Asbury Park Upgrades For Biking and Walking

Set to begin summer 2021, safety measures for people walking and riding bikes will be focused on 3 main areas of resident concern:

Traffic Calming on 3rd and 4th Avenues – What is traffic calming?

New 3rd Avenue Bike Lanes – How bike lanes make a city safer.

Traffic Signal Upgrade on 3rd Avenue at Pine Street – Do traffic signals keep us safer?

“Curbing speeding in neighborhoods has always been one of my priorities,” said Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn.

 

MEASURES TO SLOW TRAFFIC PLANNED FOR 3RD AND 4TH AVES

ROUNDABOUTS, BIKE LANES AND SIGNAL UPGRADES TO INCREASE PEDESTRIAN SAFELY

 

By Dan Jacobson

The City of Asbury Park has been authorized by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) to begin design work on traffic calming measures for 3rd and 4th Avenues. The improvements are funded by $500,000 in federal grants under the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program in partnership with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA). 

 

A Public Service Announcement: Signs – What They Mean For People Driving And On Bikes

Summer doesn’t end until September 21st, but in past Septembers the Shore towns became quiet after Labor Day Weekend. This year has been different in so many ways, in addition that visitors may be staying in towns along the Jersey Shore through the end of the month, and perhaps even longer because work and school may have been halted, delayed, or virtual.

There will be a continued, somewhat reduced volume of automobiles on the roads during Covid, but since March, even though there have been fewer vehicles miles traveled (VMT), there have been MORE fatal traffic collisions. These crashes are mostly due to excessive speeding, and partly a result of more open-feeling roads where drivers feel more entitled to run stop signs, cruise though right turns at traffic signals, and behave more aggressively toward other road users, specifically people riding bikes.

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition strives to educate drivers and people riding bikes to ensure that we can all stay safe.  While Asbury Park is gradually implementing infrastructure to #slowthecars and make it safer for people who ride bikes, there is a lot of misunderstanding about how bicycle riders may use the roadway, where, and how.

In every jurisdiction in NJ bike riders may “use the full lane”, meaning that people on bikes have the rights and privileges of people driving. If a bike rider is causing a significant slowing of the flow of traffic, the bike rider should move to the right if practicable, and people on bikes are NOT required to give way to drivers.

Asbury Park is implementing bike lanes which so far are mostly painted outside of parked cars next to moving traffic.  These lanes are useful for indicating that bike riders may be present, and they serve as traffic calming to #slowthecsars, but paint doesn’t protect.  The vast amount of asphalt is still devoted to motor vehicles, leaving a narrow slice of roadway where driver side doors may swing open (the “dooring zone”), causing bicyclists serious injury or death.  In places where there are no bike lanes at all, there may be grates, or debris in the shoulder, so people on bikes should ride on the roadway, ride predictably, and NOT hug the curb. Use bright bike lights, especially on the back, even during the day.

Bike lane in the “dooring zone”.

 

Finally, on signage:

In many cities like AP, where the jurisdiction or DOT has built infrastructure and put up signage for bicycling, there’s the ubiquitous yellow “Share The Road” sign, which is intended to mean that drivers should defer to people on bikes, but it’s often read the opposite way, that people on bikes should share the road with drivers. Even more problematic, are signs in Asbury Park that state “Bike Lane Ahead” or “Bike Lane Ends”.  Drivers may easily misconstrue these signs to mean that people on bikes are only permitted in these areas on the bike lanes, and not to ride on the roadway, and that they must somehow vaporize when the bike lane disappears.

 

No more Share The Road signs.

BEST sign!

Misleading sign indicating that bike riders are only permitted here.

Misleading signage indicating that bike riders are not permitted beyond this point.

Let’s urge city leaders to address the need for more, and better infrastructure for people riding bikes. Help APCSC educate about bike riding. And meanwhile let’s get on our bikes and ride! There will be more driver awareness when there are more people riding bikes.

Onward!

 

 

 

 

 

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Can We Create An 8-80 City?

