Community Opposition To RR Crossing Closures in Asbury Park

Hello APCSC friends~

Since we recently learned of the slated closure of the 6th Ave grade crossing closure (and the proposed closures at 5th Ave, and 1st Ave) we have received over 60 opposition emails, which will be compiled in a document to DOT.

The city officially and adamantly opposes the closure.

Contact AP Complete Streets Coalition to oppose RR grade crossing closures:

Contact Vanessa Meades at NJDOT from the Office of Government & Community Relations: 

We appreciate the great coverage from The Asbury Park Reporter!

Proposed Railroad Crossing Closures Rile Community Members

Asbury Park Complete Streets is sounding the alarm, educating people about what is being proposed and asking community members to join with the organization to oppose the closures.

NJDOT – NJTransit Sewall Ave. closure



Asbury Park’s Sixth Avenue, Fifth Avenue and First Avenue Railroad Crossings are all proposed to be closed by the NJDOT. Asbury Park’s Complete Streets Coalition says, “not so fast,” and claims the closures will not meet any one of those goals.

The study cites safety as the reason for closing grade crossings. We believe that safety would be better served if the crossings were brightly lit, with upgraded gates, and flat surfaces for bike riders, walkers, and strollers.  

Polli Schildge

Asbury Park was developed as a racially segregated community, and the railroad tracks were the border.  Today, this division is still present, and closing west-to-east crossings in Asbury Park will not be well-received here.

Kathleen Mumma

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition is  committed to equitable access across the city, east to west, and north to south. for everyone. 

Let’s work together to prevent any further grade crossing closures.

Contact AP Complete Streets Coalition to oppose RR crossing closures:

Contact Vanessa Meades at NJDOT from the Office of Government & Community Relations: 


Polli Schildge, Editor



The Price Of Automotive Addiction. New Yorker Book Reviews.

What’s your main mode of transportation?

Like most Americans it’s probably vehicular.

Adam Gopnik’s New Yorker review of two new books:

Daniel Knowles’s “Carmageddon” is a serious argument against cars. Henry Grabar’s “Paved Paradise” is an anti-parking with an entertaining tilt. Both books make an argument for alternative like rapid transit, trains and trolleys, bicycles, but they mostly criticise the current systems. 

“We pay an enormous price for our automotive addiction—in congestion, time wasted, neighborhoods destroyed, emissions pumped out, pleasant streets subordinated to brutal expressways—but telling the addict that the drug isn’t actually pleasurable is a losing game. There is some slight hope in saying that it isn’t healthy, and that the replacement for the drug is about as good. But understanding this emotional infrastructure in favor of cars is vital to imagining their possible replacement.

The grip of the car as a metaphor for liberty is as firm as that of guns, if perhaps with similarly destructive results.”

Any thoughts about parking?  It’s the most contentious issue in many US cities. Gopnik references Donald Shoup’s 2005“The High Cost of Free Parking,”

Americans have been brainwashed to believe that they’re entitled to parking. Bitter battles about storing cars, and mis-belief that more cars = more business leads city leaders to backtrack on beneficial community projects like Open Street on Cookman Ave.

Cookman while it was open to people, and car-free.
Cookman after the brief single season of being open to people is again a car sewer.

Parking has its very own official committee in Asbury Park, with enough stuff about car storage to discuss in lengthy monthly meetings. We propose a Transportation Equity Committee, but that’s another story.

Parking minimums were established by The  Institute of Transportation Engineers, (which still exist in Asbury Park) whereby builders have to provide x-number of spaces for residences, and businesses, leading to cities’ swaths of asphalt dedicated to car storage, contributing in part to a housing shortage, suburban sprawl, and the development of neighborhoods where you can’t get anywhere to do or buy anything without a car.

Asbury Park is a “15 minute city”, as the now contentious concept is described in the article. It’s a walkable, rollable city, but private cars still rule. We propose on-demand transit to reduce car dependency, mitigate the parking problem, and to make our streets safer. Yes, that’s another story.

Now that parking minimums are being abolished in many cities, car owners are angry that they have to pay for it themselves. Oh the inequity of it.

What if we had reliable, affordable, convenient transit options? What if we didn’t need cars?

