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.
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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
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.
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:
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:
Have a chat with a police officer. They want to engage.
If this event doesn’t draw a big crowd APPD says they’ll schedule another meeting at another time!
Community Meeting Will Discuss Diversity on Boards, Environmental Justice and the Asbury Park Waterfront
The Asbury Park Women’s Collective will be hosting a community meeting entitled, Let’s Talk About Diversity on Asbury Park Boards and Commissions, Environmental Justice and the Asbury Park Waterfront, on Tuesday, December 11th at 7pm at Second Baptist Church of Asbury Park located at 124 Atkins Avenue.
AP 12.11.18 diversity meeting media release
If a city is designed from point of view of kids the city will function for everyone.
A city’s spaces designed WITH kids, rather than spaces designed by adults FOR kids:
Adults tend to think of kids as “future citizens” — their ideas and opinions will matter someday, just not today. But kids make up a quarter of the population, so shouldn’t they have a say in what the world they’ll inherit will look like? Urban planner Mara Mintzer shares what happened when she and her team asked kids to help design a park in Boulder, Colorado — and how it revealed an important blind spot in how we construct the built environment. “If we aren’t including children in our planning, who else aren’t we including?”
Mara Mintzer thrives on engaging children, youth and underrepresented communities in participatory planning, an approach that aims to integrate the views of all community members into designing exemplary communities.
Watch the TED talk:
When I read this story I pictured myself, or anyone riding a bike on what may be unprotected bike lanes on the newly reconfigured Main Street, Asbury Park.
“Save lives not parking” …there “is no excuse to maintain the status quo or adopt incremental change.”
The day I was assaulted on my bike
When Boston proposes protected lanes on only a small segment of Massachusetts Avenue, despite it being one of the most dangerous roads in the city, it is implicitly accepting more injuries and deaths.
Protected bike lanes are one of the easiest steps state & local transportation agencies can take to dramatically improve safety. They are also one of the most cost-effective infrastructure investments, delivering an immediate payback. When Calgary installed cycle tracks in its city center, it saw a 95 percent average increase in weekday bike trips in three months and a 7 percent increase in women riders. When Salt Lake City replaced parking with protected bike lanes, it saw an increase in retail sales. After the construction of a protected lane on Ninth Avenue in New York City, local businesses saw a 49 percent increase in retail sales.
Every foot of roadway where cycling takes place and remains unprotected is an added foot of danger and uncertainty. Every foot of roadway where meaningful cycling protection is added is a foot of roadway that unlocks opportunities for people of all ages to ride for fun, exercise, to get to work, go to a friend’s house, or run an errand.
The essential truth that my experience reveals, and that we far too often overlook amid calls for road users to “just get along” is this: The most significant impacts on the safety and lives of vulnerable road users are made by how we design our roads and how we drive our cars.
Read more about it: