UPDATE on Railroad Crossing Closures: CC Meeting Video

Thanks to The Coaster for this excellent coverage of the RR crossing closure issue.

The Coaster: 3 Railroad Crossing Closures Under Review in Asbury Park

Cover photo of The Coaster June 14, 2023 article.

The city council meeting went well on Wednesday night 6/14- each person who spoke made very effective points. Thanks so much for stepping up to the mic!

APTV video of the City Council Meeting

Public comment segments:

29:27 – 34:30 (Polli Schildge)

38:44 – 41;29 (Michael Kushner)

42:20 – 50:30 (Rhiannon Long; Mimi Jen; Sylvia Sylvia AP Chamber Of Commerce)

Polli Schildge
Michael Kushner
Mimi Jen
Rhiannon Long
Sylvia Sylvia

✅Thank you for your letters. Continue to spread the word: Email: apcompletestreets@gmail.com. The new DOT contact is:  Christopher.Yandoli@dot.nj.gov..

✅IF YOU WANT A TEMPLATE FOR A LETTER please email: apcompletestreets@gmail.com.

DOT communication with the city this week said that the closure at 6th is “on hold” now, pending more study. But it there is no guarantee that it will not be closed.

We need to stay diligently on top of this.


Polli Schildge, APCSC Editor




Parks In Asbury Park

An article appeared in my inbox this morning, then an email appeared on the same subject: parks – a tool to evaluate accessibility to parks, and parks for teenage girls.

Asbury Park has large and lovely real estate devoted to parks, which has existed since the inception of the city. These tree-filled, “passive” parks are mostly located in only certain neighborhoods, and parks are completely lacking in others.  According to The Trust For Public Land, Asbury Park ranks 76%, meaning that 76% percent of people can walk to a park within 10 minutes. That’s not an impressive score in a tiny 1.4 mile sq. city. Boston ranks 100%. Washington 98%, Alexandria, VA is 97%, and NYC is 99%.

Over 20% of  people are unable to walk to a park within 10 minutes in Asbury Park, and existing parks are devoid of amenities for people. A park should be a destination, not just a place to pass through.

A “passive park” like the design in the master plan for Sunset Park would be a large, lovely ornament in the city. The design is intended for  strolling, or dog walking, just as it was designed in the original plan for the city in the 1870s.  It should not be designed that way in 2021.  We believe that an Asbury Park is committed to equity and inclusiveness should actively invite everyone to every park in the city.  

The underutilized Sunset Park

We need all of our existing green spaces, large and small to offer active engagement for kids, families, and elderly.  And we need more parks in every neighborhood in the city.
According to this data over 20% of people can’t walk to a park in less than 10 min in our tiny city – and we need to do something about it.
Let’s start with kids, teen girls in particular:

Teen Girls Need Better Public Spaces to Hang Out

Basketball courts, skate parks and playgrounds overlook an important demographic: teenage girls. A burgeoning design movement is trying to fix that.


Susannah Walker, co-founder of the newly created British charity Make Space for Girls, saw in Swing Time something that would have delighted her 17-year-old self.  “At the end of the summer holidays my friend and I ran out of money,” Walker wrote in a March post. “We had nothing to do and there was nowhere to go. So we’d go and hang out on the swings in the early evening and chat as the light slowly faded into dusk. It was better than sitting around at home.”

She highlights Swing Time to illustrate two points: One, girls love swings. And two, there aren’t enough swings made for teenage girls. “They are almost always placed with the equipment for younger children, so that if teenagers use them they are seen as invaders.”

Cars Should Not Own Our Cities

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition has focused on making the city safer for everyone – streets that are safe for anyone “8 to 80″, in other words, for the most vulnerable. We have worked with the City Transportation Manager and gotten input from the community to create a Plan For Walking And Biking, an evolving plan, which now during the pandemic is adapting to include open streets and other methods of making streets more open to people walking and using micro-mobility, and less accommodating to cars. Cars should be guests in cities, not OWN cities.

Traffic must be slowed, and every effort needs to be made to reduce the need to drive, especially during the pandemic, when people are in need of safe spaces to be able to spend time outdoors for exercise, shopping, and dining.

We are intent upon creating a safe, healthy, and environmentally equitable city, not divided by city streets teeming with traffic.