Read or listen to the book reviews:

How To Quit Cars

They crowd streets, belch carbon, bifurcate communities, and destroy the urban fabric. Will we ever overcome our addiction?


Vote now for the playground in Sunset Lake Park!

Asbury Park Residents age 14 and over!

Participatory Budget voting ends tomorrow, Friday, 3/31

Support 8A Playground Improvements: Sunset Lake Park, an all ages, active, engaging space for people in Sunset Lake Park.

What is the Participatory Budget Program?
Residents of Asbury Park age 14 and over were invited to submit projects for the city.
All of the submissions are excellent.
Many people have not heard about the program, and in future years we hope many more people will submit project ideas for neighborhoods all over the city.
This year $250,000 will be allocated to the proposal with highest votes, then to the next, and so on.
Proposal 8A is for an engaging play space for all ages, which would utilize $50-75,000 of the $250,000 total budget. We hope this will be the beginning of adding fun, active amenities to all of our parks. 
You can see the APTV video of all of the the presentations. 8A Playground Improvement: Sunset Lake Park is at 38:49.
Take a look at the description of the 8A proposal: Participatory Budget Proposal _Play and Connection in Sunset Park
Sunset Lake Park was designed by the founder in the 1870s as a “passive park”, and has remained the same since then. There are no amenities for people in the park nor in most of the city parks…). Now concrete “roads” slice through it, with unwelcoming, stone “benches” on a “helipad” in the middle. People are encouraged to pass through this literally “passive park”.
Sunset Park is located in the center of the city, and should be a true destination for everyone, to play and socialize, as a “community backyard.”
Please support the proposal “8A Playground Improvements: Sunset Park”, 
Remember voting ends tomorrow, Friday 3/31!
This flyer with the QR code makes it so easy to vote!

Polli Schildge, Editor

VOTE For Playground Improvements: Sunset Lake Park

Asbury Park Residents!

Voting for Participatory Budget Proposals is open!

The meeting last night was positive and exciting. It was wonderful to see all of the ways in which residents envision places and spaces for people.

I am voting for 8A. Playground Improvements: Sunset Lake Park, which was presented at the meeting under the title “Play and Connection in Sunset Park: A Vibrant Active Community Space”, and I hope you will too!

Vote right here online, or get a paper ballot at City Hall, or at Second Life Bikes at 21 Main St.

This proposal offers EVERYONE in Asbury Park a place to play, relax, and socialize. Our parks have been underutilized for too long, especially beautiful Sunset Lake Park.  This proposal envisions a creative area at the western end of Sunset Park along Main Street, centrally located, and where many residents walk with children.

Parks are the city’s backyard, and should be the favorite destination for recreation, and socialization.

The cost of this proposal would be $50,000 – $75,000, depending on the equipment and the scope of the project.

Take a look at the Powerpoint: Participatory Budget Presentation: 8A: PLAYGROUND IMPROVEMENTS TO SUNSET PARK.

Watch the presentations, especially the proposal for 8A. Playground Improvements: Sunset Lake Park at 39:10

Slides from the Participatory Budget Proposal “Playground Improvements: Sunset Lake Park”

I hope you’ll vote for the proposal 8A. Playground Improvements: Sunset Lake Park here.

Please share the Participatory Budget Presentation: 8A: PLAYGROUND IMPROVEMENTS TO SUNSET PARK proposal, and encourage friends and neighbors to vote for 8A. Playground Improvements: Sunset Lake Park here.

“Play and Connection in Sunset Park: A Vibrant Active Community Space”

This proposal represents the submissions from numerous residents for an active community play space for all ages in Sunset Park, identifying the need for a range of equipment and seating options that cater to various ages, interests and abilities. 

While there has been an historic desire to keep large swaths of Sunset Park entirely passive, there is enough space at the west end of the park along Main Street to accommodate active play space. This would be easily accessible to families from all corners of the city, especially to visitors and the many families who live, and walk to school and businesses in that area. 

A majority of residents live in residences without yards, or have houses with limited outside space. Sunset Park (and all parks in the city) should be our shared backyard – a place where we can all relax, play, exercise, and connect.

