NJDOT Commemorates Asbury Park’s Main Street Road Diet

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition was created in 2015 when we learned about the proposed NJDOT reconfiguration on RT 71, Asbury Park’s Main Street. After some initial hesitancy, and much lobbying on the part of APCSC, Mayor Moor and City Council agreed to move forward with the project, which is now nearly completed. Almost all agree now, including many original naysayers, that this was a great step in enabling Asbury Park residents and visitors to walk, ride bikes, and drive more safely on Main Street, and to improve the health and economic stability of the community.
Among many documents and evidence of the effectiveness of this type of traffic calming measure was an educational piece, A Better AP Main St FINAL ROAD DIET PAPER, created by APCSC founding member Doug McQueen. It was helpful in communicating the goal of a road diet to community members and city leaders.
As an advocate for safe, equitable access for everyone in Asbury Park, I personally appreciate the ability to engage with city leaders, and NJ legislators who want the best for our city, and NJ. It was a pleasure to see and speak with Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, NJDOT Commissioner Gutierrez-Scaccetti, Senator Vin Gopal, NJ Representatives Eric Houghtaling, and Joann Downey.
This is a great example of how our legislators truly get what it means to embrace complete streets philosophy. Making streets safe for everyone, especially the most vulnerable. Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition worked with AP city council and DOT to move forward to implement the Rt 71 road diet, improving the way traffic flows, and creating a safer, better, healthier environment for people and businesses on Main Street, Asbury Park. This is how we work together.

Hoping For Change At US Department Of Transportation, And Locally Too

Highlights from Pete Buttigieg’s Confirmation Hearing

We love hearing Pete using Complete Streets language!

League Of American Bicyclists tweeted “Pete Buttigieg called out “auto-centric” transportation, and notes the importance of street design that enables biking and walking and people to get around in other ways. He says funding should follow. We’ll certainly be following up on that commitment.”

StreetsblogUSA reports Buttigieg  is “introducing the language of safe streets advocacy into the chambers of Congress, where words like “auto-centric”, are rarely used to describe why our road network is so dangerous.”

Kudos for this: Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz: “our departments of transportation tend to be the departments of cars”.

NPR reported He received a “damn refreshing” friendly reception” at the hearing.

We’re feeling hopeful that there may be change on US roads, and our own streets too. We must continue to call for more and better infrastructure to #slowthecars, and demand that the city address the prioritization of cars in street design. #toomanycars

 

1. Buttigieg plans to put dollars behind multi-modal travel 

Secretary Pete’s use of the word “auto-centric” got a lot of love from advocates, and for good reason; it’s easily the most apt adjective to define the last century of U.S. transportation planning, which has typically privileged the fast movement of cars above all else.

2. A not-so-subtle nod to Vision Zero 

As a presidential candidate, Buttigieg famously proposed a national commitment to end traffic violence deaths in the U.S.

3. Complete Streets gets a shout-out

The surprise breakout star of Buttigieg’s confirmation hearing may have been Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz, who gained some fans in the safe streets crowd when he asked the nominee whether he would “clarify that the objective [is to] not to always think in terms of widening the aperture through which the maximum number of cars can move at the maximum speed.” (He also lamented that “our departments of transportation tend to be the departments of cars” — a slogan which belongs on a coffee mug, stat.) Buttigieg’s response earned him some high-fives on Twitter, too:

When we were undertaking a Complete Streets approach in the city of South Bend, it meant a lot to us to have moral support from folks in the [U.S.] DOT under Secretary [Anthony] Foxx, who agreed with that vision. I think it’s very important that we recognize the importance of roadways where pedestrians, bicycles, vehicles in any other mode can coexist peacefully. That Complete Streets vision will continue to enjoy support from me, if confirmed.

Advocacy In Action Panel Video: NJ Bike & Walk Coalition Summit 2020

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition founding member, Polli Schildge was invited to lead a panel at the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition Summit on March 7th, 2020.  The panelists invited represented a swath of Jersey Shore towns, and each member of the panel shared experiences in their unique journeys to implement Complete Streets initiatives in their cities.  The audience so had many questions for each panelist that we ran out of time to answer them all, indicating the need for us to stay connected so we can learn from one another. Thanks for another great NJBWC Summit!

The panelists included Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli, the 2016 NJBWC Advocate of the Year, and Eatontown Mayor Anthony Talerico, who advocates Complete Streets as a policy initiative. Nancy Blackwood, is chair of the Red Bank Environmental Commission and Green Team, and an advocate for Complete Streets.  Rick Lambert is a Steering Committee member of Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition, and Doug McQueen is a founding Member of APCSC. Kenny Sorensen is a passionate advocate for safe streets in Neptune City, and Kathleen Ebert is founder of Point Pleasant Borough Complete Streets.

Watch the video here.

Complete Streets USDOT definition:

Complete Streets are streets designed and operated to enable safe use and support mobility for all users. Those include people of all ages and abilities, regardless of whether they are travelling as drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, or public transportation riders. 

In short: Complete Streets are designed to enable safe access for all users, especially the most vulnerable.

Advocacy In Action: Initiative to Acceptance to Implementation

Attendees heard from a panel of activists, city leaders, and administrators about ways that they’re working within their communities on issues like speeding, bike lanes, road diets, scooters (and other micro-mobility), and parking.

They shared strategies that work (or don’t work!) in their efforts to enable their cities to provide ways for residents and visitors to get around safely without dependency on cars. We continued the discussion from a previous Summit panel about the possibility of establishing a Jersey Shore Complete Streets Coalition.

Left to Right: Polli Schildge, Rick Lambert, Nancy Blackwood, Ben Lucarelli, Anthony Talerico, Kathleen Ebert, Kenny Sorensen, Doug McQueen

 

Polli Schildge, Panel Moderator, Founding Member APCSC

Watch the video

Pedestrian Deaths Are Rising – Support the Federal Complete Streets Bill

In this article you’ll learn all you need to understand the critical importance of the Federal Complete Streets Bill. Saving lives is only one (the best) reason. Click to support a long-awaited federal Complete Streets bill.

“Our roads and sidewalks are far more than a means of transportation, they are a means of economic growth and community development, and we must make them safe and accessible for everyone,” said Sen. Markey said in a statement. “Whether you are traveling by foot, spoke, or pass, everyone deserves ‘complete streets,’ and this legislation will help fund safe transportation options for the 21st century.”

Pedestrian deaths keep rising in the U.S. Can Congress reverse the trend?

A proposed federal bill would require states to set aside highway funds for safer streets

After years of safety gains, pedestrian and cyclists deaths are up 30 percent in New York City this year.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

 

For the past decade, about 13 people per day have been killed while walking in the U.S., a number that remains troublingly high even as other roadway deaths go down. Now a new federal bill intends to address the country’s increasing pedestrian deaths as a national crisis.

The Complete Streets Act, introduced yesterday in both houses of Congress by Sen. Ed Markey, of Massachusetts, and Rep. Steve Cohen, of Tennessee, would require states to aside five percent of federal highway funds for complete streets programs. Complete streets are defined as corridors that are redesigned to give all users of the street equal access to the roadway, with a special emphasis on safety for the most vulnerable users.

Read more…

https://www.curbed.com/2019/7/11/20689992/complete-streets-act-pedestrian-deaths-ed-markey

Survey: Asbury Park Plan For Walking and Biking

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