Save Asbury’s Waterfront Community Voices – Rev. Gil Caldwell

Development of a members-only beach/pool club on Asbury Park’s North Beach is an issue of social justice, potentially reestablishing what founder Bradley envisioned – a resort for the wealthy, in which he enforced segregation.  Bradley is considered to have set the scene for continuing inequity through decades.

Gil Caldwell is a national and Asbury Park icon working tirelessly throughout his lifetime as a champion of social justice.

“Asbury Park In 2019, a city that boasts of its racial, ethnic, cultural, and economic diversity, is on the verge of expanding its already evident economic segregation, by building beachfront, private pool clubs?” – Gil Caldwell

#boardwalkandbeachesforall

PLEASE ATTEND THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING FEB 13th. AP High School Auditorium.  Learn about development of the North Beach and share your thoughts in the public comment period.

Say it isn’t so!

Reverend Gil Caldwell

“At a time when our President flaunts his ownership of expensive Hotels and Golf Courses, Asbury Park continues to demonstrate that; “Those who have the Gold, Rule”? I believe that Asbury Park and iStar are better than that…I dare Asbury Park to be different! I believe we are, and we can be.” 

“Kay Harris in her letter writes of being excluded on the beachfront because of her race in the 1950’s. I remember my own New Jersey experience in the 1950’s. I was a student at North Carolina A & T College/Greensboro in the 1950’s. I had a part time job and walked 4 miles each day, walking back and forth to my college. Often I would walk by the Woolworth’s Store, wishing that I could sit at the counter to get a coke and a hot dog. But I knew that I would not be served because of my race. (In 1960, that store was the site of sit-ins by students from my college, that helped to integrate white only restaurants and lunch counters). My preacher father and my secretary mother did their best to contribute to the college educations of their four children. But, that was not enough.

My college in an effort to stay afloat economically, had a tradition of a staff person from the financial office coming to classrooms to read the list of students in arrears in their tuition payment. Students whose names were read were expected to get up from their seats and leave the classroom. The day my name was read, I left class with tears in my eyes and visited a Pawn Shop for the first time. One of my Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity brothers knew of my financial plight and invited me to go with him to work in Atlantic City during the summer. I was excited. My tuition needs would be met, and I would experience for the first time, northern racial integration.

Much to my surprise, the hotels in which I worked, and the restaurants where I washed dishes, pots and pans, would not accept blacks as customers. Hotels in which I could not sleep as a guest, and restaurants where I could not sit at a table and eat as a customer because of my race. In Atlantic City, New Jersey, “Up North”!

Fast forward. Asbury Park In 2019, a city that boasts of its racial, ethnic, cultural, and economic diversity, is on the verge of expanding its already evident economic segregation, by building beachfront, private
pool clubs? “Say it isn’t so!” At a time when our President flaunts his ownership of expensive Hotels and Golf Courses, Asbury Park continues to demonstrate that; “Those who have the Gold, Rule”? I believe that Asbury Park and iStar are better than that.

A win/win resolution to this debate would demonstrate that democracy in Asbury Park is not just talk, it is walk! Let us give Historians the opportunity to be able to write in the future, that, “In 2019, a corporate entity, iStar, and Asbury Park, initiated a plan/resolution that remembered the negative history of racial segregation in Asbury Park, by combating private sponsored economic segregation. They realized that if American capitalism did not break the back of economic segregation, the unknowing public would look toward the possibilities of socialism.” I dare Asbury Park to be different! I believe we are, and we can be.”

Save Asbury’s Waterfront Community Voices – Kay Harris

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition Supports Save Asbury’s Waterfront (SAW).  As a departure from our ongoing focus on safe and equitable access to streets, we’re focusing the next few posts on Asbury Park’s North Beach and equitable access to the boardwalk and beaches.

The boardwalk is a thoroughfare through the city, and beaches belong to everyone. Residents and visitors deserve access to the boardwalk and beaches, and we maintain that developers must respect that neither should be privatized in any way.

The contributors in these posts are members of the Asbury Park community, and share their thoughts about development though the lens of social justice.

#boardwalkandbeachesforall

PLEASE ATTEND THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING FEB 13th. AP High School Auditorium.  Learn about development of the North Beach and share your thoughts in the public comment period.

Preserve the Unique Diversity of Asbury Park’s Waterfront

by Kay Harris

Memories linger in my mind, of being denied access to the Monte Carlo Pool in the 1950s because I am African American. Of course, that would not be the case today in 2019. The new barrier would be based on income, a euphemism for class distinction. Do we really want to be defined as the beachfront which boasts amenities ensuring separation of the “haves” and “have nots”? – Kay Harris

The issue of Asbury Park’s waterfront development has brought about intense discussions within the community concerning the direction the development has been taking, amounting to the gentrification of Asbury Park. What defines the Jersey Shore is the miles of towns running from Sandy Hook to Cape May, each with its own characteristics; Cape May with its pristine beaches and grand Victorian homes, quiet upscale Spring Lake, fun, family amusements of Point Pleasant Beach and then there is Asbury Park.

Since 2005, the boardwalk and entire waterfront have been going through a succession of renovations, with thousands of visitors and residents once again enjoying all that the beach and bustling boardwalk have to offer.
As a boardwalk business owner for 14 seasons, many customers have walked through my store. The appeal of Asbury Park, as shared by these visitors and newly entrenched residents, regardless of income levels has been the edginess of Asbury Park as well as its diversity.

The waterfront master developer, iStar, has shared with the community that they intend to appeal to a cross section of clientele, specifically a high-end clientele at the north end of Asbury Park. Thus, the vision of the north end, is expected to include new townhomes right at the steps of the beach itself as well as a members only pool club. Already nearing completion, however, is iStar’s Asbury Ocean Club, Surfside Residences and Resort, with condo prices near $1 million upward to $5 million. It is located in the center of the waterfront on Ocean Avenue, between Third and Fourth Avenues and includes a members only 65 x 30-foot pool. This means that the north end pool to be built in the near future, would be the second private or members only pool built along our waterfront.

Memories linger in my mind, of being denied access to the Monte Carlo Pool in the 1950s because I am African American. Of course, that would not be the case today in 2019. The new barrier would be based on income, a euphemism for class distinction. Do we really want to be defined as the beachfront which boasts amenities ensuring separation of the “haves” and “have nots”?

I understand that the original plans were to include a public pool, 18 months after the private pool is built. This seems to be backwards to me. If there is going to be a members only pool, why not public pools first, with daily or seasonal admission fees that are affordable for families. Why a members only pool at all unless incorporated within a private development. Perhaps the members only pool club could be built a block or so inland so that the remaining and limited beach front property can be valued as a resource to be enjoyed by all – both residents and visitors.

I absolutely understand that the developers have made an investment in Asbury Park with the intentions of realizing a financial return. iStar has indicated that they want to work with our community, and on January 15, four proposals for the future boardwalk were presented with opportunity for public comment.

My hope is that the Asbury Park Waterfront developers can be open to input from the community in good faith and just as importantly, come to a meeting of the minds so that it can be a win/win for both the Developers and Community, as well as visitors to our jewel of the Jersey Shore.

Kay Harris

Asbury Park Business Owner

From Dangerous By Design – to Safe by Design!

A user-friendly guide to things that any city can do to make it safe and more livable.

February 6, 2019

24 THINGS CITYMAKERS MUST DO STAT TO DESIGN FOR OUR LIVES!

“…we took our best stab at distilling the vastly important Smart Growth America, Dangerous by Design report into what we believe are the main takeaways, both in terms of the key evidence-based findings and the critical design and policy guidance that came out of the report. We also aimed to translate these directives into specific, actionable urban design recommendations that citymakers must – and can – start implementing STAT.

Together, we can go from Dangerous by Design to Safe by Design! Let’s do this thing.

Read about it…

http://www.stateofplace.co/our-blog/2019/1/safe-by-design-t8n9s

Must Bicyclists Stop At At Intersections?

On our wish list for New Jersey!  It works in Idaho (the “Idaho Stop”), and has been adopted in Delaware with no increase in injuries or fatalities. “Bicyclists get killed at intersections,” testified cyclist Joe Thompson. “Anything you can do to spend less time at intersections is warranted.”

By Lee Davidson

For cyclists, red lights soon may not mean stop — but rather slow, look and go if clear

 

Bicyclists would be able to legally roll through stop signs and red lights — if the intersection is clear — under legislation approved by the House Transportation Committee 10-1 Thursday and sent on its way to the full House.

HB161 would allow bicyclists to treat stop signs like yield signs, and red lights like stop signs. Moss said most bicyclists already do that because it is actually safer, allowing them to keep up some momentum to quickly clear intersections when possible.

Read more…

https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2019/02/01/cyclists-red-lights-soon/

Climate Deniers. Road Diet Deniers.

There can be an anti-group about anything, especially it seems, anything that takes away freedoms from entitled wealthy.  “Disgruntled Drivers.”  “War On Cars.” Bike infrastructure backlash in LA is threatening to go national. We cannot let this happen in AP.  Many residents in Asbury Park, like in LA, “have precious few options for how they move around the city. They are in desperate need of basic protections and pathways that will allow them to travel safely. Yet these kinds of frivolous actions elevating the voices of those who already have every advantage make that nearly impossible.” #toomanycars #slowthecars

L.A. Anti-Road-Diet Conspiracy Trolls Trying to Go National

Like climate change deniers, these “Keep Moving” groups deny data-based studies showing that speed kills and that road diets work.

Behind all their crackpot assertions is the empowerment of drivers in well-to-do communities. These ideologues push for unfettered driver access at the expense of safety for all road users, particularly those who have the fewest mobility choices available to them and who are most at-risk to harm. The “right” of this handful of disgruntled drivers to speed is costing the lives of tens of thousands of people in the U.S. every year. Unfortunately, this is a double whammy to low-income communities of color, whose residents continue to die at higher rates. And as Rutgers’ Charles Brown points out, minority communities overlooked for road diet safety improvements “receive enforcement” instead.

