The benefits of a city designed for kids is that it becomes safe, healthy, and a desirable place to live for everyone. Traffic injuries and fatalities have dropped dramatically, and this city now has lowest crime rate in a decade
What Happens to Kid Culture When You Close the Streets to Cars
In the Spanish city Pontevedra, a family-friendly “pedestrianization” policy has helped increase the population of kids, despite the country’s low birth rates.
“By restricting traffic and eliminating physical barriers, the city council has redesigned Pontevedra from the sight line of a child. Doing so, Mosquera believes, helps the city address everybody’s needs, especially the disadvantaged. “Where there are children, there are healthy adults,” Mosquera said. The policy, which has been expanding for almost two decades now, has had many impacts on the community.”
“The crime rate has gone down, too, adding to the feeling that the city is safe for unattended kids. In 2010, Pontevedra reached its lowest crime rate in a decade with 34 offenses per 1,000 citizens, and last year it reached a new low of 27.”
Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition wishes everyone a safe and healthy 2019. Enjoy this collection of articles about what’s happening to make streets safe for people in cities all over the US and the world.
APCSC supports Strong Towns and has also adopted #SLOWTHECARS. We couldn’t have said it better: Why Slow the Cars?
Strong Towns advocates for financial solvency and productive land use in American cities. Places that are built for people, using traditional development patterns, can help us achieve both of those goals. On the other hand, neighborhood streets with wide lanes, huge clearance zones and other dangerous design features cause thousands of pedestrian and car passenger deaths every year. Dangerous roads do not make productive use of our land or our lives. Furthermore, they depress investment in our cities by making our neighborhoods less pleasant places to be.
People are the indicator species of success. We know that pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods are more economically productive, healthier and safer. We need to build places where people want to be.
By now most residents of Asbury Park know of the term “road diet”. We have all experienced the bumps along the way as the work continues repairing and upgrading Main Street as we anticipate the final stage of striping the lanes. Many people are familiar with Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition’s campaign to #SlowTheCars . For the new year, our initiative is to share and educate about the health, economic and cultural benefits of a safe Main Street, and traffic calming measures throughout the city, “Complete Streets” to make streets safe for everyone, especially the most vulnerable: people who ride bikes and walk.
The opiod epidemic grabs headlines and gun deaths have brought about calls for regulation.
The rate of traffic deaths has continued to rise but little is actually being done in the US to address the problem as a national health crisis.
America’s Car Culture is Literally Shortening Your Life: Study
By Angie Schmitt
The U.S. has been falling behind its peer nations on traffic safety and now life expectancy as well. There’s a connection. Graph: WHO
“So while the opioid addiction grabs headlines, cars have quietly remained a leading killer. In 2015, for example, the U.S. traffic fatality rate jumped 9 percent. And in 2016, it jumped again 5.6 percent, wiping out nearly a decade of improvements. It was the biggest two-year jump in 50 years.
“The U.S. is an outlier both in terms of road deaths and gun deaths, the analysis shows.”
The horrendous statistics make it clear that the US has to take a serious look at the car culture and make big changes. #slowthecars This can happen one city at a time. Let’s keep up the good work protecting the city’s most vulnerable road users in 2019, Asbury Park.
“The rate of death from motor vehicle crashes among U.S. children and adolescents was the highest observed among high-income countries; the U.S. rate was more than triple the overall rate observed in 12 other developed countries…”
Guns kill twice as many kids as cancer does, new study shows
“The United States is clearly not effectively protecting its children,” the journal’s editor writes.
By Maggie Fox
“Guns are the second leading killer of U.S. kids, after car crashes, according to a new report published Wednesday.”
“…just over 20,000 children died in the U.S. last year, most of them from injuries of some sort. They found 4,074 children died in road deaths, 3,143 from firearms and 1,853 from cancer.”
“Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for children and adolescents, representing 20 percent of all deaths; firearm-related injuries were the second leading cause of death, responsible for 15 percent of deaths,” they wrote.”
“The Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan was developed with community participation through outreach efforts at City events, an online survey map, two stakeholder focus groups, and a steering advisory committee with members including residents, City staff, County and State agencies, local advocacy groups, and the business community,” Transportation Director Michael Manzella said. “The plan will lay the official framework for future infrastructure improvements, enhancing the safety of all users of the city’s streets, particularly the most vulnerable – pedestrians and cyclists.”
Does it help to keep people walking or on bikes safe if they make eye contact with drivers? Sure, sometimes. So go ahead and gaze at the driver who is barreling through the “Stop for Pedestrians” bollard. He or she might stop. But what about tinted windows, or glare? What about people who are blind?
We hear it all the time. “Safety is a shared responsibility.” But it is not. Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition believes that the larger, heavier, faster road user must be held responsible for looking out for the more vulnerable. Our roads have been, and continue to be designed to move vehicles as quickly and efficiently as possible, at the cost of nearly 6000 pedestrian deaths in 2017.
Drivers have been conditioned to believe that they own the roads. Infrastructure in Asbury Park is being designed and built with the intention of keeping people walking and riding bicycles safe. Here’s a start: Asbury Park Plan For Walking And Bicycling
On the 11th day of Safety Myths, my DOT gave to me…Make eye contact!
The 12 Days of Safety Myths December 20, 2018
By Don Kostelec
“It’s this day-to-day reality makes a seemingly common sense suggestion like “make eye contact” so frustrating. It doesn’t align with how roads are actually engineered and how motorists are encouraged via that engineering to operate on them. Add to that the issues associated with window tinting and glare off of windshields…”
A Professional Traffic Operations Engineer: ““Operating any transportation system, particularly those in urban/suburban contexts, is a matter of balance – maintaining a certain amount of mobility for all users while incorporating infrastructure in a way that balances everyone’s needs…
Blanket installation of right turn on red restrictions is problematic from an enforcement perspective, and is challenging if the case is isolated to specific times of day.”
