Yet Another City To Drastically Reduce Cars

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

By Jonathan Wolfe
Dec. 19, 2018





Oslo is making its city center more accommodating to cyclists and pedestrians by severely restricting access by cars

“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.”

Read more…https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/19/travel/oslo-restricts-cars-in-city-center.html

iStar Beach Club Plans + City Survey

City Survey

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!    
 

Who Owns The Streets?

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.

Read about it: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/15/opinion/sunday/cars-pedestrians-cities.html


Please Help Light Up Every Bike In Asbury Park

If you’re doing your year-end donations – please remember Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition.

We’re currently in the middle of a bike light campaign. We want to put good quality, bright bike lights on every bike in Asbury Park, especially for those who ride at night and can’t purchase them. Our supply is low. Hope you’ll help! Please send a tax deductible donation to: https://njbwc.org/join/NJ Bike & Walk Coalition. Indicate APCSC on the donation. Or mail a check to 551 Valley Road, Box 140, Montclair, NJ 07043. Write APCSC in the memo line. 

Safe Walking and Biking At Every Age And Every Ability

We all know that physical activity is necessary for health. But what about when physical activity is hampered by infrastructure that prevents people from getting around due to a disability, age, or injury? Cities are finding great ways to make it possible for everyone to get around for daily activities.  “The Physical Activity Community Strategies and Resources website has ideas about building environments that make activity possible when it comes to accessing schools, stores, and public transportation. The goal is to make it easier for people on bicycles, in wheelchairs, or walking to safely and seamlessly get to where they need to go, all while improving their health.”

MOBILITY FOR ALL

December 11, 2018 by Micah Ling

Mobility as a way of life

According to the CDC’s Community Strategies, to increase and maintain necessary physical activity, the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommends “environmental approaches that combine one or more interventions to improve pedestrian or bicycle transportation systems (active-friendly routes) with one or more land use and community design interventions (everyday destinations).” In other words, complete networks that allow people to be active and safely go about their daily lives can improve the health of most Americans. We already have significant data that shows the annual individual medical cost of inactivity ($622) is more than 2 ½ times the annual cost per user of bike and pedestrian trails ($235). There are endless benefits to getting physical activity via transportation. When it comes to new infrastructure, wider spaces and attention to detail allow for more inclusive facilities, and overall, healthier communities.

Read about it:

https://peopleforbikes.org/placesforbikes/mobility-for-all/

YOUR THOUGHTS: Asbury Park Waterfront Development Survey

 iStar, the Asbury Park waterfront developer plans to build a membership-only, walled,  waterfront beach club on the 6th-7th Avenue lots of the waterfront/boardwalk. The city asks for your thoughts on the project.

A walled beach club, street side of the boardwalk at North Beach. (Artist’s rendering from iStar; TRC meeting, 12/14/18 )

iStar North End Boardwalk/Waterfront  Project – City Asks For Public Comments

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition, supporting Save Asbury’s Waterfront (SAW) suggests these 5 points to consider in responding to the survey:

1)   Oceanfront Preservation:  We want to establish an oceanfront park from 6th Avenue 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.

Please note public comment period ends 12/23/18.

If you know anyone who is interested in providing public comment on the North End Boardwalk Project but does not have access to a computer or mobile device, please print out this form which can be dropped off at the City Manager’s Office on the 2nd floor of City Hall.

Take the /survey

 

Asbury Park Plan For Walking and Biking + Survey

A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FOR PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT SERVES ALL AGES AND ABILITIES

The City of Asbury Park was awarded a Local Technical Assistance grant from the NJ Department of Transportation to conduct a Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan for the City on April 18, 2017.  NJDOT assigned consultant WSP to lead the development of the plan.  Steering committee meetings, focus groups, public meetings and a public input “WikiMap” are the community outreach efforts for the project.  The goal is to produce a comprehensive plan for pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure that is achievable and serves ALL residents of the Asbury Park community – all ages and abilities.

Take the survey!

The City has opened the public comment period on the draft final Plan for Walking and Biking.  Please provide feedback to the Plan through a survey link located here: https://asburyparknj.seamlessdocs.com/f/bikepedplan.  The public comment period will end on January 11, 2019.

Read more…

http://www.cityofasburypark.com/bikepedplan

Driving Is Killing Us

We may tend to feel like we own the roads when we’re driving cars. This is called windshield bias.  When we’re walking or on bikes we feel vulnerable. This can be a huge deterrent to walking and biking, and it’s killing us. Asbury Park is working on making streets safe for people walking and on bicycles, and calming traffic with infrastructure to #slowthecars, and help make us healthier and build a healthier city.

 

The road to good health is paved with walking, biking, and transit

Driving is often a miserable experience that leaves people isolated and physically deprived

Yet, on average, Americans commute 50 minutes daily and 90 percent of the time by car, says writer Kirsten Dirksen in the Huffington Post.

Much of this suffering is due to the ways we built up our places during a time in our history when bicycling and walking became afterthoughts.

We forgot that bicycling and walking are great for your health. Transit, in turn, encourages walking and biking. And properly designed neighborhoods encourage walking, biking, and transit.

The shape of cities and transit networks thus shapes our health. So say a plethora of studies and real-life examples from around the world, which collectively constitute overwhelming evidence for the public-health benefits of smart planning and transportation options.

Read about it:

https://mobilitylab.org/2017/10/02/road-good-health-paved-walking-biking-transit/

Holiday Bike Ride

Cruise around Asbury Park on Saturday, December 15th!

Meet up at Kula Cafe, 1201 Springwood Ave, at 1pm on Saturday, Dec 15. We’ll cruise around, stop at a couple of holiday markets if we feel like it…and maybe find some holiday cheer along the way! Hang around for a late lunch or snack at Kula afterward.

Advice For Bicycle Commuters-Avoid Horrible Drivers

LOVE this blog post. It covers it all for people commuting by bike, thinking about commuting by bike, people who will never commute by bike (that means YOU drivers) – or for people riding bikes in general.

Choose a route that places minimal reliance upon the diligence or competency of drivers

My winning tweet was as follows: “Choose a route that places minimal reliance upon the diligence or competency of drivers” as per the title. That’s because most drivers are useless, malicous or tossers. I’m sure most of them are lovely people normally but for some reason, they get behind the wheel and turn into horrible people.

I didn’t want to post this. There is a ton of information out there on this subject, I’ll only add to the noise. But then, I saw the same old nonsense, over and over again.

I posted a tweet that got a lot of love. So I’ll pass on my 40+ years experience, take it if you like or do something different. There’s no science here, just my experience. These are in order.

Read the list:

https://samuriinbred.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/choose-a-route-that-places-minimal-reliance-upon-the-diligence-or-competency-of-drivers/