Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition founders will be participating in the NJ Bike Walk Summit on June 5th! Polli Schildge is moderating again this year, and Pam Lamberton will be representing Asbury Park in a FREE virtual Zoom round table discussion with representatives from 9 municipalities in NJ entitled Advocates In Action Part 2: Pandemic And Beyond.
Drawing on the momentum for change spurred by the pandemic, NJBWC is pleased to offer you the opportunity to learn lessons from communities that took action to open their streets to people, learn more about current Vision Zero, Complete Streets, and equitable mobility initiatives impacting your community, gain insights into different stages of trail development, learn about available public funding sources for your bike/ped projects, and identify strategies to advocate for a more bike and pedestrian friendly and therefore, more livable New Jersey.
Tuesday June 1- Saturday June 5
Welcome to the Twelfth Annual 2021 New Jersey Bike & Walk Summit, to be held during the week of
June 1 – 5.
The NJBWC Summit is New Jersey’s statewide meeting of bicycle and pedestrian advocates, elected officials and other township leaders, transportation and urban planners, bike shop owners and managers, cycling, walking, fitness and health enthusiasts and experts, recreation, trails and club leaders and others who are interested in making our state a better place to live.
This is the way a city makes space for people, and enables businesses to expand and grow. Cities all over the world have had plazas and open streets for people to gather, dine, and shop since long before the pandemic. Asbury Park is among these most beautiful and progressive cities.
To allow for the expansion of dining and retail and create a Downtown Pedestrian Zone, the following areas will be open to pedestrians, and closed to through traffic and parking on Friday 4/30 at 1pm:
Cookman Avenue from Bangs Avenue to Emory Street – will be open to pedestrians, and closed to through traffic and parking, 7 days a week beginning Friday, April 30, 2021 at 1pm through Monday, November 29, 2021 at 7am.
Cookman Avenue from Emory Street to Main Street – will be open to pedestrians and closed to through traffic and parking on weekends beginning Friday, April 30, 2021 at 1pm through Monday, November 29, 2021 at 7am. Parking and through traffic will be prohibited each week from Friday at 1pm through Monday at 7pm.
LINK E-SCOOTERS TO LAUNCH IN ASBURY PARK, OFFERING A NEW, SAFER, SUSTAINABLE WAY TO GET AROUND ON THE JERSEY SHORE
Superpedestrian’s technologically advanced LINK e-scooters will help the city meet its goals of expanding equitable access to micromobility.
ASBURY PARK, NJ – The Asbury Park City Council on Wednesday night gave final approval to the launch of Superpedestrian’s LINK shared e-scooter service, making it Asbury Park’s exclusive provider for the next three years. The first of 50 silver and bright yellow vehicles will be deployed later this spring growing to a fleet of 250, with a focus on inter-neighborhood access and connections to NJ TRANSIT. Asbury Park is the first New Jersey city served by Superpedestrian’s LINK scooters.
LINK scooters are the smartest, safest and more stable e-scooters in the industry. LINK is the first and only e-scooter with on-board Artificial Intelligence that autonomously performs vehicle maintenance, ensuring every vehicle is safe before every ride. Superpedestrian will host safety workshops and free helmet distribution for residents prior to launching.
To ride a LINK scooter, simply download the LINK mobile app from your iOS or Android app store, and use the app to scan a scooter’s QR code. LINK also has accommodations for riders without smartphones. Rides cost $1 to unlock a scooter plus 35 cents per minute. Asbury Park residents receiving local, state or federal assistance will qualify for a 70 percent discount under
the “LINK-Up” program.
“We are thrilled to offer our LINK scooters to Asbury Park residents,” said William Knapp, VP of Operations at Superpedestrian. “As we continue to live through the COVID-19 pandemic, safe, sustainable, and accessible modes of transport are increasingly important. We look forward to serving Asbury Park residents and visitors to the shore with our unique LINK
scooters, engineered for rider safety and convenient, individualized transport.”