In cities all over the US, “transportation issues negatively affect people of color” .  Highways and roads that cut through, or over, Black, Latino, and immigrant neighborhoods.” Asbury Park’s Memorial Drive, train tracks, and our own Main Street have served to bisect the city into the east and west sides, and maintained the inequity of a city with a history of two faces. But now Main Street is currently nearing the end of a years long DOT reconfiguration, calming traffic and allowing people to walk and ride bikes for transportation and recreation,  and a safer Memorial Drive is on the horizon.

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition is committed to helping to build infrastructure that enables everyone to safely access the city on foot, a wheelchair, or on a bike or scooter, throughout this time of COVID, and beyond.


This Is Our Chance to Reclaim Cities from Cars

The pandemic has led to an unexpected positive—people reclaiming streets in ways that have made urban America more bikeable, walkable, and enjoyable. Preserving that will take work, but it’s worth it.

“It’s callous to call a global pandemic an opportunity, but the crisis has altered our view of public spaces in ways no other event could. In Denver, which closed several streets to through traffic, that wouldn’t have happened without a catalyst. “If we had tried to roll this out pre-pandemic, we would have been met with opposition,” says Eulois Cleckley, executive director of the city’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. “But the situation people were placed in changed their perspective overnight.””

“For walking, cycling, and so-called micromobility options like scooters to really function as everyday transportation choices for more than just hardcore commuters…there has to be a safe route from anywhere in a city to anywhere else.”

Read more about it.


Equity In Urbanism Is A Matter Of Life And Death

We have much to learn as we work to create a city for people, by taking antiracist action in the built environment.  We must:

  1. Acknowledge that equity is a matter of life and death — not an “add-on”.
  2. Center Black communities in transportation planning.
  3. Honor Black anger.

‘Centering Equity is a Matter of Life and Death’: Responding to Anti-Black Racism in Urbanism


Five visionary leaders shared their wisdom on how to take antiracist action in the built environment professions. Here are a few of the highlights for Streetsblog readers.


For the video:


Covid-19 Recovery And Long-Lasting Change

City leaders all over the world are establishing measures to permanently maintain the improvements to the environment by creating ways for people to get around without cars. Asbury Park can do this.

“Action needs to be taken now which will help people move around without the congestion, pollution and ill-health that comes with car use now and after lockdown is lifted.”

“…the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis could be “a catalyst for long-lasting change in the way we live and travel, especially in towns and cities. What Covid-19 has also done is to highlight the crossovers between the quality of our places, public health, economy, transport, education, air quality and social justice.”

City leaders aim to shape green recovery from coronavirus crisis

Mayors coordinating efforts to support a low-carbon, sustainable path out of lockdowns

Cities around the world are already planning for life after Covid-19, with a series of environmental initiatives being rolled out from Bogotá to Barcelona to ensure public safety and bolster the fight against climate breakdown.

Mayors from cities in Europe, the US and Africa held talks this week to coordinate their efforts to support a low-carbon, sustainable recovery from the crisis as national governments begin to implement huge economic stimulus packages.

Many cities have already announced measures, from hundreds of miles of new bike lanes in Milan and Mexico City to widening pavements and pedestrianising neighbourhoods in New York and Seattle.

Here’s a start Asbury Park!

Seven things city leaders can do to drive a green, fair recovery from Covid-19

  • Remove through motor traffic from residential streets and extend pavements near shops, schools and parks to make walking safe and enjoyable for transport and exercise.
  • Introduce safe access routes on foot, bike and scooter from homes to parks and green spaces and introduce automatic pedestrian lights at crossings so people do not have to push buttons and risk infection.
  • Establish safe cycle routes to and from work for key workers, especially hospital staff, by closing roads and carriageways where necessary so people have a safe alternative to private cars and public transport.
  • Create safe walking and cycling routes to and from schools, and close down streets around schools to motor vehicles at drop-off and pickup times.

Read more:


Vision Zero #Slowthecars

Vision Zero is working in cities all over the US. “To actually make progress or commit to Vision Zero, it will really take a transformative shift in how your city is prioritizing safe mobility.”

Asbury Park is actively working on strategies to reduce automobile speed on city streets. Stay tuned for our initiative #slowthecars.

Vision Zero Network Hires Big Gun To Focus on Slowing Drivers Down Already

About 30 U.S. cities have committed to Vision Zero, but that’s the easy part. Map: Vision Zero Network
Read more…