An all-age active space including equipment for: climbing, stretching, swinging, bouncing, pushing, pulling, and comfortable seating:

  1. Fitness equipment 13+: A section with outdoor fitness equipment for adults and teenagers. This could include pull-up bars, push-pull, balance, and other equipment that promotes cardio and muscular endurance, strength and agility. There would be signage indicating how to use the equipment safely
  2. Play equipment: A playground area with swings, slides, climbing structures, and other equipment that caters to children and adults of all ages. The playground would have a soft surface to prevent injuries.
  3. There would be benches and tables for conversation, games and picnics, and for parents or caregivers to relax while their children play.

In summary, an active community play space for all ages would be designed to encourage physical activity, socialization, and fun for everyone in the community – people of all ages and abilities.

Examples of playgrounds all over the world:


Chicago, Ill.

Please vote for 8A. Playground Improvements: Sunset Lake Park here.


Polli Schildge, Editor




Child Mobility = Mobility For Everyone

The premise of Old Enough!, a Japanese reality show streaming on Netflix is simple. In 10-minute episodes a tiny kid sets off to complete the child’s first errand alone. (Well, “alone,” with the cameramen.)
Get your earbuds ready and go for a walk today and listen to
this podcast episode, First Errand on 99% Invisible, based upon the show.
(Here’s the transcript if you’d prefer to read.)
It’s about everything we want for kids, for everyone on our streets – safety from drivers, and streets designed for human mobility.
From the show “Old Enough”

Needless to say, the show couldn’t be set in the United States.

Parents who have allowed young kids independence to play alone have been arrested, or at the very least are labeled terrible parents. This paranoia about kids’ safety in general, and especially on our streets says a lot about our culture.

Only 10% of American kids walk to school, compared with over 80% of kids in Japan. Kids start walking to school in Japan at a very early age, because they CAN. Roads and street networks are designed for kids to walk. Drivers in Japan are taught to yield to pedestrians. Speed limits are low. Neighborhoods have small blocks with lots of intersections. And there is little or no street parking in neighborhoods.

Everyone should be able to safely, REALLY safely walk on American streets.
Streets designed for kids are safe for everyone.
The possibility – solutions exist!
Polli Schildge – editor




Oppose The NJ Helmet Law

APCSC stands with other advocacy groups in NJ in opposition to the proposed NJ helmet law.

Feel free to copy and paste any part of this article and contact your state legislators.

No state currently has helmet laws for adults.

Turns Out, Mandatory Helmet Laws Make Cyclists Less Safe

Proposing a helmet law is a diversion to focus away from the real problem – the lack of comprehensive, effective, safe road design.
Safe roads for walkers and rollers will also be safer for drivers.
Pete Buttegieg, USDOT Secretary, plus state, and local legislators support safe road design, and there is local and gov funding available, but we need political will to implement traffic calming measures.

Road design must change to PREVENT crashes involving people who bicycle, walk, run, scooter, skateboard, push strollers, as well as people who drive cars.

The Federal Highway Administration lists proven safety measures including paths and sidewalks, protected bicycle lanes and roundabouts instead of signalized intersections.  Here’s the  Federal Highway Administration link to proven countermeasures.
One of the most effective ways to make our roads safer is MORE bicyclists.

Please see: Safety in numbers: More walkers and bicyclists, safer walking and bicycling. A helmet law will worsen safety by discouraging bicycling, making it appear to be an inherently dangerous activity – dangerous of course because of drivers. A helmet law will mean the end of bike share programs.

Inequitable NJ law already exists requiring a bell and bike lights, and 3 out of 4 people ticketed for bell or light infractions are people of color.

Many people who ride bikes for daily transportation may not have the ability to acquire a helmet – therefore enforcement of a helmet law will lead to even more people being targeted by police.

Racial profiling of the Black and Latino community,

By Stefani Cox And Charles Brown: “For many, bicycling felt like an activity that simply makes one too vulnerable to be worth it.”

Source: New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center.

Helmets are of dubious efficacy – they are not tested in real-world scenarios. Please see: Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. “A styrofoam hat is no match for a box truck or speeding Dodge Charger,” said Doug Gordon of Brooklyn Spoke.

Says Chris Bruntlett

… it is hard to overstate how our unnatural obsession with head protection is stifling the growth of our bicycle culture. It achieves little, except deterring the most casual cyclists, who also happen to be the slowest and safest ones on the road.