What Does An “8-80” City Look Like?

Asbury Park is working on making city streets and sidewalks great public places, as well as focusing on sustainable mobility: walking, riding bicycles, scooters, and promoting other alternative mobility options, plus public transit.

Gil Penalosa, is founder of 8-80 Cities, grounded on the concept that we can create “vibrant cities with healthy communities where all people can live happier, regardless of age, gender, ability, or socio-economic or ethnic status.”

“The 8 to 80 litmus test involves imagining a public space, but especially a busy city street or intersection, and asking whether it is suitable for young and old alike.”

(Gil’s brother Enrique Penalosa, also a well-known urbanist, was re-elected mayor of Bogota Colombia in 2015 for the 2016–2019 term. While embroiled in some recent academic controversy, he has also been influential in making major improvements for people and places in that city during his 2 separate terms as mayor up to the present, and in other cities elsewhere in the world between terms.)

The 8 to 80 Problem: Designing Cities for Young and Old

How can cities create neighborhoods that work well for all generations?

“…in many aging societies, where the proportion of seniors will grow as much as four-fold over the next two decades, public space improvements alone won’t make large urban areas, especially car-dependent suburbs, more suitable to the needs of older residents. Indeed, one of the most difficult questions facing urban areas is how they will go about making themselves more age-friendly.”

Read about it~

https://www.citylab.com/solutions/2012/01/8-80-problem-designing-cities-young-and-old/959/

Bicyclists Taking Space On The Road

Many of those who follow our media are people who drive cars, they also ride bikes or scooters, and they’re advocates for alternative transportation for climate, health and equity reasons.  But can we admit that we don’t really get the “share the road” relationship between drivers of automotive vehicles and other road users – bike riders in particular? As a bike commuter and avid cyclist, and a driver, it’s hard for me to figure out on a daily basis. Cycling Savvy explains it for us.

Did History & Law Really Intend For Cyclists To Ride Far To The Right?

Far too many cyclists, motorists and enforcement officers believe that cyclists need to ride as far to the right as possible, in order to allow a motorist to use the same lane. Neither history nor law support this.

The video (in the link below) illustrates the safety concerns of cyclists using the road, and how the bicyclist’s position on the roadway can dramatically increase or decrease the most common crash types.

The Institute for Police Technology & Management is using the video in its “Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety High Visibility Enforcement” course commissioned by the Florida Department of TransportationAmerican Bicycling Education Association provided this video and other materials for the course.

In addition we welcome other training organizations and instructors to use this video to educate officers and motorists.

WATCH:

https://cyclingsavvy.org/cycling-law/

Why Do Scooter Riders Ride on Sidewalks?

Since the 1920s we’ve been conditioned to believe that roads are designed for cars (they weren’t). Traffic congestion and vehicular fatalities, plus the effects on health and climate has shown city leaders all over the world the need to modify/eliminate the use of motor vehicles, and build better infrastructure for bikes, walking and other modes of transit.

Enter scooters. We know that there’s a need for alternatives to driving, and scooter share is being introduced successfully as legitimate micro-mobility.  Although the rules in most cities require them to be ridden on the street, why are scooter riders on sidewalks?

Would you let your 10-year-old ride a bike or a scooter on a street with vehicular traffic moving at 25mph, 35mph, 45mph?  We need to design streets that are are safe for an 8-year-old to an 80-year-old. Let’s use that standard. Painted bike lanes are a start, but paint doesn’t protect.  Until we have protected bike/scooter lanes everywhere (and we will!) we need to continue to work on reducing/eliminating the need to drive in our city by providing as many alternative transportation options as possible #toomanycars, and meanwhile seriously slow vehicle speeds! #slowthecars.

Most scooter riders using the sidewalk are afraid of cars, new survey shows

“As Salt Lake City officials threaten to crack down on dockless e-scooter companies that don’t do enough to reduce the number of users riding on sidewalks, new data suggests solutions to the problem go beyond education efforts.