What makes LINK scooters safe and city-friendly:
● LINK’s on-board A.I. Mechanic ensures vehicles are safe before each and every ride
● Geofencing protects pedestrians by keeping scooters out of pedestrian plazas and
other restricted zones
Each LINK scooter has five computers that work together to monitor every component thousands of times per second, instantly self-repair electronic systems, and flag mechanical
components for maintenance if needed. Superpedestrian has launched thousands of LINK scooters across twenty cities, from Seattle to Rome, and has a spotless record of compliance
Superpedestrian is seeking input from Asbury Park residents who have suggestions for deployment locations. Community members will be able to submit their ideas and feedback on the company’s Asbury Park website, which will launch in May.
Superpedestrian’s approach is distinguished by a commitment to collaborate with cities. The LINK scooters are equipped with unique geofence technology that enhances compliance with
regulations such as speed limits and no-ride zones.
Superpedestrian also hires locally and employs skilled mechanics, ensuring quality repairs and servicing.
Superpedestrian’s commitment to safety also includes strict personnel procedures and frequent
vehicle sanitation protocols to prevent the spread of COVID. The company will continue to work closely with the city and operational teams to reliably sanitize scooters.
To ride a LINK scooter, simply download the LINK mobile app from your iOS or Android app store. Then locate a scooter via the LINK app. Once you find a scooter, be sure the throttle LED
is GREEN, this means the scooter is available to rent. Then scan the scooter’s QR code (located on top of the handlebars) via the LINK app to unlock. Wait up to 10 seconds for the
throttle LED to turn WHITE, indicating the scooter is unlocked and ready to ride.
About LINK: LINK is the world’s safest and smartest e-scooter. Engineered and built by Superpedestrian, a mobility engineering and technology company that develops and launches
urban transport solutions, LINK scooters are the first to offer self-diagnostic and self-protection technologies that keep riders and pedestrians safe.
Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition, APCSC Supports Asbury Park Affordable Housing Coalition, APAHC.
FOR OUR NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS, THIS LETTER NEEDS NO EMBELLISHMENT.
READ AND SHARE
Vote YES on April 20th.
Thank you Bill Mackolin for this beautifully written letter.
Asbury Park has an important decision to make on April 20. It will be asked to decide which rent control Ordinance will govern rent transactions for most of the City’s residents. A yes vote will support governance by Ordinance proposed by the Asbury Park Affordable Housing Coalition (Coalition). A no vote will mean that the Ordinance recently adopted by the City Council (Council) will govern. There are big differences between the Ordinances.
This is my comparison of the two Ordinances.
Both Ordinances originated from a lingering expressed, but unmet need for tenant rent relief. Coalition, frustrated with progress in discussions with Council petitioned an Ordinance to Council which was defeated. Council then prepared and adopted its own Ordinance on Rent Control. By operation of law the defeated Ordinance now goes before the public for approval on April 20. If approved, Coalition’s Ordinance becomes law. If defeated Council’s Ordinance governs in full effect June 1.
Council claims their Ordinance is based on a “study” of the issue as it pertains to our city. To date I have not seen nor heard any evidence to indicate that a comprehensive, research based, examination of need and policy response pertinent to Asbury Park has been conducted. Consultants were employed and summarized the policy for the public at a Council meeting.
To the best of my knowledge no council member is a tenant.
Current research clearly indicates that rent control policies can and do regulate the rate of rent increase.
NEED AND PURPOSE OF THE ORDINANCES
The “Whereas” technically known as a Recital in both Ordinances introduce us to the rationale for each Ordinance. Both Ordinances note the City’s extraordinary large percentage of resident who are tenants( more than eight out of ten). Both note the large percentage of renters whose income is at comparatively low , many with income at or below the statistical poverty line. Both take account of the rapid rise of rent expense. Both rely on readily available Information and commonly accepted understandings of these data in stating their rationales for an Ordinance. Coalition’s overriding expressed rationale or expressed purpose is to provide rent relief to tenants. That rationale informs their Recitals. It is their sole reason for petitioning, first to the Council and then to the electorate. Not so in Council’s Ordinance. Council’s Recitals state that residents have a choice among competing Ordinances and allege problems in Coalition’s Ordinance. Council indicates their Ordinance corrects these problems by providing ” flexibility” to home owners and providing “less cumbersome implementation” in their Ordinance. Of significance, in the first paragraph of their Ordinance entitled “Purpose”, Council clearly and unequivocally seeks a balancing of the needs for tenant relief from” housing cost burdens” against the need for” landlords to achieve a reasonable rate of return”.
