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.”

 

 

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!