Parking – or people?

Want your city to thrive? Start by rethinking parking lots.

The topic of excessive parking was covered in a recent StrongTowns newsletter. Yeah. We get it. it seems like there is never enough parking available in Asbury Park. Whether you drive, walk, or roll the subject of parking is fraught with misunderstanding, and sometimes triggering.

Read on.

The Washington Post opinion piece (gift article) on March 27th about the damaging effects of excessive surface parking lots in our cities describes the problem:

Surface parking lots eat up people space. “They’re often large fields of empty space,” says Derek Hoetmer, founding principal at urban design firm MCLV, “contributing nothing beyond the sole purpose of storing personal property (cars). They lack the ingredients of what makes cities great: a sense of place.”

“These micro wastelands drain the life from neighborhoods, blighting American cities. It’s time we imagine better.”

Did you know that there are 8 parking spaces for every car in the US?

America has eight parking spaces for every car.

Cities like Buffalo are getting rid of parking minimums and changing zoning, which opens up valuable space.

Many former parking lots are turning into housing. (Some are also becoming parks, in cities including Dallas and Detroit; in San Diego, part of one parking lot has been restored to a salt marsh.)  As cities realize that they’ve built more parking than they need, dozens have eliminated parking requirements in new buildings, as described in this Fast Company article.

Excessive property dedicated to parking also has a negative effect on kids’ health. There’s a short anecdote in the WP article about kids playing in an empty parking lot being kicked off the property. A bank that owned the lot didn’t want the liability. The lot has been vacant, and unused for years; but this use of empty space for play could not be permitted.

Advocates for open streets and open playgrounds know that if cities aren’t built with the health, development, and independence of kids in mind, the  result is an insidious public health emergency.

School playgrounds should be open off school hours, public parks should have active play equipment, and parking lots can be repurposed as play spaces for kids and families.

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt talks about the great rewiring of childhood in his new book, The Anxious Generation

Haidt says childhood is increasingly being spent in virtual worlds rather than the real one, and early years are so solitary, sedentary, and coddled.

For the first time — maybe in history? — a middle-aged man is more likely to be admitted to the hospital for unintentional injuries than a boy aged 10-19.

 

The move from a play-based childhood to a device-based one has contributed to an epidemic of obesity, and mental illness among young people, especially girls. The rates of anxiety, depression, self-harm, and even suicide are skyrocketing. There are other related factors, including what Haidt describes as “collapse of adult solidarity”

Matt Levy’s 2010 documentary, New York Street Games opens with the words: “Before cellphones, BlackBerries and Facebook . . . before a neighbor’s doorstep required an invitation . . . before ‘playdates,’ there was play.”

There’s been a decline in outdoor activities since the 1970s. Bike riding to school is down 31% since 1995, according to American Sports Data, a research firm. Only 6% of children ages nine to 13 play outside on their own. Kids in low-income communities, are spending 40 hours a week with electronic media, according to the Kaiser Foundation.

“I worry that we’re going to be a society in 50 years of computer kids, people who are desensitized to other human beings,” said Levy. “If I start using technology to talk to you on a full-time basis, that’s a problem.”

 

 

 

Housing is a Complete Streets issue.

 

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition advocates for equity in accessibility, mobility, and everything that happens on our streets that affects health and safety of residents and visitors,

We advocate for housing which is not dependent upon parking minimums, providing ADUs (accessory dwelling units) so people can age in place, and to enable people to find housing where they might not have otherwise, and places for people, meaning play spaces, arts venues, any gathering places, which do not depend upon providing parking, or parking minimums.

We all deserve the right to be able to get where we want to go safely, and to have a place to live in Asbury Park.

AARP: What’s Good for Older Americans Is Good for All of Us

Infrastructure Is an Important Part of the Equation

“The first thing is just having good principles of urban planning, being thoughtful about making sure that a neighborhood can be navigated by people in the community, whether they’re in a car, walking, using public transportation, bicycles, etc. And there’s one other piece that I want to make sure to mention, and that’s safety. Safety from hazards, like a dangerous rusted staircase at a transit station, or broken sidewalks. But also good lighting and the other things that keep people feeling safe as they’re navigating their community.The bottom line is that a really livable community has both the housing options that people need, regardless of their income or physical ability, it has the transportation options that people can use to get around, and it’s got supportive community features and services.”