Council’s Ordinance makes assumptions that are in error. The purpose initiating the Ordinances was to regulate rising rent increases that threaten the stability of a tenant’s home security. A need that was voiced again at a recent Council meeting. Neither Council’s Recitals nor their Ordinance express this purpose as primary and overarching.
Landlord “flexibility” is not defined but a reasonable interpretation would be to provide him with more choice in his pursuit of a” reasonable return”. “Less cumbersome implementation” sounds like a worthwhile objective but it ,too, is in error. The statement appears to be a criticism of the frequent inclusion of standards in policy application in Coalition’s Ordinance. In making this a purpose Council overlooks that “Rent Control” is a new policy for both landlords and tenants. For examples tenants have new rights and landlords are governed by new rules beyond market conditions. There are bound to be disputes particularly its first periods of application. Standards provide the clarification necessary to resolve disputes.
The balancing of needs that Council sees as a purpose creates a “straw man”. Their reference to balance fails to recognize that the power and influence wielded by landlords in a free economy dwarfs that of tenants. Creating a balance is all but impossible. Coalition’s Ordinance in its provisions recognizes landlord’s right to pursue “a reasonable” return. However, their Ordinance governs closely that right through provisions that require him to be “efficient” in his stewardship.
PROTECTION OF RENTERS
Application of Council’s Ordinance to the renter population is very different from that of the Coalition’s legislation. Council’s Ordinance excludes buildings with four or fewer rental units. Using tax records as a basis that exemption excludes at least 1500 units. The Coalition estimates that Council’s legislation omits approximately thirty percent of City rental units. Coalition’s Ordinance does exclude owner occupied dwellings with two or fewer rental units.
The Council has not responded thus far to inquiries regarding the exclusion of so many renters.
In those transactions in which renters remain in the same unit rent increases are regulated in a somewhat similar method in both Ordinances. Both make use of the Consumer Price Index(CPI), a standard economic measure of the costs of goods and services and a frequently used measure in rent control. Again, there are important differences particularly with vacancies. The Coalition’s Ordinance limits annual rent increase to the corresponding increase in the CPI or four per cent whichever is lower. For example if the CPI increases one percent the rent increase is one percent. If the increase in CPI is five percent the increase is limited to four percent. The Coalition’s Ordinance permits its Rent Stabilization Board (Board) to increases where a landlord has shown that an increase is necessary for a fair return (defined) or as the result of certain additional (defined) landlord expenses. It also creates a system that informs tenants of increase and permits them to participate before a decision is made.
The Council’s Ordinance limits annual increases to the increase in the CPI or three and one-half percent. whichever is higher. For example, if the increase in CPI is one percent, rents can increase three and one-half per cent. If the increase in CPI is five per cent, rent can increase five per cent.
Tax appeals resulting in rent expense are divided evenly between tenant(s) and landlord after expense deduction as opposed to Coalition’s Ordinance wherein eighty per cent of the return is paid to the tenant(s) after expense deductions by landlord. Council’s Ordinance grants landlords a right to appeal rent increase granted in order to receive a fair return (defined).
The biggest difference occurs when a renter leaves or is evicted from a unit and a vacancy occurs. Under Council’s Ordinance landlords are not limited in the rent they may charge a subsequent renter. There are no exceptions for a rent increase due to a vacancy in Coalition’s Ordinance. The exception created in Council’s Ordinance is very troublesome because it can incentivize some landlords to create vacancies for increased profit and, in general, it drives rent costs higher.