Starting in 2019, the Norwegian capital will restrict the use of vehicles in its city center, following a global trend to make popular tourist destinations more pedestrian-friendly. Can you envision this in the biz district of Asbury Park?
Oslo Puts Up a Stop Sign
“A couple of decades ago, it was perfectly normal to smoke cigarettes inside,” Ms. Marcussen said. “Today, very few would do that. I think it’s the same with cars in the city center. One day we will look back and ask ourselves why we ever thought that was a good idea.”
Please take the City’s survey – it’s only 1 question and your feedback is very important in shaping the future of the waterfront – The survey ends on 12/23/18! The survey can be printed and turned in to the City Manager’s office. (Here is the press release about the survey) Comments collected from the online form, as well as the November 8th City Council Meeting, will then be incorporated into draft designs of the North End Boardwalk area and presented at a public meeting on a future date still to be determined (the City expects to host the meetings in January at a venue to be determined). This public meeting will be done charrette-style, where attendees will have the opportunity to interact with the designers and provide immediate feedback on designs.
Beach Club Plans
iStar’s TRC application/plans for the pool club (obtained via OPRA). In a nutshell: the pool is on the ground floor; it’s planned to be 6000 sq ft of enclosed space and 18,000 sq ft of space open to the sky. There will be a 2nd floor roof deck that is 5600 sq ft. The north and east sides will be enclosed with a fence (alternating wood/stucco I think); the western side will be a ~19ft grey wall eventually covered with ivy (the wall is 15.5 feet high, and there is an incline of ~3.5 feet). I think the south-facing side will also be the same grey wall, though it looks like it will not be covered with ivy. There will be an elevator to the roof deck (in the southwest corner of the building) and the height from the sidewalk to the top of the elevator bulkhead is 31 feet.
SAW’s top 5 requests/focuses:
1) Oceanfront Preservation: We want to establish an oceanfront park from 6thAvenue north to the Loch Arbor border. We want no new development east of Ocean Avenue (with the exception of standard park amenities like bathrooms).
2) Boardwalk: We want the boardwalk restored, with a forward-looking vision. We want the boardwalk restored at least to its old height/width, possibly expanded and/or elevated, up to Deal Lake Drive and the meandering boardwalk to go from Deal Lake Drive to Loch Arbor border. We would like to see the boardwalk moved westward beginning at the sewer plant. We want a protection system comprised of dunes and bulkhead.
3) Fisherman’s Lot: We want a solution that: is environmentally sound (respects wildlife habitat, forward-looking stormwater management plan); that is protective (incorporates a dune system); and is accessible by the public.
4) Social Inclusion and Public Access: We want increased, year-round public transportation options that bridge the east side and west side, such as the jitney service and increased, safer bike lanes/paths
5) Transparency: We want the reestablishment of the Waterfront Redevelopment Advisory Board. We seek a well-rounded and independent board of overseers comprised respected professionals and community leaders who will trust and challenge one another, and engage directly with the waterfront developers and City management/governance on critical issues facing Asbury’s Waterfront.
TRC Meeting RE: iStar’s Beach Club Plans
The City’s Technical Review Committee met to review iStar’s application for its membership-based pool club on Friday 12/14, and the public was present. The next step is for iStar to submit the plans to City Council; Council will then refer the plans to the Planning Board; then the plans will go back to Council for final approval. We do not foresee iStar presenting plans to Council (for the first time) until a January meeting. We will make an announcement when we know the date.
**Please note that one of SAW’s top priorities is Oceanfront Preservation – NO NEW DEVELOPMENT EAST OF OCEAN AVENUE. We believe a membership-based beach club is not a good social or environmental fit for the City, and we also don’t understand how it will provide a worthy ROI to iStar. Our goal is to get our City and developers to evaluate and renegotiate the outdated parts of the 2002 WRP to initiatives that will suit our City’s future!
Do you drive and feel like people who walk and ride bikes are taking over your city – and you’re losing your privilege? How do you feel about walking in your city? Are you riding a bike for recreation or daily for transportation? Maybe you drive a car when you need to, but also walk and ride a bike whenever you can? Let’s take a look at it…
The Pedestrian Strikes Back
Officials in several countries are getting the message: Cities are about people, not cars. Read about it:
By Richard Conniff Contributing Opinion Writer Dec. 15, 2018
In many of the major cities of the world, it has begun to dawn even on public officials that walking is a highly efficient means of transit, as well as one of the great underrated pleasures in life. A few major cities have even tentatively begun to take back their streets for pedestrians.
Denver, for instance, is proposing a plan to invest $1.2 billion in sidewalks, and, at far greater cost, bring frequent public transit within a quarter-mile of most of its residents. In Europe, where clean, safe, punctual public transit is already widely available, Oslo plans to ban all cars from its city center beginning next year. Madrid is banning cars owned by nonresidents, and is also redesigning 24 major downtown avenues to take them back for pedestrians. Paris has banned vehicles from a road along the Seine, and plans to rebuild it for bicycle and pedestrian use.
Yes, car owners are furious. That’s because they have mistaken their century-long domination over pedestrians for a right rather than a privilege. The truth is that cities are not doing nearly enough to restore streets for pedestrian use, and it’s the pedestrians who should be furious.