Equity in access for everyone means NOT deferring to drivers of motor vehicles as the priority.

Traffic and the demand for parking –  parking requirements and any factors that limit affordable housing – displacing residents, negatively affecting the school district, and hurting the character of the city as a livable community.”

Asbury Park was designed in the mid-1800s to be accessible on horse and buggy,  walking, then trollies,  including bicycling, and now includes all forms of micro mobility. When cars ere added to the mix we succumbed like cities everywhere to the ravages of traffic, demands of drivers, and parking regulations.

Our roads were NOT designed for cars.

Our cities were designed for people to live, socialize, and to do business, without fear of being threatened, or killed by drivers.

Streets must be designed for everyone, from the youngest children to elderly. Asbury Park is getting closer to offering opportunities of housing options with ADUs.

Let do this Asbury Park. You know you can if you want to.

Onward~

Polli Schildge

Editor

 

 

TRAFFIC CALMING EFFECT OF BIKE LANES

Hello readers~

Whether you ride a bike or not, you’ll probably agree…

Asbury Park has been slow to implement bicycling infrastructure.  Over four years ago some painted stripes and sharrows (stenciled “sharing arrows”) were installed, but since then there has been negligible painted implementation, and there are no protected, delineated bike lanes anywhere in the city.

After this Rutgers study was done in 2022 there was some hope that it would have inspired permanent implementation of protected bike lanes, or even painted striping, particularly in this area of the study, since bike lanes were proven to have a positive traffic calming impact.

There are no protected, delineated bike lanes, or markings of any kind in the area of this study, and we are still waiting for bicycling infrastructure to be  implemented consistently throughout the city.

We expect Asbury Park leaders to recognize that it is inequitable to prioritize driving over vulnerable road users, and to take action to make our streets safe for everyone.

From the NJ 4′ Safe Passing Law advocate Rebecca Feldman:

Let’s be clear about the endgame. It’s not that we want people to travel slower, it’s that we NEED fewer people being injured and killed by speeding drivers. 

Related: APCSC and other advocates testify for Target Zero at Senate Transportation Committee

TRAFFIC CALMING EFFECT OF BIKE LANES

In this study, protected bicycle lanes marked with simple traffic cones and plastic delineators were associated with a reduction in average maximum speeds of 20 to 30 percent.

The findings prove the traffic calming effect during the time of this pop-up in 2022.

The findings come from an analysis of almost 10,000 cars during a temporary pilot demonstration project in Asbury Park, N.J., where bike lanes were both painted and delineated with traffic cones. The study incorporated 24-hour video footage of the intersection for 10 dates in March and April 2022.

The results of the study: The Traffic Calming Effect of Delineated Bicycle Lanes,” by nine researchers at Rutgers University, including the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, will be published in the June volume of the Journal of Urban Mobility.

Average top speeds of vehicles dropped by 28 percent, by 21 percent for vehicles turning right, and by up to 8 percent for drivers going straight.

Painted-only bike lanes were also associated with a reduction of 11 to 15 percent solely for vehicles turning right. Traffic moving perpendicular to the bicycle lane experienced no decrease in speeds.

Bicycle lanes with traffic delineators will have a stronger traffic calming effect, such as reductions in speed, than with painted-only bike lanes, according to the study. 

“In the context of traffic safety and Vision Zero initiatives, this finding is significant in that it suggests that delineated bike lanes can reduce traffic speeds, making the overall road environment safer for all. The pop-up bike lane reduced the traffic lane width and created a sharper turning radius, which likely served as a traffic calming mechanism.”

There is no shortage of assistance to help New Jersey towns and cities to take action, such as from NJTPA. The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority is the federally authorized Metropolitan Planning Organization for the 13-county northern New Jersey region. Each year, we oversee over $2 billion in transportation improvement projects and provide a forum for interagency cooperation and public input.

Federally, the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Transportation Discretionary Grant program provides a unique opportunity for the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to invest in road, rail, and transit.

The Rutgers New Jersey Bicycle & Pedestrian Resource Center assists public officials, transportation and health professionals, and the public in creating a safer and more accessible walking and bicycling environment through primary research, education and dissemination of information about best practices in policy and design.

Let’s make Asbury Park an accessible, equitable city for everyone. 