BOARDS OF ADMINISTRATION
Both Ordinances include a governing Board. In Coalition’s Ordinance it is called “Rent Leveling and Stabilization Board” (Board) and in Council’s Ordinance it is called “Rent Leveling Board” (Board). Their duties are generally similar and both have a strong hand in the administration of their respective Ordinance. Each Board has an executive officer who is responsible for implementing Board decisions within their policy’s frameworks. There is a significant difference in Board membership. Coalition’s Ordinance provides for seven members, three landlords and four tenants. each appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Council. It further provides that for a decision to be made there must be at least as many tenant representatives voting as there are landlord representatives.
Council’s Ordinance provides for a seven member Board appointed by the Council with not fewer than two tenants and two landlords, the balance of members appointed by the Council. Council’s Ordinance leaves to considerable chance that tenants will ever represent a majority point of view on a powerful Board making critical decisions about their housing.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
If Rent Control as policy is judged on its ability to promote stability for residents in rent controlled units, research has found it successful. Relying on locally pertinent data both Ordinances herein identify a need to provide rent relief to residents who are overwhelmingly tenants, not property owners or landlords. The Recitals or introductions to each Ordinance express very different rationales and purposes.
Coalitions Ordinance is driven primarily by a need to provide relief to tenants amid significantly increasing rent expense.
Council’s Ordinance expresses the purpose of providing relief to tenants but adds others. In its criticism of the competing Ordinance, Council’s Recitals include the purposes of adding “flexibility” to home owners and “less cumbersome implementation” to their Ordinance.
Of special note is their additional purpose of balancing renter’s need for relief against that of the landlord for a “reasonable return”. In Council’s Ordinance neither the inclusion of “flexibility” making it easier for landlords to achieve a” reasonable return” nor the “balancing “of renter’s needs for relief against landlord’s needs as purposes takes account of the enormous advantage in power and influence that landlords have over tenants in any so described “balancing” of needs.
Indeed the term “balancing” as used seems fanciful because in a free economy it is probably impossible to achieve. Arguably, property owners also now have a notable advantage in financial “flexibility” over most renters. Their purpose of “less cumbersome implementation” no doubt is a criticism of the Coalition’s frequent use of standards to guide implementation of Ordinance provisions. Council fails to appreciate the need for standards in the application of a policy including new rights of participation for tenants and new responsibilities for landlords governed heretofore primarily by market conditions. Fewer standards will very likely lead to more complications and delay in resolution of disputes.
Collectively these purposes drive Council’s Ordinance.
Coalition’s Ordinance protects many more tenants than does Council’s legislation. The difference thus far is without explanation by Council. While facially similar to Coalition’s provisions governing rent increase through the application of the CPI, Council’s Ordinance by it’s exception for “vacancies” leaves rent increases without limit.
Each Ordinance provides for a Board authorized to administer its stated policies. Board membership is set forth for in each Ordinance. Coalition’s Ordinance establishes a Board membership that favors tenant’s needs and guarantees tenants at least equal representation with landlords in all Board decisions. Council’s Ordinance does neither.
If you believe tenant’s need for rent relief and a stabilized rental market is important now and in the near term you should vote YES to Coalition’s Ordinance in the referendum on April 20. If you believe that same need is not that important you should vote NO.
E-Scooters And E-Bikes – The Future Of Mobility Or Safety Risks On Wheels?
Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition stands behind efforts to reduce car dependency to promote human health, the health of our city, and the health of our planet. Most residents see the benefits of promoting micro mobility such as electric scooters, and of course they support bicycle riding to enable people to get around without cars for daily trips, and for visitors to enjoy and support businesses in our city. Sadly some others have reacted negatively on social media to the introduction of scooters in Asbury Park. They are apparently in the thrall of auto industry influence to keep our streets flooded with cars (whether they’re gas powered, electric, or autonomous). They seem to be unable to get past the (low) incidence of crashes, they focus on “scary” encounters with scooter (and bike) riders, they neglect to acknowledge 40K deaths by car each year, and have abject fear of anything new on our streets. For historical context, here’s a fun history of cars in the early 1900’s. *
*Note that the term “accident is used throughout the article. This journalist/historian seems to be unaware that use of “accident” was promoted by the auto industry to take the onus off drivers. “Accident” implies unavoidable. They are all crashes. #crashnotaccident.*
Read this excellent article in Forbes, and the study on e-scooters globally. This is only one of many dozens of articles in the past several years, and more during Covid, available to those who would like to learn about the future of mobility across the world. The current US administration supports building infrastructure in cities for people to get around without cars. We can build our city, Asbury Park to be resilient, healthy, and possibly car-free within the decade, but only if we have the will to do so.
