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.”

 

 

ASBURY PARK FREE BIKE REGISTRATION

Register Your Bike FREE!

This is a great service provided by Asbury Park Police. Super easy. Register online or go to City Hall for a paper form.

Address/Location
City of Asbury Park NJ
1 Municipal Plz
Asbury Park, NJ 07712

 

The Asbury Park Police Department has a free, voluntary, online bicycle registration program designed to aid in returning recovered property. The registration process is quick, convenient and free.

A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR TEENS!

Attention Asbury Park Residents Ages 14 Years & Older!
Submit Your Ideas for Projects to Improve Spaces in Our Community by 7/31/22

City of Asbury Park residents, ages 14 and older, can help decide how to spend $250,000 of the City’s budget by submitting their ideas for capital project to improve community spaces through the Participatory Budget Program. Ideas for improvements to parks, gardens, playground equipment, lights, sidewalks, streets, lanes, alleys, bike lanes, etc, can be submitted by 7/31/22 at www.cityofasburypark.com/pbc. Submissions will be voted on in the fall and those with the most votes will be adopted into the City’s budget.

“The Participatory Budget program aims to promote equity and empowerment and increase civic engagement,” said Councilperson Eileen Chapman, “It gives all residents, including our youth who aren’t traditionally able to participate in government, an opportunity to make a real impact and help improve our community spaces.”

Slow Rolling In AP – And Bicycle Patrol Is Back!

The Monthly Asbury Park Slow Roll was so fun!
It was great to meet up with new and old friends after having to cancel the past 2 rides due to weather. Lots of good conversation on a chilly, windy evening ride around town.

More active and hyperlocal explorations (walking and biking!) make our streets more vibrant.

More vibrant streets attract increased retail, leading to greater job creation in our neighborhoods, and will help bring us together and even contribute to reducing violence in our communities.

We’re so grateful to have support from Asbury Park Police Department.

Special thanks to APPD Bike Patrol officer joining us at the back of the group!

See you in June ☀️🌞🕶🚲
Email apcompletestreets@gmail.com to get on the list for updates!
Slow Roll 5.10.22 with an Asbury Park Bike Patrol officer taking up the rear!

Community bike rides enable people to explore our community in a way that’s not possible from behind a windshield of a motor vehicle.

Cruisin’ on Cookman. Hoping that the Open Street Plan will be back in effect to prioritize safety, health, and economic benefits of a people-oriented business district.

When will it get warmer!?!

A chilly evening Slow Roll!

 

Speeding Is A Problem In Asbury Park

No surprise there.

Our streets are especially dangerous for people walking or rolling.  There’s an ongoing need to build more and better protected biking and walking infrastructure. We need to enable people to get around safely without dependency on cars, whether walking, riding a bike, riding a scooter, skateboard, or using a wheelchair.

What can be done right NOw?
We must design physical elements on our streets to deter speeding.

Bicyclists, scooter riders, skateboarders, elderly, children and their families are the most vulnerable road users. Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition is committed to helping to make our streets safe for everyone to get around safely – if streets are safe for an 8-year-old or an 80-year-old, they are safe for all.

Asbury Park is the recipient of a generous grant of 500,000 from Safe Routes To School for a project utilizing roundabouts as a traffic calming method to prevent speeding.

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) safety and access improvements will provide 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.

The SRTS funds are intended to install mini-roundabouts in key locations where speeding has been a serious problem.

Proposed roundabouts in Asbury Park
How effective are mini roundabouts?

The city of Carmel, Indiana has more than 100 roundabouts and is installing more. Studies have consistently found roundabouts to be safer than conventional stop signs or signal systems. In fact, replacing signals with roundabouts has been shown to decrease an intersection’s number of traffic fatalities by 90 percent (PDF).

  • Mini-roundabouts throughout the US are showing promising results as safety-conscious, cost-effective solutions, replacing less efficient all-way and stop-controlled intersections.
  • Mini-roundabouts are used where the existing speed limit is 25 mph or less and in urban, suburban and smaller municipal environments.
Mini-roundabout in Princeton

 

Mini-roundabout in Staten Island
Bottom line:

“Traffic calming is a full range of methods to slow cars, but not necessarily ban them, as they move through commercial and residential neighborhoods. The benefit for pedestrians and bicyclists is that cars now drive at speeds that are safer and more compatible to walking and bicycling. There is, in fact, a kind of equilibrium among all of the uses of a street, so no one mode can dominate at the expense of another.”

For a deeper dive, take a look at the USDOT Federal Highway Administration Lesson In Traffic Calming:

FHWA COURSE ON BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN TRANSPORTATION describes objectives, considerations, and various methods to calm traffic, such as circles and roundabouts, medians, bumps, speed humps. raised crosswalks. raised intersections,  bump outs, curb extensions, and more. All of these devices are intended to #slowthecars, and are carefully determined to be applied in areas in which they will be most effective.

How you can help:
  • Subscribe to this website to stay informed.
  • Share your email to APCSC mailing list/Google Group: apcpompletestreets@gmail.com.
  • Call and email Mayor and City Council to offer your support for safe streets for the most vulnerable, and using traffic calming methods, especially mini-roundabouts.
  • Talk to neighbors and friends.
  • As always we welcome your constructive comments!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Want To Stop Speeding In Asbury Park!

What the heck is the 85th Percentile Rule?

We recently had a meeting in Asbury Park about the problem of speeding, and slowing drivers on our streets, a proposed traffic calming measure, specifically mini roundabouts, and how speed limits are determined.