Onward.

Polli Schildge, Editor

 

 

 

APCSC Testified today for NJ Target Zero Commission with Teeth. And Protect access to e-bikes.

Hello supporters~

I was honored on Thursday, 2/15 to be among other equitable mobility advocates giving powerful testimony in favor of a strong Target Zero Commission.

We all urged the very receptive Senate Transportation Committee to establish the Target Zero Commission to include a commitment for an action plan and timeline in Bill S361 sponsored by @patrickdiegnan   

Contact Senator Patrick J. Diegnan Jr

Listen to the recording of the meeting, including testimony for Target Zero Bill 361 at 49:00. Prior is great testimony on other transit issues, including the (really bad) E-Bike Bill: S4132.

Senate Transportation Meeting Thursday, February 15, 2024

This Commission will provide leadership and encourage municipalities like Asbury Park to craft policies and implement safety measures to make streets safer for everyone. (Scroll down to read my testimony.)

Equitable Mobility Advocates with NJ Senator Patrick Diegnan.

Additionally others among us testified against the really bad E-bike/e-scooter Bill S4132 requiring licensing and registering low-speed e-bikes and scooters.

Why Every E-Biker Should Be Worried About NJ’s Proposed Micromobility Insurance Law Additional testimony was given on the terrible e-bike and scooter insuring, licensing, and registering bill.

Take Action to Protect Access to E-Bikes in New Jersey

Low speed e-bikes and scooters should not require insurance, licensing, and registration.

Here’s my testimony today, February 15th for the NJ Target Zero Commission, and Bill S361:

Polli testifying on behalf of APCSC

I’m Polli Schildge, a founding member of Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition.

*APCSC initiated a city wide movement to urge the city to implement the road diet on NJ Rt 71 Main St. It’s better, but still not great. There is still so much more to do.*

We’re happy to support the NJ Target Zero Commission, and Bill S361, including a commitment to an action plan with a specific timeline for implementation of road safety measures.

In the past few years our city has experienced a Renaissance, which has resulted in increased traffic, speeding, and drivers ignoring traffic signals and signs.

At the same time nearly half of residents are at, or under the poverty line, which is almost twice the national average. Many residents don’t own cars, and rely on walking or rolling as their primary transportation.

Road safety really is an issue of equity. *Everyone walking or rolling or driving has to cross NJ State Highway, Rt 71, our Main Street which bisects the city, to travel east and west. Driver behavior is terrible, and speeding is rampant.*

When I came upon the site of a recent crash and fatality of a person on a bike, all that remained was debris, and the squashed bike tossed to the side of the road. There was no news report on the crash or the person whose life was lost.

*I walk and bike by choice, not necessity. But many people walk and bike because they have no choice. – mothers with children, and elderly struggling to cross Rt71. I recently witnessed 2 people on bikes in the crosswalk, in a left turn hit and run, and learned of another person hit on a bike in critical condition.*

The social, economic, physical and mental repercussions of crashes is a true human health crisis, disproportionately affecting communities like Asbury Park. When anyone is killed or seriously injured in a crash, families under financial stress might be displaced, causing a ripple effect, and straining resources in the city itself.

*We don’t have accurate crash data – crashes are unreported because people may be undocumented or have criminal records.*

PSAs, signs, education, and enforcement don’t change human behavior. The ONLY way to reduce and ultimately prevent crashes, injuries and deaths is to change the built environment.

Everyone deserves to get around safely, especially the most vulnerable road users – I used to think it meant elderly, or children – but it really means everyone outside of a car.

Driving is a privilege, not a right. We all deserve the right to equitable mobility, which can be achieved by implementing policies, and building infrastructure to enhance the health of our communities, and most importantly, to save lives.

This Commission will provide leadership and encourage municipalities like Asbury Park to craft policies and implement safety measures to make streets safer for everyone.

Thank you.

Onward~

Polli Schildge

Editor APCSC

 

 

 

Open House: Asbury Avenue. Thurs., 2/15/24 Your input needed.

Have you experienced or observed any issues, or had difficulties traveling by bike, scooter, or walking on Asbury Avenue?

Whether you walk, bike, scooter, or drive … beginning at Rt 35, what’s your experience? Are you commuting the whole distance? Are you walking or riding a bike from home to the beach and back?  If part of your travel is on Asbury Ave., are you getting around the city safely?

