America Still Loves Cars, But Some Cities Are Starting to Ditch Them

Bicyclist, joggers and walkers enjoy car-free streets as part of New York City’s Summer Streets program. (Shutterstock)

For years, many cities have pushed their residents to adopt car-free lifestyles. Doing so can help limit further traffic congestion and pollution, while also saving people money and improving their physical fitness.

By and large, though, the vast majority of Americans aren’t ready to ditch their vehicles. According to the latest Census Bureau estimates, only 8.7 percent of U.S. households reported not having any vehicles available last year. That’s actually down slightly from a year ago and is at about the same level as before the Great Recession.

A stronger economy explains, in part, the small decline in car-free households. Demographics, fuel prices and where people live — more Americans are migrating from cities to less dense suburbs — also play a role in whether a household goes car-free.

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Transform Streets with Tactical Urbanism- Streetfilms Video

If you’re a public space aficionado or transportation maven, one only needs to sign on to one of the various social media feeds to see the daily movement that is sweeping across the world: groups of people are literally taking back their streets by implementing low-cost, temporary solutions to what they see as simple ways of making their streets safer or more livable.

So sit back and watch as we visit just a small fraction of the community making this happen!

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There’s No Simple Formula for Rolling Out New Bike Lanes

Bicycle advocacy has gained steam as data has become more readily available, McLeod says. According to an inventory of protected bike lanes collected by People for Bikes, the number of protected lanes in the U.S. has roughly doubled every two years since 2006. But some cities are still way out ahead.

“It’s still a type of facility that’s in a minority of communities,” McLeod says. “There’s a lot of work to do in the rest of the country.”

Advocates have criticized the city for leaning too heavily on approval from City Council members and near neighbors when making decisions about street upgrades. But OTIS officials say that getting community buy-in is essential to making street upgrades permanent. In his response to the Bicycle Coalition, Kenney said the group should redouble its efforts at civic engagement and building the case for better bike lanes.

“We want to really build the momentum and the sustained acceptance and approval for bike infrastructure, rather than rolling out a lot and having a lot of backlash,” says Kelley Yemen, the city’s director of complete streets.

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What Elon Musk Doesn’t Get About Urban Transit

The Tesla CEO’s recent comments about public transportation triggered a firestorm of criticism. Here’s why.

Like many tech entrepreneurs, Elon Musk is trying to reinvent public transit. But his comments at an event last month, as reported by Aarian Marshall in Wired, made many people wonder whether he understands the business he’s trying to disrupt:

“I think public transport is painful. It sucks. Why do you want to get on something with a lot of other people, that doesn’t leave where you want it to leave, doesn’t start where you want it to start, doesn’t end where you want it to end? And it doesn’t go all the time.”

“It’s a pain in the ass,” he continued. “That’s why everyone doesn’t like it. And there’s like a bunch of random strangers, one of who might be a serial killer, OK, great. And so that’s why people like individualized transport, that goes where you want, when you want.”

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A New Traffic Safety Paradigm

Despite numerous traffic safety programs, traffic death rates have not declined in a decade and recently started to increase. We can do better! A new paradigm identifies additional safety strategies that reduce both crash rates and risk exposure.

During this holiday season thousands of North Americans will be unnecessarily killed or severely injured in crashes. We could do much better!

The United States has the highest traffic fatality rate among peer countries, nearly three times the European average and easily twice the averages of Australia and Canada.

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Light Up Asbury Park Bike Light Campaign

APCSC wants to to provide bike lights for every bike rider in Asbury Park. You can help by donating to NJ Bike & Walk Coalition (NJBWC, our fiscal agent), which will allocate your tax-deductible gift to our Bike Light Campaign.  Make your contribution here, and designate APCSC Bike Lights in the memo line:

Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps to make Asbury Park a safer and healthier community.

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition has been working since October 2015 to help make Asbury Park streets safer and equitable access for everyone, especially the most vulnerable.

Among our initiatives are better crosswalks, more visible and better-placed lights and stop signs, bike lanes, and speed limits, and the reconfiguration of Main Street. We are in collaboration with the city, and improvements of infrastructure are already underway.

At this time of year, days are shorter, and many people ride bikes in AP as their only transportation.  We are planning educational events where we’d like to give away bike lights to every bike rider in Asbury Park. We have a resource for LED lights which we would like to purchase: red lights for the back of bikes, and white lights for the front.

Our goal is to light up all bikes in the city!

We all know that safe streets mean better neighborhoods, and with that in mind, we hope that you will consider helping us meet our goal of $2000 to purchase bike lights for all bicycle riders in Asbury Park.

Contributions made to New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, NJBWC, will be allocated towards APCSC’s bike light drive.

Checks payable to NJBWC with APCC Bike Lights in the memo line.

Click to access Donation_form.pdf

The mission of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition is to create a unified voice advocating for issues affecting the rights and needs of cyclists and pedestrians throughout the state.

Giuseppe M. Grillo's photo.


We drive and drive and drive,
And there’s nobody out there to meet,
But the city comes alive
When I start walking on the street!
I’ll keep walking and never despair,
even if the sidewalks are bare.
I’m out looking for pedestrians to greet,
because my name is Pedestrian Pete!

Klineberg, the founding director of the Kinder Institute, called Brown “the personification of an engaged citizen.” Brown’s concerns were simultaneously practical and revolutionary. “Sometimes confrontational and controversial, he put his considerable energy and expertise to work in continually pushing Houston to develop into a more equitable, walkable, and attractive city,” said Klineberg.

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