Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition has a vision of a network of bike lanes connecting every neighborhood of the city. It won’t happen overnight, but let’s think about how we want these bike lanes to function. We can learn from cities like Portland that are a few years ahead of us in designing for bikes. See if you can identify the same configuration as Asbury Park’s Main Street.
One of the (many) reasons for the slow implementation of protected bike lanes is that engineers, planners, and project managers at the Portland Bureau of Transportation haven’t been reading from the same book. In fact, they haven’t even had a book. Until now.Portland has been talking about physically protected bike lanes for years. The problem is, we’ve mostly just been talking — and not building. And when we have built them, the designs have been inconsistent.
Last week PBOT’s bicycle program manager Roger Geller shared a sneak peek at a new manual that will soon be adopted as the official Portland Protected Bicycle Lane Design Guide.
How long has it been since you’ve ridden a bike? Do you have a bike gathering dust in your basement or garage, or do you ride often for fun, exercise, or transportation and don’t even think about how revolutionary and important bicycles are? Bikes have been around for hundreds of years, and continue to be the most economical and sensible way to get around cities, yet we have allowed automobiles to take over our lives (and real estate) on city streets and neighborhoods. Our suburbs are literally covered in asphalt. Let’s get on a bikes on June 3rd and make a statement for bicycling in every community in the US!
On June 3, 2018, the first official World Bicycle Day will be celebrated.
Acknowledging the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, and that it is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation, fostering environmental stewardship and health, the General Assembly decided to declare 3 June World Bicycle Day.
Why celebrate the bicycle?
The bicycle is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation;
The bicycle can serve as a tool for development and as a means not just of transportation but also of access to education, health care and sport;
The synergy between the bicycle and the user fosters creativity and social engagement and gives the user an immediate awareness of the local environment;
The bicycle is a symbol of sustainable transportation and conveys a positive message to foster sustainable consumption and production, and has a positive impact on climate.
It’s that time of year again. High school seniors pull some crazy pranks – like letting chickens go wild in school…but this one is different. These kids send a message (intentionally or not) about all of the asphalt dedicated to parking cars that could be used for bikes.
“Rockford, you see, is one of a few dozen American cities with a Limebike dockless bike-share program, which the town introduced late last month. Limebike is one of those bike-share programs that lets you unlock each bike with an app on your phone and leave it anywhere once you’re done riding it. Dockless bike-share programs have inspired more than a little panic about the prospect of abandoned bicycles strewn willy-nilly across cities, but the East High teens proved it’s possible to store them very neatly — and simultaneously made a pretty powerful case for the space efficiency of biking vs. driving.
Other teens, take note: If your senior prank doesn’t double as a PSA for progressive transportation policies, don’t even bother.”
Blast from the past–Streetfilms 8 years ago and just as inspiring now. Enjoy seeing what can be done in Asbury Park to make streets walkable.
Copenhagen began slowing the cars and building traffic calming infrastructure long ago. Towns and cities in the US are finally beginning to realize that slower speeds for cars is the key to saving lives, maintaining a healthy, people-oriented environment, and promoting economic stability.
Copenhagen’s Car-free streets & Slow-speed zones
“Most Copenhagen’s city streets have a speed limit of 30 to 40 km/h (19 to 25 mph). Even more impressive, there are blocks in some neighborhoods with limits as low as 15 km/h (9 mph) where cars must yield to residents. Still other areas are “shared spaces” where cars, bikes and pedestrians mix freely with no stress, usually thanks to traffic calming measures (speed bumps are popular), textured road surfaces and common sense.”
Interested in what NJDOT is doing to support Complete Streets in NJ? Here’s the Complete Streets Design Guide from May 2017.
NJDOT Announces Release of Complete Streets Design Guide
The New Jersey Complete Streets Design Guide provides a concise but thorough reference guide for planning and designing streets to meet multimodal and community needs based on local context.
“This month, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) released the New Jersey Complete Streets Design Guide, the latest in a series of guides to aid policy makers, government officials, and local citizens with addressing the needs of bicyclists, pedestrians and everyone who travels along their roadways.
This new guide is the third in a series of Complete Streets guides developed by the New Jersey Department of Transportation:
Making Complete Streets a Reality: A Guide to Policy Development
A Guide to Creating a Complete Streets Implementation Plan
The Dutch have parking drama too. Here’s a situation that occurred in a small city which decided to move cars from parking spaces and replace them with “people” spaces. Remember the beautiful parklet we built and moved around Asbury Park last summer? Picture more of them…!
Sun terraces and lawns: Dutch residents transform parking spaces
Project in The Hague has divided streets and revealed a deeply-held attachment to cars
“The drama was sparked by the Dutch municipality’s proposal to residents in six streets in Segbroek, a suburb in the west of the city, to voluntarily swap their parking permit for six months and replace it with something green and pleasant on their street.
Their vehicles would be stored in a car park for free, and those participating could choose between themselves how to use the vacant space.
Lots here for US cities large and small. Lessons worth learning from London, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Copenhagen.
“Some old-school traffic engineers in America will tell you that many of the Dutch ideas are unsafe. What they mean is that they make streets unsafe for fast driving.”
There Are Better Ways to Get Around Town
By John Massengale May 15, 2018
“Some old-school traffic engineers in America will tell you that many of the Dutch ideas are unsafe. What they mean is that they make streets unsafe for fast driving. In 2016, the Netherlands had 33 traffic deaths for every million people. America had 118 traffic deaths per million. “
1. When drivers slow down to 20 m.p.h. or below, they are less likely to hit people and much less likely to seriously injure or kill people if they do hit them.
2. The best way to slow cars down is to throw away all the techniques that traffic engineers developed to make traffic flow quickly.
3. When you throw out all the detritus of traffic engineering, it becomes much easier to make beautiful places where people want to walk. Bike riding becomes more pleasant and safer as well.
This is second in a series of articles about Right Turn On Red. Cities need to acknowledge that ROTR is risking lives. It’s clearly time for new data, but the US has prioritized cars over people for a century so that may be a long time coming. Meanwhile…
It’s Time for U.S. Cities to Ban Right Turns on Red
“The RTOR-as-national-standard grew out of the 1973 gas crisis. Some states allowed RTOR earlier, but as supply dwindled and gas prices soared in the ’70s, the federal government pushed for all states to adopt it as a way to reduce idling and therefore improve fuel economy. ”
“Cars today are, on average, doubly as efficient as they were in the ’70s. Certainly we need to do everything we can to reduce our energy consumption in the face of climate change, but prioritizing the convenience of driving at the expense of safe and convenient walking and biking is a dubious way to go about it.”
Cities are beginning to rethink right on red. RTOR was started in the 1970s to keep traffic moving and save gas. But with increased awareness of the need for walkable cities do we still want to prioritize moving traffic quickly through intersections at the expense of the most vulnerable road users?
Here’s the problem: “…Since it challenges 40 years of bad design habits…prohibiting rights on red is “a paperwork nightmare,” so engineers are reluctant to do it.”
“It’s just another example where we prioritize mobility over safety,”
It’s Time for Cities to Rethink Right Turns on Red