Everyone in Asbury Park, Neptune Township, and Ocean Township is invited to attend an open house to discuss the need for mobility improvements on Asbury Ave.
Asbury Ave

You’re invited to attend the open house on Feb 15th 4:30-7pm focusing on conditions Asbury Ave. Monmouth County, in cooperation with the City of Asbury Park, will be hosting a Public Information Center for local residents, officials, businesses, and the general public to discuss the need for roadway safety improvements along County Route 16 (Asbury Avenue) from Ocean Avenue to Route 35 in the City of Asbury Park, Neptune Township, and Ocean Township.

Part of Asbury Ave

Fill out this short survey to help provide information for improvements on Asbury Ave: Survey: Asbury Avenue Improvements in Asbury Park, Monmouth County

Public Information Meeting Details The Public Information Center meeting is being conducted in conformance with State regulations and is open to all members of the public. Attendees may arrive anytime during the meeting to discuss their concerns regarding the safety of the corridor, ask questions and to provide comments. A formal presentation will not be made, allowing the public to speak one-on-one with the County’s representatives anytime between the hours of 4:30 to 7:00 PM.

Date: Thursday, February 15, 2024

Arrive Anytime: 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM  Questions & Comments

Place: City of Asbury Park City Hall- Council Chambers

The Monmouth Paths: Access for All study, a transportation planning study that will identify and develop measures to reduce or eliminate mobility barriers for Monmouth County residents. The study seeks to identify and develop measures to mitigate barriers to mobility of all types including but not limited to improving public awareness of travel options, infrastructure improvements, and policy changes within Monmouth County. The study will provide guidance and countermeasures for local jurisdictions that reduce, overcome and/or prevent barriers to mobility,

Provide your input to help understand the mobility barriers you face when heading to work, school, medical appointments, shopping, and recreation destinations.

From the Monmouth County Paths meeting in Nov., the survey here: How are you getting around in Asbury Park, and in Monmouth County?
Please fill out the survey. It only takes a few minutes using the mapping tool to help improve accessibility on Monmouth County roads.

What Is Asbury Park Waiting For? Advocating for Quick Build. And what the heck is a “sneckdown”?

Hello friends of Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition,

Hoping that you’ve all been safe and healthy during these winter months.

In a communication today with The City Of Asbury Park administration we discussed the removal of bollards during the recent mini, almost non-snow storm, and the delay of DPW putting them back because of the threat of another (zero) snow event. Instead of being taken away with the first forecast of snow and stored for the entire winter (snow or not) as in previous years, they were moved to the side of the roads, But it’s taken time to get them back in place where they do a critical service making streets safer for people walking and rolling. Essentially putting peoples’ safety at risk while protecting plows and bollards.

City officials too often neglect to improve road infrastructure, using snow plowing as the excuse that mini-roundaboutscurb extensions, (aka “bulb outs), speed bumps, pedestrian islands will impede plows.

First, safety road improvements can easily be designed not to interfere with plowing.

Second, the snow in our area is negligible, but even in cities where there is snowfall, it can be beneficial to safety with the snow itself creating a road narrowing effect, called a “sneckdown”,

The “portmanteau mashes up “snow” and “neckdown,” an engineering term for a sidewalk extension or street island designed to damper drivers.”

This is what happened in Asbury Park when one bollard was not removed during a snowfall. It’s a snowy mini-roundabout, creating a road-narrowing, traffic calming effect.

In addition to being a snowy safety measure, DPW wouldn’t have to spend time picking bollards up and putting them back.

Recently across the US there have been advocate and administrative meetings, and articles published about how to quickly implement measures to make our streets safer.

On Jan. 25th I attended a great meeting with the NJ Bike & Walk Coalition SAFE Network “Streets Are For Everyone”.

The topic of the SAFE Network meeting was Quick Build Demonstration Projects.

Advocates from several municipalities shared projects they’ve completed, most with with help from technical assistance grants.

This Free Complete Streets Technical Assistance grant expires Feb. 2nd. We do not know at this time whether Asbury Park has submitted an application.

Crashes occur regularly in the city, especially during the tourist season. I’ve seen the aftermath on multiple occasions, and I’ll be some of you readers have too.

