We use examples of what cities are doing all over the world to let our readers know how Asbury Park is yes, unique, but also facing the exact same challenges.
Asbury Park’s Main Street NJ Rt 71 has long been a thoroughfare for cars to get someplace else. Our initiative in reconfiguration is to make Main Street a destination that is accessible to people on bicycles and on foot. With better signaling, bike lanes and crosswalks, plus a vigorous bike share and other options for transportation like jitneys and electric car share, we should be able to make streets safer, eliminate parking issues and do this!
Ghent – Changing the Whole Circulation Plan Overnight: a Strong Political Decision
April 12, 2018
“You can’t become a cycling city, if you don’t say something about cars. In order to increase the number of cyclists and develop a bicycle culture, it’s necessary to take some anti-car measures. If we get rid of the through traffic, you get fewer cars, more space for pedestrians and cyclists, and infrastructure gets an extra value” asserts Filip Watteeuw.
“A noticeable impact of this measure comes from some inhabitants who were quite reticent to this plan, but have already changed their routines by adopting new mobility habits. Generally speaking, 25% of Ghent inhabitants made a decision to change their mobility habits by purchasing an (e-)bike, subscribing to the local public transports or starting car-sharing.”
Learn about how cities can make riding a bicycle safer at intersections with lighting signals called Leading Bicycle Intervals, or “LBIs”, similar to the more familiar Leading Pedestrian Intervals, “LPIs”. 2 articles in one!
Addressing Bicycle-Vehicle Conflicts with Alternate Signal Control Strategies
And read about leading bicycle intervals from NAACTO here:
Bicycle Signal Head Benefits
Separates bicycle movements from conflicting motor vehicle, streetcar, light rail, or pedestrian movements.
Provides priority to bicycle movements at intersections (e.g., a leading bicycle interval).
Accommodates of bicycle-only movements within signalized intersections (e.g., providing a phase for a contra-flow bike lane that otherwise would not have a phase). Through bicycle travel may also occur simultaneously with parallel auto movement if conflicting automobile turns are restricted.
This could be a great idea for Asbury Park. Cargo bikes are appearing to be the “old is new again” great way to get goods and services around in cities as cars have threatened to take over our streets, and city leaders strive to make streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. Bike manufacturers are trying to keep up with the demand for cargo bikes, and building bikes are lighter and easier to pedal than old versions. A seemingly not too difficult challenge is for cities to establish areas for delivery trucks to reload goods to the cargo bikes.
Pedal power: the rise and rise of cargo bikes in Germany
Meet Happy Streets: Rotterdam’s cheeky activists for social mobility in the city
March 27, 2018
A cheerful squad of urban agitators are using Rotterdam to conduct quirky experiments in social mobility.
A fun approach
Happy Streets’ playful approach to tackling the problem is refreshing. Recent projects have included creating a temporary bike lane with painted yellow dots to demonstrate that there is room for cyclists, converting parking slots to astro-turfed picnic areas furnished with benches and deck chairs, and creating a pavement version of the game Twister. Such projects have encouraged residents and policy makers to take another look at the purposing of city spaces, and consider alternative, less car-centric models. Tactical urbanism, it seems, is spreading. In one part of town – quite independent of Happy Streets – local residents recently took matters into their own hands and painted their own pedestrian crossing to show that they needed one. ‘I thought that it was really nice that people are sometimes a bit disobedient, not because they want to make a mess, but because they just want to make the city a better place,’ says Wemmenhove. ‘We need to trust people a bit more that they also know what they’re doing.’
Drivers are conditioned to behave as though the roads belong to them. They’re right. Roads and streets have been designed for cars, pushing aside other users and causing injury and death. Cities now realize that speed kills, and they’re rethinking design and infrastructure, and especially slowing the cars. #slowthecars
Taming Speed for Safety: Portland Case Study
Fortunately, many leaders are stepping up to modernize and improve they way they manage speed, including upstream efforts to address the underlying systems, policies, and the built environment that influences speed.
We are gradually seeing improvements on the condition of streets around Asbury Park, better crosswalks and traffic signals, and of course the work being done on Rt 71, Main Street. Most business owners are ready to welcome a safer Main Street, but for those who still have reservations…
“In city after city, business owners are seeing more customers come through their doors and more revenue flowing into cash registers when streets are redesigned to be more walk- and bike-friendly.
“Picture the busiest, most successful shopping districts in America. Think Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago or Pike Place Market in Seattle. Are these areas filled with parking lots and parking spaces? No. They’re filled with people walking around from store to store.”
Protected bike lanes create an environment where pedestrians feel safer walking and cars still have easy access to shops along the street. (Source: Green Lane Project)
Asbury Park and cities all over the world acknowledge that parking has to come with a higher pricetag, and that walking, bicycling, and alternative and mass transportation must be incentivized and supported.
Parking Is Sexy Now. Thank Donald Shoup.
In an interview, the guru of progressive parking policy reflects on his decades of research and writing, which transformed how cities look at the curb.
Thanks to Shoup and his many students, we know that cars cruising for on-street parking in American downtowns account for roughly 1,825 vehicle-miles traveled, for each curb space, every year—two-thirds the length of the country. We know that parking covers an astonishing percentage of urban land area (14 percent in housing-crunched Los Angeles county); that parking inflates the cost of housing and goods because developers fold it into property costs; and that when the city foots the bill for “free” parking, it’s a public subsidy to the affluent—non-car owning people are gifted no such real estate.
The High Cost of Free Parking, Shoup’s 2005 book, is often called “revolutionary” for turning an otherwise dry academic topic into a high-stakes urban issue. In the 500-page follow-up, Parking and the City, Shoup compiles and reviews the newest research on parking’s oft-invisible effects. He also shows the way to rein them in. Through real-world case studies and research projects, Shoup makes three central recommendations for cities: eliminate planning codes that require developers to build off-street parking, charge the correct prices for on-street parking throughout the day, and spend parking meter revenue to make visible improvements on metered streets.
“In almost all U.S. cities, the bulk of the right-of-way is given to the roadway for vehicles, the least to the sidewalk for pedestrians… just suppose that Americans were to extend their walking radius by only a few hundred feet. The result could be an emancipation… –William H. Whyte (CITY: Rediscovering the Center)
Developed in Europe, traffic calming (a direct translation of the German “vekehrsberuhigung”) is a system of design and management strategies that aim to balance traffic on streets with other uses. It is founded on the idea that streets should help create and preserve a sense of place, that their purpose is for people to walk, stroll, look, gaze, meet, play, shop and even work alongside cars – but not dominated by them.
Starting in November, the city will make clear that downtown streets are not for drivers.
The only vehicles that will be allowed in this zone are cars that belong to residents who live there, zero-emissions delivery vehicles, taxis, and public transit. Even on a continent where many cities are scaling back car access, the plan is drastic.