Bad driver behavior is a problem, but…

It has never worked to continually remind drivers to stop texting, obey traffic signals, and slow down. It’s impossible to change human behavior with signs, PSAs, even with laws. Automobile ads promote driver entitlement, and manufacturers are building distractions right into the dashboard. Larger and larger SUVs and trucks are killing more people, and cars that can exceed 100mph, and roads that invite speeding are all ongoing problems.

Jesse Singer’s book There Are No Accidents makes it clear that the system is responsible, not the individual. A helmet law will not keep bike riders safe from crashes, which kill 45,000 people a year in the US, and the number is rising. Crashes are not accidents, “preordained and unavoidable”.

A critical mass of cyclists improves the safety for everyone.



Yale student How Sen writes, “If you do choose to wear a helmet when biking, don’t stop there: Learn how to properly and safely interact with vehicles. Share the road. Know your rights. Learn to take the lane and feel comfortable about it. Not only do motorists treat you differently when you’re wearing a helmet, studies show that helmets may be giving you a false sense of safety.”

“Statistics show that cyclists’ fear of head trauma is irrational if we compare it to some other risks. Head injuries aren’t just dangerous when you’re biking—head injuries are dangerous when you’re doing pretty much anything else.”

Only safe road design will mitigate traffic violence.

Everyone outside of a car is a vulnerable road user, and we cannot and should not depend on helmets, bells, and lights – or even drivers – to keep us safe. Only safe road design will mitigate traffic violence for everyone, including drivers themselves.


Polli Schildge – Editor


The Big Lie: Cars = Freedom

Since the 1920s automobile manufacturers have been touting the wonders of car travel.

The goal of the industry was to create this pervasive myth to sell more cars.

Through the 1940s, 50s and 60s owning a vehicle was aspirational, possible for the well-to-do, mostly white American consumer. Racism was structurally built in. Robert Moses leveled minority neighborhoods to build highways to make way for cars.

Sara Seo in Policing the Open Road: How Cars Transformed American Freedom, ” reveals how the rise of the automobile led us to accept – and expect – pervasive police power. As her book makes clear, “this radical transformation in the nature and meaning of American freedom has had far-reaching political and legal consequences.”

I wrote in this blog in 2020: Change Policing Of Our Cities, Starting With Traffic Enforcement

The NYTimes article below reveals the continuing racism built into car ownership and policing.


Polli Schildge, Editor

Once You See the Truth About Cars, You Can’t Unsee It

NYTimes December 15th, 2022

Andrew Ross and 

Andrew Ross and Julie Livingston are New York University professors, members of NYU’s Prison Education Program Research Lab and authors of the book “Cars and Jails: Freedom Dreams, Debt, and Carcerality.

”Today, officers make more than 50,000 traffic stops a day. “Driving while Black” has become a major route to incarceration — or much worse.

When Daunte Wright was killed by a police officer in April 2021, he had been pulled over for an expired registration tag on his car’s license plate. He joined the long list of Black drivers whose violent and premature deaths at the hands of police were set in motion by a minor traffic infraction — Sandra Bland (failure to use a turn signal), Maurice Gordon (alleged speeding), Samuel DuBose (missing front license plate), and Philando Castile and Walter Scott (broken taillights) among them. Despite widespread criticism of the flimsy pretexts used to justify traffic stops, and the increasing availability of cellphone or police body cam videos, the most recent data shows that the number of deaths from police-driver interactions is almost as high as it has been over the past five years.”




Traffic Calming: Everything You Need to Know About Roundabouts

Asbury Park is the recipient of funds to implement traffic calming methods on 3rd and 4th Avenues.

Some residents have been vocal about their objections to mini roundabouts, citing loss of parking. This is NOT true – the parking they fear losing is not legal within 25′ of the corner. Yellow daylighting paint now clearly indicates required parking distance away from the corners at the intersections.

APCSC is happy to discuss the best ways to help prevent speeding, which can include other treatments like raised crosswalks, and speed humps.

Stop signs and signals are not traffic calming methods

Don’t rely on enforcement to stop speeding

Take a look at the information below.  As always, please feel free to reach out about proven ways to #slowthecars.