We don’t know current crash data in Asbury Park, or numbers of injuries or deaths.

We do know that there’s a terrible speeding problem in Asbury Park.

Some residents have protested traffic calming measures like speed bumps and mini traffic circles with the mistaken belief that they’ll lose street parking. So far no other prescribed solutions have been installed, and we don’t know of projects slated for implementation. (Not for lack of inquiring, so we’ll let you know when we find out.)

We know that “Quick Build” tactical urbanism projects work to make streets safer.

Take a look at Red Bank’s report on their project.

Pedestrian Safety Demonstration Project Borough of Red Bank, Monmouth County, NJ

The NJBWC meeting was right in line with an opinion piece in the Washington Post yesterday, by Janette Sadik-Khan, former Transportation Director on NYC, and Kate D. Levin.

Gift article: Washington Post: Want safer streets? Paint them.

Opinion Want safer streets? Paint them. By Janette Sadik-Khan and Kate D. Levin January 29, 2024 at 6:30 a.m. EST

Lastly, a piece was published today in Strong Towns:

No One Should Be the Second Person To Die on a Dangerous Street

As I noted above, we don’t know whether there have been recent injuries or deaths on Asbury Park streets.

Many streets are poorly lit, like intersections on Memorial Drive and other streets are wide and invite speeding.

Do any of the city leaders walk or ride a bike throughout the city day or night, and have a true sense of this reality that many people face every day?

This dark intersection looks exactly like many in Asbury Park.

Here’s a great example taken from the Strong Towns article showing before and after, how a simple paint project can make an intersection safer.

We do have the power to make our streets safer, and in doing so save the lives of people in our communities.

It had been true for many years, according to the previous traffic engineering guide, that cities had to adhere to specific standards in street design to allow for the movement of vehicles over the safety of people, including requiring a certain number of fatalities in order for infrastructure to be built.

This guide, the Manual Of Uniform Traffic Control Devices has been updated, allowing municipalities much more leeway in making changes for safety.

There is grant money available to do Quick Build projects, and the projects themselves are not costly – usually only paint, then easy next steps as described in the featured articles.

What is Asbury Park Waiting for?

Onward.

Polli Schildge, Editor

 

Spring Into Gear! Bike Bus Is Coming!

 

Hello Asbury Park families~

Learn about the Bike Bus Movement!

 

Bike Bus in New York City

Parent volunteers ride bikes with kids to school.

  • Picking up kids along the way (like a school bus), along a planned route. Kids wait at their “bus stop” and hop on as the group arrives.
  • Riding together is safer than riding alone.
  • Starting the day with healthy activity, building community, reducing traffic, and leading to healthier kids and an overall healthier community.
  • Bike Bus started in Spain and has been catching on everywhere, all over the globe.

We’re not reinventing the wheel! 

Sam Balto, a PE teacher at Alameda Elementary School captains the bike bus.

In Portland the Alameda Bike Bus, one of the first in the US, grew to hundreds of kids in 4 months. Here’s how that Bike Bus started.

Other cities that have been rolling to school on a Bike Bus:

The Upper West Side of NYC

Montclair, NJ

Jersey City

Brooklyn

And there are many, many more cities all over the US and the world rolling to school together on bikes.

Check out the Bike Bus slide show right here.

Bike Bus is simple:

  • It’s kids riding bikes to school together with parents on a planned route.
  • It can be planned for one morning a week, or more frequently.
  • Parent volunteers decide, and make the commitment.
  • Asbury Park is perfectly situated to succeed with a Bike Bus!

Spread the word. Share this flyer with friends in Asbury Park! 

Onward~

Polli Schildge, Editor APCSC

 

Finally, an update on an outdated document which can help prioritize people, especially the elderly

Hello readers,

Here’s wishing you all a healthy and happy holiday season and new year.

Feel free to scroll to the bottom to watch the BEST Christmas commercial EVER.  We need to stay strong for every reason, and active living is the best way to do it.

🚲 🚶❤️🎄

But I do hope you’ll read through…!

The MUTCD has finally been updated after more than 100,000 suggestions for revisions from experts and advocates across the nation.

However moderate the changes may have been, it’s a better update than it would have been if people hadn’t spoken up.

