I’ve discussed this with our city transportation manager for years, and it remains in the “discussion phase” …
People who can’t easily walk, often can ride a bike or a trike – using it as their best form of mobility. We believe that residents and visitors would benefit from reinstating a robust bike share program.
Do you feel safe walking or rolling?
Asbury Park is only 1.4 sq miles. It should be walkable and rollable for everyone.
Traffic in Asbury Park swells on weekends and in the summer, but it’s often a problem throughout the year within the business district. People driving around looking for parking istraffic.
When I ask moms and dads if they’ll allow their kids to ride bikes to school the reply is, “No– because of drivers.” Parents don’t realize that they are traffic because they’re driving their kids to school.
Sidewalks are cracked, too many curbs don’t have ADA ramps, and bike lanes are only painted stripes, so it’s a deterrent to people who might be willing to walk or roll – because of #toomanycars, drivers who are speeding, and running stop signs.
What can YOU do?
Drive less, or don’t drive at all this week, and find out what it feels like to be a walker or roller in our city. You’ll benefit from the exercise, the fresh air, and the social opportunities of being out of the car!
People without a car or unable to drive should be able to get to where they need to go safely and effectively. But every day, Americans who can’t drive – approximately 25 percent of the population – face significant barriers to mobility such as inadequate sidewalks, poor transit, lack of connectivity and dangerous roads. The needs of non-drivers are too-often disregarded in transportation infrastructure and policies.
Listen to Talking Headways or read the transcript: Laws Prioritizing Cars Over People.
Since the 40s suburban design has prioritized cars, and many have no option other than driving to get around. That was the plan. After WWll newly created suburban neighborhoods attracted young families where they’d need cars to do everything. And it’s not just residents of the suburbs who are tethered to their vehicles. We’ve all been brainwashed into believing that we need cars to get around, and it’s killing us. The road to big and lasting change is policy, and the will to make change. Meanwhile, let’s all make an effort to drive 10% less.
This week, we chat with University of Iowa Law Professor Greg Shill. In our broad-ranging conversation, Shill discuss his recent research on the normalization of motordom and how we can’t really opt out of it, the idea of automobile supremacy, the legal subsidies to driving and even the tax benefits associated with cars.
When asked “Can we opt out?” The reply was:
“You can’t opt out. Even if someone says — as many in the audience and among your listeners do — that they have sold their last car, they’re never gonna own a car again and they’re committed to walking, transit, biking, they can limit what they maybe contribute to this, but they can’t limit their own exposure to secondhand driving. You’re always at risk of being hit by a car or dying or you know, developing a condition based on car pollution that 95,000 people a year are killed by either crashes or pollution and many, many more develop or have respiratory and other health issues or have those issues aggregated at the population level by vehicular emissions.
So, you know, I’m all for people doing the best they can, but I think we also need to be realistic that this is a collective action problem and true change will come from coordinated policy.”
More than half of vehicle emissions come from light-duty vehicles, which includes the cars we drive around in for most daily trips. Most car trips are usually less than three miles, and most of these trips are made by car, despite efforts in cities to promote alternative transportation options.
Safety Over Speed: Safe Streets Are Climate-Friendly Streets
8 Nov 2019
Lowering speeds have more benefits besides saving lives: street designs that keep speeds low help reduce carbon emissions, too. In this blog post by our friends at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Ann Shikany and Carter Rubin discuss how safer roads increase rates of biking, walking, and transit ridership, and enable fewer and shorter car trips.
“In communities across the county, our transportation system provides key linkages for commuters to jobs, kids to school and all of us to our social, family and recreational opportunities.
When you dive deeper into those carbon emissions—you’ll find that 59 percent of them come from light-duty vehicles—that includes the cars we drive around in for most daily trips. While the majority of daily trips are less than three miles, most of them are made by car.
Even worse, transportation emissions are rising because people are driving more and making longer trips. Even with cleaner fuels (not to mention electric cars) and more efficient vehicles, the uptick in driving more is obliterating any emissions benefits.”
Greta Thunberg is a climate change activist and a model for all of us, but we don’t all need to sail across the ocean in a solar powered racing yacht to make a difference.
One Thing We Can All Do Is Drive 10% Less. This “would be roughly 110 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the same as taking about 28 coal-fired power plants offline for a year.”
“Over one-third of all car trips are less than two miles, so walking, biking or taking public transport…” As a 1.4 mile square city, we can do this in Asbury Park!
By Tik Root and John Schwartz Aug. 28, 2019
“We’re not talking about getting rid of your car, just using it a little bit less. It turns out that even driving just 10 percent less — if everyone did it — would have a big impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
That’s because Americans drive trillions of miles every year, helping to make transportation the biggest contributor to United States greenhouse gas emissions.
The bottom line is that we ALL need to drive less. Fuel efficient cars will never be enough. The federal government is buying into the hype that we need more and bigger highways to move more vehicles. The advertising biz is in on the plan too, encouraging us to buy cars that establish our identity, that make us feel powerful, sexy, and even environmentally conscious. The influence is coming from the industry of course, with the constant goal of selling more cars, whether gasoline powered or electric. The recent introduction of electric cars to Asbury Park is to make it possible to live car-free, but still be able to access a vehicle when necessary. Reduce use, and reduce congestion and the use of fossil fuels. That’s the idea Asbury Park!
“Improvements in vehicle efficiency and vehicle electrification are being undermined by the way we design and spend money on our roadways. New highways, roads, and lanes induce more driving (Vehicle Miles Travleled, or VMT), which leads to more emissions and ultimately more congestion. This is called “induced demand.” In fact, driving increases in exact proportion with lane-mileage—a 10% increase in lane miles will lead to a 10% increase in driving.
Though building more highways increases emissions, federal transportation spending actually encourages more driving and undermines limited investments in biking, walking, and transit.”
Electric cars won’t save the planet without a clean energy overhaul – they could increase pollution
“EVs have great potential to reduce pollution and give people a more sustainable way to get around – but electricity production must also be clean. It’s not wise to rely completely on scarce natural elements required for producing EVs and alternatives have to be explored. More recycling plants are needed to make the most out of rare elements and governments need to explore ways to ensure a smooth transition to cleaner transportation.”