Car Blindness – A Curable Condition

The industry has systematically blinded us since the 1920s, and many drivers and city leaders passionately defend the condition.  Even though cars are literally killing us, it’s common to hear and read about drivers, business owners, delivery services, and emergency service providers arguing against proposed bike lanes and other infrastructure for micromobility (the ongoing fights in NYC about bike lanes reducing parking, and constant bashing of e-scooters), and complaints about insufficient parking.  The onus is placed on the most vulnerable road users for their own safety, with programs aimed at walkers and bicyclists suggesting (or mandating) hi-viz gear, flags, eye contact, of course helmets for all bike riders, and staying within painted lines. Drivers are routinely absolved of responsibility by law enforcement and journalists in crashes involving people on bikes or walking, because the person wasn’t wearing a helmet or wasn’t in the bike lane or crosswalk (as if a helmet will prevent being hit by a car, or that paint magically protects bike riders and walkers – did you know that jaywalking is fake?).  APCSC is thankful for Asbury Park city leaders who envision streets that prioritize people, not cars. This is a process that will take time as it has in cities all over the world, but Asbury Park is truly becoming a people-oriented city.

“This is the first in a series of four articles discussing car blindness. For cities around the world, more urgency is needed to enable sustainable, efficient, and healthy transport.”

Car blindness — Ignoring the true cost of cars

Alex Dyer Aug 24

Car blindness

Car blindness is the mindset of not seeing that cars themselves are a major, chronic problem. It is when one overlooks the heavy price tag of driving cars and is unable to see the precariousness of car dependency.

A symptom of car blindness is being convinced that by fixing one or two problems, cars will finally make sense.

Maybe by changing how they‘re powered will fix them? Or maybe making them a tiny bit less dangerous? Or making non-dangerous road users, like cyclists, more visible? Or adding another lane to a highway, or tunnel through a city?

Read more of this article:

Car Blindness

And read the following articles in the series:

Video: WNYC, Gothamist, The Green Space Panel On Biking

Watch (or listen) to this show if you’re a bicyclist – or have interest in safety for everyone on our streets. Panelists dig deep into issues that concern everyone in any city in the US:  bike and pedestrian infrastructure, car culture, law, e-bikes, police enforcement and more…NYC Police Chief even gets some heat.

We the Commuters: Biking NYC

Originally Aired: Thursday, July 11, 2019

Up for discussion: Biking (and bicyclists’ safety), Citi Bike, delivery guys and more. Throughout the night there will also be bike-curious trivia, where we’ll put your bike-related knowledge to the test for some super sweet swag. 

WNYC and Gothamist reporters Shumita BasuJake OffenhartzStephen Nessen and Chris Robbins host the evening with guests State Senator Zellnor MyrieChief Terence Monahan from the NYPDCiti Bike‘s Caroline Samponaro; bike lawyer Adam WhiteJing Wang, the filmmaker behind the documentary “A Winter With Delivery Workers“; and Shabazz Stuart, an urban transportation advocate and CEO of Oonee. 

Watch:

https://www.thegreenespace.org/watch/we-the-commuters-live/

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/

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/