Many people have no idea that this outmoded document has been responsible for the engineering of US streets and roads for decades, optimizing motor vehicle speeds, and leading to injuries and deaths of nearly 45,000 people each year, both inside and outside of vehicles.

“On Tuesday, the Federal Highway Administration finally published the 11th edition of what’s come to be known as the “notorious MUTCD,” marking the first time since 2009 that the agency has updated its official guidance on how to safely utilize the signs, signals and markings that annotate U.S. roads. In the intervening years, U.S. road deaths have shot up 26 percent, with pedestrians and fatalities skyrocketing 82 percent over the same period.”

The most important thing is that advocates demand that our local leadership deliver good street design.

If we don’t speak up, it won’t happen.

Safe design has been not been permitted within the constraints of the last edition of the MUTCD. Hopefully the new version will prioritize the movement of people over vehicles.

Baby Boomers are rapidly increasing in our population, and the belief is that as we age we’ll need more healthcare, more facilities for elderly, and more nurses and health aides. This may all be true, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s an industry like any other and we don’t have to be enriching it at the expense of our own health as we age.

We should build cities for the elderly.

To improve quality of life for the aging isn’t just about care that keeps them alive. It’s not just about length of life, but quality of life. 

We need social settings that keep us all connected, active, and vital. People need to be able to move about their cities and towns – “active mobility”. It’s no secret that we can stay healthy and strong mentally and physically with regular daily exercise, and walking and biking are the easiest way to do it.

American city leaders should step up and design safe infrastructure, and public spaces to keep us all aging well.

Americans are aging. Cities that provide accessible, safe infrastructure to enable elderly to engage, also help them stay healthy.

Older people have the most to gain from equitable mobility options. And if cities ae designed for ages “8-80” they’re designed for everyone.

An aging population needs walkable, bikeable cities.

City leaders, and engineers, and planners incorrectly believe that elderly are  more dependent on driving, assuming that they are losing physical ability to bike or walk longer distances. WRONG. Older people way too often resort to driving because they’ve been relegated to live in facilities like assisted living, or senior housing, which are inconveniently located away from services or businesses.

We all typically lose our ability to drive long before we lose the ability to walk. 

“Only 60 percent of the American population can drive. Our automobile environments disenfranchise and endanger those who are physically unable or too young to drive, or too poor to own a car. The total number of non drivers is expected to increase dramatically as Baby Boomers age.”

Older Americans pedal for fun, health, transportation and to enjoy a stronger sense of community.

FACT: people can often ride a bike long into later years, even more easily than they can walk.

And here’s another benefit of bicycling for elderly:  Gift article NYTimes: Cycling can make walking more efficient.

We need to design city streets for active, equitable transport for all people outside of cars, especially the elderly.

People who find it difficult to walk can often ride a bike with ease. Elderly need safe infrastructure to get around on bikes. If streets are designed for people “8-80” they are designed for everyone.

Let’s all make a commitment to speak up in 2024 to bring about change in our own city of Asbury Park, to prioritize people, and end driving culture.

Stay strong for every reason.

Watch: The BEST Christmas commercial.

Let me know if you think so too. ❤️

Onward~

Polli Schildge, Editor apcompletestreets.org

 

What are superblocks?

Public spaces, open streets, streets for people.

We just spent a few days visiting Barcelona, riding bikes, walking, exploring neighborhoods, and experiencing the expanding development of superblocks.
Barcelona has been a wonderful bicycling and walking city each time we’ve been there, and it’s even more so now with the expansion of superblocks, including the elimination of cars on main arteries and side streets.
Superblocks are at the heart of a concept for sustainable mobility developed by the city administration in 2016.  Initially some businesses and drivers were opposed, but residents have embraced the transformation, and business has shown improvement, and grown 30%.
Car clogged streets have been replaced by planted beds, flower pots and trees. Car traffic is only allowed on the remaining one-way streets – if at all – at 5-10mph. Families gather, children play, noise and air pollution is gone, and people are healthier.
Childrens’ garden in a superblock in Barcelona. 
The World Health Organization evaluation reports “a gain in well-being, tranquility and quality of sleep; a reduction in noise and pollution, and an increase in social interaction. The built environment of the Superblocks clearly influences walkability and creates more opportunities for physical activity. The reduced vehicle traffic has led to improved air quality measures in these zones.”
A playground (one of so many!) in a superblock in Barcelona
The design works best in “15 minute” cities where people can access destinations within a short walk, and neighborhoods with density, and some form of public transit so that residents can leave cars at home, or visitors can park off-site, and use transit.
A playground and gathering place in a superblock in Barcelona.
The superblock model strives for a combined approach to multiple challenges neighborhoods and cities are faced with—mobility, noise, walkability, urban green space—and that it is a model which envisions city-scale wide and broad transformation, going beyond single street transformation.
We too often hear,  “It can’t work in Asbury Park.” 
But we believe that it can.
Asbury Park can be a model for a people-oriented, healthy city. We can learn from other cities, and with strategic planning we can take bold steps to reduce, and even eliminate cars and traffic.
Onward~
Polli Schildge
Editor apcompletestreets.org