“Innovation in micromobility may bring new crash risks,” Alexandre Santacreu, a road safety policy analyst for the ITF and principal author of the report, said in a video statement. “But if we understand those risks, we can counter them.”
Here are some additional findings from the study:
E-scooter riders do not face significantly higher risk of road traffic death or injury than cyclists.
Traffic will be safer if e-scooter and bicycle trips replace travel by car or motorcycle.
The fast-paced evolution of micro-vehicles challenges governments to put in safety regulations in place that take into account the future of all mobility.
“Street design must also serve the safety of those using micro-vehicles,” Santacreu added. Making it safe creates an opportunity for “shaping a sustainable urban mobility landscape.”
REVISE THE MANUAL ON UNIFORM TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES!
To our supporters: Many may not realize that there is a manual governing how our roads are designed, which is to prioritize the expedited movement of motor vehicles, NOT for the safety of people. It’s called the Manual On Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). It’s outdated and related to, if not responsible for many of the problems on our streets today.
A large population in Asbury Park, and all over the US are is directly affected by streets that are not designed for people. We need to change this. We need streets that are safe for the most vulnerable road users.
This graph from the last census shows the numbers of people who walk and bike to work – everyone deserves equitable mobility.
Please read about the initiative to rewrite the MUTCD and add your comment. You can copy and paste the text below (or write your own comment) on the Transportation For America page, and click on “submit your comment” where you can also post on the Regulations.gov site.
Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition supports America Walks. And I personally care deeply about my community, Asbury Park, NJ, and neighboring communities in the Jersey Shore area.The MUTCD is an obstacle to human activity by prioritizing the level of service for vehicular traffic, and must be completely revised to change the way roads and streets are designed.I join America Walks and other groups to ask that U.S. DOT perform a comprehensive overhaul of the MUTCD, centering on safety and equity. We need a rule book that is designed to support healthier, safer communities, that:
Ensures every urban and suburban signalized intersection has basic pedestrian infrastructure, like curb ramps, pedestrian signal heads that display “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” messages and crosswalks.
Sets speed limits based on safety, not based on how fast drivers can speed through our cities and towns.
Gives local residents a voice in what kind of infrastructure is needed.
Gives engineers flexibility to design streets that are safe enough for children, and all vulnerable users to navigate.I join America Walks in asking that FHWA reframe and rewrite the MUTCD, creating a path for guidance that aligns with the equity, safety, and sustainability goals of American cities, as well as those of the Biden Administration.
As we move into the next phases of adjustment to what a “post-covid” world could be like, we have a great opportunity to make permanent, big changes in our cities to make streets safe for everyone, especially the most vulnerable in Asbury Park. We have a car problem, not a parking problem. #toomanycars
Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition advocates for the city to adopt a Vision Zero Policy for Asbury Park to prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities.
Crashes can be prevented by building traffic calming measures that prioritize people walking and riding bikes, like truly protected bike lanes, bulb-outs, and to #slowthecars, mini traffic circles, and other built infrastructure to effectively make it impossible to speed, and unlikely not to see a traffic signal. As long as the design of our streets make it easy to speed, there will be crashes. Let’s keep the conversation going. Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition is here to help, advocating for safe, equitable access for everyone, especially the most vulnerable. This is Traffic Calming 101: https://apcompletestreets.org/traffic-calming-101/. Spread the word. Follow and support @asburyparkcompletestreets.
