Asbury Park Prepares For A New Normal

Asbury Park is known as a progressive city, meeting challenge, and welcoming diversity. AP is ready to be proactive, by creating streets that provide safe and equitable access during COVID-19, and onward.

By Polli Schildge, Editor

Asbury Park is preparing to create a new normal. City leaders are discussing opening streets for people to walk, bike, and move about in the business district and at the waterfront. It’s good to know that we are not alone and that other cities in NJ, around the US, and around the world are taking strong measures to increase walking and bike ridership. The UK just announced a “once in a generation” £2 billion plan to boost cycling and walking both during and after the lockdown, and stressed that “business would be boosted by more people cycling and walking” Forbes.

Asbury Park is unique in that we have world-renown beaches, and a vibrant restaurant and music scene which make AP a destination that attracts visitors from everywhere.  As the weather warms up we’ll see thousands of people flocking to our waterfront and into the city. This requires special consideration in allowing people more space to move about with social distancing on Ocean Ave. and Cookman Ave. This is a novel virus and an unprecedented situation for cities all over the world.

The question is whether we can resist the inclination to hop back into cars when we feel that the crisis has passed.  Along with opening streets to people, driving even 10% less will make a difference. We need to maintain people-friendly streets and promote alternative transportation options to prevent the return of “car culture” Outside .

By preparing now our cities and suburbs will be more livable, and residents will be healthier while the viral pandemic persists, and will remain so afterward.

Traffic mixed with bike riders and parked cars on Ocean Ave. Asbury Park on a sunny Sunday during COVID-19
Traffic on Ocean Ave. on Sunday during the pandemic.

Visitors to Asbury Park 3rd Ave. Beach in early May, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

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