Survey: How are you getting around in Asbury Park, and in Monmouth County?

Have you seen or encountered obstacles to getting around in Asbury Park, or in your city in Monmouth County?

The Monmouth County Division of Planning, Transportation and Community Services hosted an open house on Thursday, Nov. 16 asking for feedback to improve mobility throughout Monmouth County.

An interactive mapping tool that let’s you easily pick and comment on places that need imorovement: It only takes a few minutes to do it!

This open house was the first public event for Monmouth Paths Access For All, a transportation study that will evaluate existing barriers to mobility and recommend strategies to achieve equitable mobility,

We look forward to seeing the results and next steps to improving access for everyone to get around our county and Asbury Park!

Here are some obstacles we’ve experienced in Asbury Park:

 

#NJDOTengineering: 4 intersections in Asbury Park’s Main St. include raised concrete corner wedges for zero purpose. Trip hazards, so they painted the edges yellow. Still trip hazards, so they came back again and glued on plastic flex posts, which have almost all fallen off. Can these meaningless chunks of concrete be removed?
No purpose for these weird blocky corners. Notice here, one flex post is gone. That was months ago. Now ALL of them have fallen off.
If you’re a bike rider, what does it mean when you see a sign like this “bike lane ends”? What does it mean to drivers? Whose interest is being served with this kind of signage?
If you drive around the Asbury/Neptune circle heading north and west, you might never notice this overgrown sidewalk. If you have to walk along that sidewalk, it’s dangerous, disappearing under encroaching weeds, and unlit, dangerous at night.
If you’re a person on a bike coming off the Ocean Grove bridge toward Lake Ave you’ll see that the concrete path does not lead to the ramp to the street, so people on bikes have created a “desire path” to get to the ramp, although a dirt path isn’t the safest place to ride a bike.. How could the city improve this situation? Moving the ramp could be a good solution.
NJDOT/NJTransit One of 2 closed railroad crossings in Asbury Park. It has eliminated a access for people who live in that neighborhood to get home, or to destinations in the city, and collected debris and trash.
NJDOT Confusing instructions on Main St. in Asbury Park for pedestrians to cross the street, especially for non-Engllsh speakers. Our streets should not prioritize drivers above other road users.
No curb ramps on 5th Ave in Asbury Park to roll a wagon with kids, or a stroller, or for anyone with a handicap.

We need your help to understand the mobility challenges you encounter (or that you observe) when travelling to work, school, healthcare appointments, shopping, or whenever you’re walking or rolling in Monmouth County.

Whether you drive, take public transportation, walk, bike, or use another mode of transportation, you might notice or encounter mobility barriers, such as in these photos, or traffic congestion, unsafe intersections, infrequent bus service, no bus shelters, missing sidewalks or ADA curb ramps, no bike parking, etc.

It’s easy!  Use the online mapping tool to identify and comment on places with mobility obstacles in Monmouth County that you’ve noticed, or experienced yourself.

The information you provide will be vital to informing the Monmouth Path Study, a transportation planning study that will identify and develop measures to reduce or eliminate mobility barriers for Monmouth County residents.

The goal of this study is to provide guidance for the County and its municipalities to reduce or overcome existing barriers and prevent new obstacles. This will be accomplished by combining data analysis and the lived experiences of County residents to evaluate infrastructure, policy, socioeconomic, and awareness factors that can be major limitations for the traveling public. Potential outcomes of this study include strategies to improve the built environment in a variety of land-use areas within the County.

Onward~

Polli Schildge

Editor, APCSC