Buttigieg’s Infrastructure Plan Calls for a National Vision Zero
The Democratic candidate’s $1 trillion pledge to upgrade roads, utilities, and public transportation has an emphasis on road safety and climate adaptation.
His commitment to pair massive projects with a $200 billion job retraining program and 6 million new jobs has echoes of the Green New Deal, supported by candidates like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Buttigieg goes further, however, in linking road-building with road safety: As president, he’d commit to a national Vision Zero policy. Sweden, where the traffic safety movement was born in 1997, has made Vision Zero a national priority; other countries like Canada and the Netherlands have followed suit by launching country-wide campaigns and setting out sustainable safety approaches, respectively. In the U.S., however, Vision Zero goals have been set at the state and city level, with varying levels of ambition and success.
Buttigieg Says US DOT Should Support ‘Right-Sizing’ City Asphalt
Decommissioning even a fraction of our estimated two billion parking spots, for instance, could free up critical space for sorely needed affordable housing, parks, in-neighborhood grocery stores, and so much more; some advocates argue that simply ending local mandatory parking minimums so we don’t build any more unnecessary spots would have a seismic effect on American life.
Even thoughtfully removing small bits of asphalt without repurposing that land for other uses can carry benefits, for a simple reason: it reduces demand for car travel, while making streets safer for the vulnerable road users that remain.
Buttigieg says Transportation Department will push ‘bold’ thinking
“Today we face an unprecedented health crisis, we’re navigating an economy in danger and our nation is reckoning with the impacts of systemic racism,” he said in the one-minute campaign-style video. “But with new leadership comes a new opportunity, a chance to build our transportation system back better than it ever was before.”
If the streets in your city are not designed for you and your kids, parents, or grandparents to walk or ride a bike, they are dangerous by design. Are there transit and mobility options for people to get around without a car? If not, your city streets are designed to prioritize traffic, not people.
Automobile crashes are occurring in every city in the US, including a rash of recent crashes at certain intersections in Asbury Park. The time is NOW to take a serious look at the way our streets are designed, and demand change. Our cities are designed to prioritize drivers of motor vehicles leading to more deaths and fatalities than ever.
“The four most recent years on record (2016-2019) are the most deadly years for pedestrian deaths since 1990. During this ten-year period, 53,435 people were hit and killed by drivers.
In 2019, the 6,237 people killed is the equivalent of more than 17 people dying per day. ”
This doesn’t include 2020, the year of COVID when traffic fatalities went up, with less driving.
Learn about Dangerous By Design, and add your name to the petition for the 2021 Federal Complete Streets Bill.
The number of people struck and killed by drivers nationwide while walking increased by an astonishing 45 percent over the last decade (2010-2019).
The four most recent years on record (2016-2019) are the most deadly years for pedestrian deaths since 1990. During this ten-year period, 53,435 people were hit and killed by drivers.
In 2019, the 6,237 people killed is the equivalent of more than 17 people dying per day.
The risk is not evenly distributed
Older adults, people of color, and people walking in low-income communities are disproportionately represented in fatal crashes involving people walking—even after controlling for differences in population size and walking rates.
Although people of all ages, races, ethnicities, and income levels suffer the consequences of dangerous street design, some neighborhoods and groups of people bear a larger share of the burden than others, which may contribute to the indifference of many policymakers to this astonishing increase. From 2010-2019, Black people were struck and killed by drivers at a 82 percent higher rate than White, non-Hispanic Americans. For American Indian and Alaska Native people, that disparity climbs to 221 percent.
A Federal Complete Streets Bill – Support the federal Complete Streets Act of 2021
America’s streets are deadly. For too long, federal policy has prioritized high-speed driving at the expense of safety; tens of thousands of people are killed every year because of it. The number of people struck and killed by drivers while walking increased by 45 percent over the last decade. We are in the midst of an astonishing safety crisis as the United States has become an incredibly deadly place to go for a walk.