Read about it.

https://la.streetsblog.org/2019/02/04/l-a-anti-road-diet-conspiracy-trolls-trying-to-go-national/

Asbury Park’s Grid Will Ease Traffic Congestion

This article will help Asbury Park drivers, residents, business owners, and visitors understand the causes of congestion, and to envision how the the road diet on Main Street will work especially well due to our grid design (along with reduced speed limits) to calm traffic.

The Neighborhood Traffic Trade-Off

  by Daniel Herriges

People like to blame traffic on one simple, but logical, cause: there are “too many cars” on the road. Opponents of new development, in particular, cite traffic more often than any other issue as a reason for their opposition. And in most places you’ll find a widespread consensus that traffic on residential streets is particularly objectionable. It introduces noise and pollution, and most importantly, it poses a safety hazard. Keep through traffic to major thoroughfares and off side streets, goes the logic. Development approvals, especially for retail businesses, often even come with stipulations about closing access points to ensure that neighborhood streets aren’t affected by those coming and going.

Read more…

https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2019/1/30/the-neighborhood-traffic-trade-off

Not Your GOP’s Infrastructure

New House Transportation Chair: ‘We Need to Move Beyond Fossil Fuel’

THIS IS NOT YOUR GOP’S INFRASTRUCTURE.

“The Democrat takeover of the House has created a new political dynamic, making incoming Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Peter DeFazio perhaps the most powerful person to shape federal transportation policy. The Oregon Democrat — who has been in Congress since 1987 — been one of the leading progressives on issues such as holding designers accountable for unsafe streets and promoting increased protection for women on public transit.”

…and a “push for an infrastructure deal that will reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and bolster transit against driving. Livable streets? Better design? “We’re going to do those things,” DeFazio told Streetsblog in a phone interview about what he has planned.”

Read more…

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2019/01/29/new-house-transportation-chair-we-need-to-move-beyond-fossil-fuel/

People Are Being Killed By Cars

People are killed every day while walking, even in crosswalks, and with the right-of-way. The narrative we hear too often is that they were “distracted walkers” or officer’s reports stating that the person was “hit by a car* while        walking outside the crosswalk  …”  Do we realize yet that the media is presenting “facts” in such a way as to dehumanize and exonerate drivers*, while blaming victims for their deaths?   #slowthecars #toomanycars  While lawmakers are still bumbling through legislation to reduce the numbers of cars on city streets all over the US, what can  WE do about it in Asbury Park?

01.23.19

The number of pedestrians killed by cars keeps going up

Americans are walking less, but the number of people killed by drivers while walking keeps going up. Unsurprisingly, these deaths happen more in poor neighborhoods of color.

Every year, the amount of time Americans spend walking declines. Driving, on the other hand, has slightly but steadily risen in popularity since 2008. During that period, the number of pedestrians killed by people in cars has skyrocketed.

Read more…

https://www.fastcompany.com/90294569/the-number-of-pedestrians-killed-by-cars-keeps-going-up?partner=rss&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=rss+fastcompany&utm_content=rss

Death By Car Is Increasing – Are We Ok With It?

As driving remains as a top mode of transportation in the U.S., pedestrians are increasingly at risk of injury and death — What are we doing about it?  Will Asbury Park experience “bikelash” for additional bike lanes, complaints from drivers for possible slower, calmed traffic?  Or will residents and visitors realize that Asbury Park is becoming a model of a city that builds infrastructure to save lives, and improve quality of life for everyone…?

Report: Pedestrian deaths continue decade-long climb

No Parking? Oh yes!

Changing habits is hard. (People used to smoke in restaurants.) Residents and visitors begin to sense something is happening when a city begins to add bike lanes, bump outs for pedestrians, create a road diet to slow cars and calm traffic, build parklets for people, or have an open, car-free event in the streets. All of the above are happening in Asbury Park. Are we ready to reduce or eliminate cars from the center of our city? Maybe not yet…but we are learning that cars are not good for the environment, for public health, or for general quality of life. With the public transit added to the process we may be able to achieve a car-free city center someday.

What happened when Oslo decided to make its downtown basically car-free?

It was a huge success: Parking spots are now bike lanes, transit is fast and easy, and the streets (and local businesses) are full of people.

If you decide to drive in downtown Oslo, be forewarned: You won’t be able to park on the street. By the beginning of this year, the city finished removing more than 700 parking spots–replacing them with bike lanes, plants, tiny parks, and benches–as a major step toward a vision of a car-free city center.

The changes, unsurprisingly, have been met with some resistance, both from car owners and businesses. But while business owners initially worried about the city creating a ghost town that no one would visit, the opposite seems to be true; as in other cities that have converted some streets to pedestrian-only areas, the areas in Oslo that have been pedestrianized are some of the most popular parts of the city, Marcussen says. Last fall, after hundreds of parking spots had been removed, the city found that it had 10% more pedestrians in the center than the year before. “So that is telling me that we are doing something right,” she says.

Read about it!

https://www.fastcompany.com/90294948/what-happened-when-oslo-decided-to-make-its-downtown-basically-car-free