Our Transportation Manager attempted to explain to the attendees what the 85th Percentile Rule is as they questioned why we can’t change speed limit signs. We just can’t. Or at least not without great difficulty.

In simple terms it’s an engineering calculation that the speed limit is determined by the actual speed that people drive. It’s hopefully soon-to-be edited Manual For Urban Traffic Control Devices, MUCTD.

The 85th Percentile Rule is horrible. It’s not about safety.

Hear me? IT’S NOT ABOUT SAFETY.  IT’S NOT ABOUT SLOWING DRIVERS.

It’s about expediting the movement of vehicles.

Here’s a simple, short video with great graphics with Transportation 4 America director Beth Osborne, who joined Wall Street Journal correspondent George Downs to explain why one controversial method for setting speed limits results in higher and higher speeds.

It’s also clearly explained in the excellent site for National Association of City Transportation Officials, NACTO. These folks get it.

The crazy thing is that traffic engineers and planning people don’t seem to speak the same language.

We have city planners who are hamstrung by these regulations, but we can get around them with creative solutions to #slowthecars like mini-roundabouts, speed humps, street narrowing…and we have the grant money do do it.

Let’s get on the same page about saving lives and saving the planet.

Onward.

 

 

 

 

The Oil Crisis Is a Driving Crisis

…and it’s a human health crisis.

People who bought huge new SUVs and trucks when prices were down are paying the price big time (as are all drivers of personal vehicles). Drivers of these oversized machines have contributed to a huge increase in road fatalities. The consumption of gas by vehicles of all sizes has contributed to deaths due to respiratory diseases resulting from the impact on the environment.

We must figure out a way, “both immediately and over the long term, to curb the addiction to oil. In the United States, transportation accounts for over 70 percent of total oil consumption, and more than 65 percent of that is for personal vehicles, according to the Energy Information Administration. Put another way, personal vehicles alone account for almost half of the burning of petroleum in America. A whopping 80 percent of U.S. climate emissions from transportation come from driving.”

The bipartisan infrastructure bill doesn’t come close to addressing the real problem, which is too many cars, which will be exacerbated by expansion of highways, rather than fixing existing infrastructure, investing in transit, and helping cities reduce car dependency.  It could have funded initiatives for cities to be bold, to help to create streets that are people-centric, to make transit free, and to give rebates to people who buy bikes, and bonuses to folks who get around without a car.

“…as the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) said in a statement last year, the “bill goes in the wrong direction, giving a whopping $200 billion in virtually unrestricted funding” to unsustainable forms of transportation.”

It’s still possible for Biden to make an impact. He can publicly call upon mayors to accelerate transit development, bike, and pedestrian programs using funding in the American Rescue Plan.

“The bipartisan infrastructure package has only made the challenge more difficult. But municipalities could still make it right.”

Read more…

By pouring money into fossil fuel infrastructure, the bipartisan law is already showing its tragic inadequacies.

By Alexander Sammon

 MARCH 14, 2022

If Only There Were an Infrastructure Bill to Deal With This Oil Crisis

 

 

National Roadway Safety Strategy

The US is at the highest number of roadway deaths in 30 years.

We can take bold steps in our cities and design streets with traffic calming elements to slow drivers, move toward less less car dependence by providing transit, and micro mobility options. We can lobby the auto industry to stop advertising dangerous driving behaviors, and stop building larger and more murderous vehicles that can reach speeds of 160mph and beyond.

The USDOT supports Vision Zero, by preventing dangerous driving, reducing car dependency, and building more and better infrastructure to protect the most vulnerable road users.

Read the letter from the Secretary and the report.

Find out what you can do in your town to make it safe for walking, biking, and rolling in New Jersey. Join NJ Bike And Walk Coalition

Share your email to apcompletestreets@gmail.com to join the movement in our city. Follow  Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition on FaceBook, Instagram, and Twitter @asburyParkCSC.

A letter from US Department Of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg

Our priority at the Department of Transportation is to make our transportation system safe for all people. Right now, we face a crisis on our roadways. Almost 95 percent of our Nation’s transportation deaths occur on America’s streets, roads, and highways, and they are on the rise. An estimated 38,680 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2020. In the first half of 2021, an estimated 20,160 people died, up 18.4 percent compared to the first six months of 2020. And every year, millions more are seriously and often permanently injured. Those lost are our family members, our friends, our colleagues, our neighbors. They are the people who build, maintain, and fix our roads. They are the people who deliver critical goods, and those who risk their own lives to keep us safe. The status quo is unacceptable, and it is preventable. We know it’s preventable because bold cities in the United States, and countries abroad, have achieved tremendous reductions in roadway deaths. We cannot accept such terrible losses here. Americans deserve to travel safely in their communities. Humans make mistakes, and as good stewards of the transportation system, we should have in place the safeguards to prevent those mistakes from being fatal. ZERO is the only acceptable number of deaths and serious injuries on our roadways.

USDOT National Roadway Safety Strategy / January 2022

The United States Department of Transportation National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS) outlines the Department’s comprehensive approach to significantly reducing serious injuries and deaths on our Nation’s highways, roads, and streets. This is the first step in working toward an ambitious long-term goal of reaching zero roadway fatalities. Safety is U.S. DOT’s top priority, and the NRSS represents a Department-wide approach to working with stakeholders across the country to achieve this goal.

Read more…