But a handful of leaders in the U.S. House and Senate have introduced a bill that would finally require states and metro areas to design and build safer streets for everyone. The Complete Streets Act of 2021 is desperately needed but it will take your support—and the support of your members of Congress—to get this bill passed into law.
Today, Senator Edward J. Markey (MA) and Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) re-introduced theComplete Streets Actof 2019, a bill that promotes safer and more accessible street design across the United States.
The United States has a crisis: pedestrian fatalities increased by 35.4 percent between 2008 and 2017. In 2018 alone, 6,227 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes, the highest fatality rate since 1990.
The alarming increase in the number of people killed while walking is happening because our streets, which we designed for the movement of vehicles, have not changed. In fact, we are continuing to design streets that are dangerous for all people.
These numbers can change with better street design (as we argue in our landmark report on pedestrian fatalities every other year). A “Complete Street” is one designed to provide safe and accessible transportation options for multiple modes of travel, as well as for people of all ages and abilities. They can accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit users, not just cars and freight vehicles.
To create safer streets, the Complete Streets Act does three basic things:
Sets aside federal funds to support Complete Streets projects (five percent of annual federal highway funds)
Requires states to create a program to provide technical assistance and award funding for communities to build Complete Streets projects
Directs localities to adopt a Complete Streets policy that meets a minimum set of standards to access that dedicated funding
The Complete Streets Act requires that states set aside a portion of their federal highway funding to create a grant program that funds Complete Streets projects to make transit routes safer and more accessible. Through this program, eligible local and regional entities can apply for technical assistance and capital funding to build safe streets projects, such as sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks, and bus stops.
The federal Complete Streets Act is modeled on a landmark law in Massachusetts that has catalyzed the adoption of nearly 200 local Complete Street policies and implementation plans and funded over 100 safety projects in just three years. The cumulative effect is safer roads for everyone—no matter whether they’re walking, biking, scooting, taking transit, or driving.
Highlights from Pete Buttigieg’s Confirmation Hearing
We love hearing Pete using Complete Streets language!
League Of American Bicyclists tweeted “Pete Buttigieg called out “auto-centric” transportation, and notes the importance of street design that enables biking and walking and people to get around in other ways. He says funding should follow. We’ll certainly be following up on that commitment.”
StreetsblogUSA reports Buttigieg is “introducing the language of safe streets advocacy into the chambers of Congress, where words like “auto-centric”, are rarely used to describe why our road network is so dangerous.”
Kudos for this: Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz: “our departments of transportation tend to be the departments of cars”.
NPR reported He received a “damn refreshing” friendly reception” at the hearing.
We’re feeling hopeful that there may be change on US roads, and our own streets too. We must continue to call for more and better infrastructure to #slowthecars, and demand that the city address the prioritization of cars in street design. #toomanycars
1. Buttigieg plans to put dollars behind multi-modal travel
Secretary Pete’s use of the word “auto-centric” got a lot of love from advocates, and for good reason; it’s easily the most apt adjective to define the last century of U.S. transportation planning, which has typically privileged the fast movement of cars above all else.
2. A not-so-subtle nod to Vision Zero
As a presidential candidate, Buttigieg famously proposed a national commitment to end traffic violence deaths in the U.S.
3. Complete Streets gets a shout-out
The surprise breakout star of Buttigieg’s confirmation hearing may have been Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz, who gained some fans in the safe streets crowd when he asked the nominee whether he would “clarify that the objective [is to] not to always think in terms of widening the aperture through which the maximum number of cars can move at the maximum speed.” (He also lamented that “our departments of transportation tend to be the departments of cars” — a slogan which belongs on a coffee mug, stat.) Buttigieg’s response earned him some high-fives on Twitter, too:
When we were undertaking a Complete Streets approach in the city of South Bend, it meant a lot to us to have moral support from folks in the [U.S.] DOT under Secretary [Anthony] Foxx, who agreed with that vision. I think it’s very important that we recognize the importance of roadways where pedestrians, bicycles, vehicles in any other mode can coexist peacefully. That Complete Streets vision will continue to enjoy support from me, if confirmed.