A survey conducted by Lime, one of four e-scooter companies currently operating within the city, found that the primary reason users say they’re not on the streets isn’t because they don’t know the rules but because they fear for their safety riding next to fast-moving cars.”

https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2019/10/15/most-scooter-riders-using/

The US Was Once A World Leader In Bike Lanes – Can We do It Again?

Read the surprising history (and see amazing photos!) about when the US was a world leader in bike lanes.  In the years before cars took over bike super-highways, cycle paths, and sidepaths enabled people to reach destinations in Rochester, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York (in particular, Coney Island), New Jersey, and Los Angeles.

Now cities all over the US like Asbury Park, are acknowledging the need to reduce/eliminate the use of automobiles, and rebuilding infrastructure for bikes and other micro-mobility.

In 1900, Los Angeles had a bike highway — and the US was a world leader in bike lanes

Los Angeles’ partially-completed California Cycleway, in 1900.
 (Pasadena Museum of History)

“The success of the Coney Island Cycle Path spurred cyclists in Upstate New York to push for local governments to build similar bike-specific routes that would run alongside roads, funded by tolls.

The idea was that by building these relatively smooth, sometimes paved paths — often called “sidepaths” — next to rutted country roads, cyclists would demonstrate the benefits of road investment to teamsters and farmers, who’d then support the campaign for paved roads in general.

These routes were distinct from sidewalks and were intended specifically to segregate bikes from horse and carriage traffic with a few feet of grass or other buffer. More than anything, they resemble today’s protected bike lanes, which are set off from roads with bollards, parked cars, or other physical barriers.”

Read about it!

https://www.vox.com/2015/6/30/8861327/bike-lanes-history

 

Don’t Fling Open The Driver Door – Learn The Dutch Reach

Bicyclist injuries and deaths occur when a driver opens the door into the path of person on a bike, either causing the person on the bike to hit the door, or forcing her into the traffic lane. Learn to do it here.

 

This simple change in the way you get out of your car can save lives — of cyclists, drivers and passengers. Here’s how to do it, and why it’s so effective.

By Oct. 5, 2018

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Parking Revolution

Would this be a revolution in Asbury Park?  “We need more parking!” is the familiar refrain. The fact is that we can’t create more parking. We have #toomanycars. The best ways to reduce the use of, and need for cars in any city is to reduce the availability of parking, and make it less desirable to drive. The solution is to make it more desirable to use alternative transportation, walk or bike. “Talkin’ ’bout a revolution…”

A Modest Proposal to Eliminate 11,000 Urban Parking Spots

Feargus O’Sullivan Mar 29, 2019

Amsterdam plans to systematically strip its center of parking spaces in the coming years, making way for bike lanes, sidewalks, and more trees.

A woman parks her bike beneath boxes of daffodils on a bridge in Amsterdam, Netherlands April 22, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs – RC190EAE23D0

This week, Amsterdam is taking its reputation for pro-bike, anti-car polices one step further by announcing that it will systematically strip its inner city of parking spaces.

Amsterdam transit commissioner Sharon Dijksma announced Thursday that starting this summer, the city plans to reduce the number of people permitted to park in the city core by around 1,500 per year. These people already require a permit to access a specific space (and the cost for that permit will also rise), and so by reducing these permits steadily in number, the city will also remove up to 11,200 parking spaces from its streets by the end of 2025.

https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2019/03/amsterdam-cars-parking-spaces-bike-lanes-trees-green-left/586108/

Bike Lanes Are The Best Fix For Traffic Congestion

Cities are at peak car.  Traffic congestion and crashes are a constant issue.  It’s been shown over and over that adding bike lanes (and walking infrastructure) is a cheap and easy fix in large cities like Toronto, and in small cities it’s even easier.  Let’s commit to bike infrastructure. We’ll patiently wait for naysayers and car addicts to calm down as traffic eases and crashes are reduced.

Bike lanes prove that transportation solutions can be cheap and effective

Read about it…

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2019/01/11/bike-lanes-prove-that-transportation-solutions-can-be-cheap-and-effective.html