  • President Biden’s pledges to cut emissions, pointing at the transportation sector.  But “Beth Osborne [and T4America]… accused Congress of ‘doubling down on a dinosaur of a federal transportation program’ that she said has produced a dangerous, inequitable and unsustainable transportation network.” – Airline, automotive, oil, gas and all related industries like asphalt etc. are all responsible for the climate disaster.

“With the infrastructure deal completed, the Build Back Better budget reconciliation act is still awaiting action. That package does include some important provisions for improving access to transit, grants for reducing emissions, and more. But it’s tough to swallow knowing that the infrastructure deal is likely to make many of these same issues worse, something we wrote about last week:

“We are encouraged to know that Congress is taking seriously the need to address climate change, equity, and economic recovery. But the $40 billion included here unfortunately won’t be enough to redeem the $645 billion-plus infrastructure bill that will continue to make many of those same problems worse. As we’ve said throughout the second half of this year, the administration has a difficult task ahead to advance their stated goals of repair, safety, climate, equity, and access to jobs and services through these small improvements, while spending historic amounts on unchanged programs that have historically made those issues worse.”

Read more…

4′ PASSING LAW – SPREAD THE WORD

Help get the message out to everyone in New Jersey!

THE NEW, NJ SAFE PASSING BILL

Bipartisan 102-1 Vote Sends NJ Safe Passing Bill To Governor Where on August 5th the Bill Was Signed Into Law!

New Jersey joins 42 other states with safe passing laws designed to end the near misses, injuries and fatalities of the most vulnerable road users.

People riding bikes or scooters, and people walking deserve safe space.
Read about it:

 

Self-Driving Cars Will Save Us – Says The Auto Industry

OUR LOVE AFFAIR WITH CARS IS KILLING US

Car dependency is an addiction. It’s killing us and killing the planet. It’s a human health epidemic environmentally and physically.

We’ve been enslaved by cars since the titans of the auto industry figured out just like drug dealers that they could sell millions of vehicles with the promise of freedom, happiness, power, and personal identity. Suburbs were designed so that we have to drive everywhere, and a house with a one car garage led to the dream of a two-car garage, bigger and badder vehicles, and toxic car ads like this that appeal to many Americans

When the Surgeon General’s report came out in 1964, tobacco companies needed to figure out how to promote “safe” smoking, knowing that it was impossible. (They’re still trying with vaping.) The auto industry is doing the same thing, promoting vehicles with the promise that AI technology will bring about safe driving, knowing it’s impossible anywhere in the near future. The industry keeps looking for ways to convince us that car dependency can work, and that driving is a human need and a human right.

In the conclusion of this interview the Peter Norton, author of Autonorama. The Illusory Promise of High-Tech Driving,  says,

““How can we free ourselves from car dependency?” That doesn’t mean freeing ourselves from all cars all the time. It’s freeing ourselves from a world where if you don’t have a car you’re doomed, because you can’t get to work.

The accommodation of car dependency is the perpetuation of car dependency. That statement applies to high-tech car dependency every bit as much as it does to conventional car dependency.”

The Dangerous Promise of the Self-Driving Car

In his new book, historian Peter Norton punctures the claims of autonomous vehicle companies and warns that technology can’t cure the urban problems that cars created.

Bloomberg CityLab’s David Zipper recently spoke with the author about the allure of autonomy and the battle to break America’s car habit.

“If we could go back to the 1990s and hear Purdue Pharma talk about OxyContin solving everyone’s problems, we’d be in righteous wrath. We’ve fallen for it with opioids; we don’t have to fall for it with autonomous vehicles.”

In your book you also compare autonomous vehicle research to health research funded by tobacco companies in the 1950s. Are you suggesting that autonomous vehicle companies know that their products will damage society, but still insist on going forward?

“Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. Although to say that the autonomous vehicle companies “know it” might be a little unfair, because they really don’t care. They’re trying to get ahead in an intensely competitive environment, and the company that cares about reality is going to be the loser, because it will limit its deployment.”

Scooters Transform The City

Human sized vehicles — “you don’t need to put out an S.U.V.’s worth of carbon emissions just to go to work”.

The NYTimes has published a story today about e-scooters in NYC, a micro-mobility option that’s booming in cities all over the US. What is the point of the article?

There’s a continuing problem with journalism like this, implying that any form of personal transportation other than cars is a serious safety concern. The article enumerates 20 e-mobility fatalities in New York City without any context – how many were caused by drivers – and does not mention the record breaking number of traffic fatalities in 2021, a “crisis” of 124 deaths in NYC so far this year.

Asbury Park has seen a surge in e-scooter use since the LINK scooter launch in April, 2021. We hear complaints from non-users that they’re dangerous because people are breaking the rules (true), because streets are dangerous (true), or that there’s too much traffic (also true). All of those same complaints can be leveled at drivers who were involved in 40 thousand traffic fatalities last year, and the number is rising. Cities will be truly safe when we are able to reduce or eliminate car dependency. 

Even the caption under this photo in the article is a not-so-subtle indictment against micro-mobility, focusing on the exceptions rather than the majority of compliant micro-mobility users: “Electric unicycles are among the electric devices that are illegal.

Let’s focus on the positive:

“Electric bikes, scooters and other devices are in many cases made for urban life because they are affordable, better for the environment, take up little, if any, street space for parking and are just fun to use, said Sarah M. Kaufman, the associate director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University.

“In cities, many people understand there is a right-size vehicle for getting around — and that’s human size — you don’t need to put out an S.U.V.’s worth of carbon emissions just to go to work,” she said.

Across the nation, cities have increasingly embraced electric bikes and scooters as a way to get more people out of cars and fill the gap in urban transportation systems for trips that are too far to walk but too close for the subway or bus, according to transportation officials and experts.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asbury Park Greenfest And Porchfest

What an amazing day!

A great event yesterday at #asburyparkgreenfest  in Springwood Park simultaneously with  @asburyparkporchfest. 

Spreading the word about safe, equitable access for everyone in Asbury Park, especially the most vulnerable. Great to be next to the Quality Of Life table, spend some time with our Mayor John Moor, and talk with the guys at @linkbysuperpedes .

The day kicked off with tunes from the awesome @bryanhansenband 

#asburyparkcompletestreetscoalition trian #safestreetsforall #equitableaccess

Check it out!

Apcsc Greenfest pano