Polli Schildge

APCSC Editor

Learn about roundabouts, including how to travel through them as a pedestrian, cyclist or driver.


How Do You Feel About Roundabouts?

After driving roundabouts, the number of people who favor them more than doubles. A survey on drivers’ views of roundabouts before and after construction conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) illustrates public opinion. Before construction, the number of drivers in favor of roundabouts was only 31 percent, and those strongly opposed was 41 percent. After driving them, this shifted to 63 percent in favor and only 15 percent strongly opposed.

Studies have shown that roundabouts are safer than traditional stop sign or traffic signal controlled intersections.

Roundabouts reduced injury crashes by 75 percent at intersections where stop signs or traffic signals were previously used for traffic control, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Studies by the IIHS and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have shown that roundabouts typically achieve:

  • A 37 percent reduction in overall collisions
  • A 75 percent reduction in injury collisions
  • A 90 percent reduction in fatality collisions
  • A 40 percent reduction in pedestrian collisions

National Association of City Transportation Officials Guide To Mini Roundabouts

NACTO diagram of a mini rondabout.

Mini roundabouts and neighborhood traffic circles1 lower speeds at minor intersection crossings and are an ideal treatment for uncontrolled intersections.

Mini roundabouts may be installed using simple markings or raised islands, but are best applied in conjunction with plantings that beautify the street and the surrounding neighborhood. Careful attention should be paid to the available lane width and turning radius used with traffic circles. 

A neighborhood roundabout in Washington State. WSDOT

A Study of the Traffic Safety at Roundabouts in Minnesota

Roundabouts have become an increasingly popular intersection type by traffic engineers, communities, and transportation officials. The purpose of this report is to examine the safety performance of roundabouts by comparing the before construction crash rates and the after construction crash rates and traffic volume data. Overall, roundabouts are performing well when looking at the crash reduction record. Roundabouts in Minnesota have had over an 80% reduction in fatal and serious injury crashes

Minnesota has ~200 roundabouts, and like any other skeptical traffic engineering team, they’ve been documenting the results.

Carmel, Indiana has 138 roundabouts, the most of any city in the US. Roundabouts move traffic more efficiently and reduce the number of fatalities and serious-injury accidents. They work because of their safety record, their compatibility with the environment, their aesthetics and their ability to make it easier for pedestrians and bicyclists to navigate.


What Kind Of City Do We Want To Live In?

The reasons people choose/use different transport modes are complex, often sensitive and controversial – how about parking??

As advocates for active transport, and safe streets our messaging doesn’t have to be about bikes or cycling, skooting, or even walking.

We can focus our discussion on the type of city in which we all want to live.

n on

If we want to enable more people to engage in active transport, micromobility and transit we cannot afford to have a war with the same people whose hearts and minds we’re trying to win.

Driving a private car has become completely normalized and often unquestioned as the primary choice of transport.  But as more and more people are beginning to question it, we can encourage curiosity and interest, not put them in a position of defensiveness.

People who drive exclusively often have never experienced the joy, and health benefits of riding a bike or walking instead of driving.

Other people have no choice and ride bikes or walk because they don’t own cars.

So we must encourage our city leaders of the worthiness of designing road environments and public spaces for purposes and functions for everyone.

It’s about enabling movement of people and goods in various different modes of transport, including motor vehicles. It’s also about creating places where people can linger.

Local councils across the country are working toward implementing a framework to make more liveable cities.

Asbury Park can do it too.

Read the full article in StreetsBlog USA.





Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition Supporters!


Those who were at The Street Project
film screening at the AP library last week will understand:
NJ needs speed cameras.


Please take a moment before the End of Day TODAY to sign on to the following letter in opposition to Assembly Bill 4343 (legislation attached).
Red light and speed enforcement cameras are data-proven policy measures to reduce injury and fatalities from car crashes. SPEED CAMERAS WORK. 
A driver will only receive a ticket if they are speeding 10mph above the speed limit or if they run a red light, basic traffic rules that help save lives and prevent injuries.
PLEASE PLEASE write a short note directly to Tara Gill, to sign on. Tell her your name, position, and organization or affiliation and that you support speed cameras in NJ and OPPOSE THIS BILL.