Asbury Park is looking at a great opportunity to initiate progressive, and permanent change to prioritize people walking and people riding bikes, to offer alternative transportation, and to restrict the use of cars. We owe it to ourselves. This is our future, so let’s plan for it.
Since the beginning of the pandemic there have been countless articles about cities creating more space for people to protect the environment and to save lives. I’ve had so many in the queue I can barely keep up.
Read more here in this deep dive into what’s happening all over the world, followed by a great Twitter thread for more illumination.
Are we witnessing the death of the car?
By Francesca Perry29th April 2020
“Cities around the world are seeing dwindling numbers of fossil-fuel powered cars on their streets, and many are planning to keep it that way after
To accommodate streets now busier with bikes, as well as facilitate social distancing, some places have installed temporary cycle lanes or closed streets to cars. Pop-up bike lanes have appeared in cities including Berlin, Budapest, Mexico City, New York, Dublin and Bogotá. Governments from New Zealand to Scotland have made funding available for temporary cycle lanes and walkways amid the pandemic. In Brussels, the entire city core will become a priority zone for cyclists and pedestrians from early May for the forseeable future. Meanwhile, temporary street closures to cars have taken place in Brighton, Bogotá, Cologne, Vancouver and Sydney as well as multiple US cities including Boston, Denver and Oakland. In England, restrictions have been lifted to enable and encourage councils to more quickly close streets to cars.
“Cities across the globe are moving quickly and ambitiously to reclaim hundreds of kilometres of streets from the car monopoly and reallocate these public commons to people walking, cycling and rolling. It‘s like seeing decades of activism happen in a month.”
“The Great Reclamation: I am losing track of the number of cities that have moved suddenly and ambitiously to reclaim hundreds of kilometres of streets from the car monopoly and reallocate these public commons for people walking, cycling and using wheelchairs.”
@modacity began with a family’s move in 2010, and was the impetus to “educate people and cities about the inherent benefits of moving away from a car-centric transportation model, to a more inclusive one that is accessible to people of all ages, abilities, and economic means.”
“Using writing, photography, film, and the power of social media, we used this revelation to communicate a more human image of multi-modal transportation.”
“It is like watching decades of activism happen in a month. Like watching generations of ‘cycling and walking plans’ or ‘sustainable mobility plans’, which have always been aspirations, turn into facts (literally) overnight.
It has taken a crisis that is new, sudden, total and full of unknowns to break, albeit briefly, the car monopoly on urban space which has been in place for 70-100 years in the rich West…”
We know how to save the lives of people walking and biking…but will we #slowthecars?
Policy makers might not understand how to design safe roads, but more problematic, they are influenced by the automotive industry, so it behooves them to prioritize motor vehicles over other road users – the most vulnerable are not driving or buying cars.
The numbers of deaths increases drastically with every 10mph. (See graphs/images in the article.) APCSC would like to see Asbury Park determine speed based upon safety. Most drivers know that they can exceed speed limits by 10mph, so how about #20isplenty?
SAFETY OVER SPEED WEEK: THERE’S ONE THING THAT ALMOST EVERY FATAL CAR CRASH HAS IN COMMON
It’s “safety over speed” week here at T4America, and we are spending the week unpacking our second of three principles for transportation investment. Read more about those principles and if you’re new to T4America, you can sign up for email here. Follow along on @T4America this week and check back here on the blog for more related content all week long.
That’s how many people were struck and killed by cars while walking on streets all across the United States between 2008 and 2017. Almost 50,000 preventable deaths.
And yet, by and large, we call these crashes “accidents”. We still believe that these 50,000 deaths, and the deaths of almost 32,000 people every year killed inside of vehicles, are either just the cost of doing business for our transportation system, or were the product of bad behavior: distracted drivers, fatigued drivers, drunk drivers, or drivers not wearing seat belts.
There’s no doubt that distracted driving increases crash risk and should be punished. But distracted driving can’t explain all of these deaths. There’s one thing that almost every crash has in common, though: high vehicle speed.
When crashes occur at higher speeds, they are more likely to be fatal, especially when they involve a person biking or walking.
The auto industry is scared. Manufacturers are ceasing production of small and mid-sized cars because people aren’t buying them. The reasons are varied, but many consumers cite climate and environmental concerns, traffic congestion, and parking, plus more options in mass transit and other modes of mobility. This is true in the US, as well as Germany, and the UK. The truth is the big push in selling big vehicles is all about money. The industry feels the pinch of lower “product profitability” from cars, and the margins are much higher for SUVs, crossovers and trucks. So the spin in advertising is that larger vehicles are preferable for safety reasons (oh yeah, and they’re so tough, and cool, and rugged – you get the picture)… but it’s a LIE.
Drivers in families with children have been brainwashed into the belief that they’re safer if they’re in a bigger vehicle, but “studies show they lull drivers into a false sense of security, encouraging them to take greater risks. Their height makes them twice as likely to roll in crashes and twice as likely to kill pedestrians…”
The question as to whether to ban large vehicles from cities is being batted about on social media – the debate is centered on tradespeople who “need” them. That’s another story.
‘A deadly problem’: should we ban SUVs from our cities?
“SUVs are a paradox: while many people buy them to feel safer, they are statistically less safe than regular cars, both for those inside and those outside the vehicle. A person is 11% more likely to die in a crash inside an SUV than a regular saloon. Studies show they lull drivers into a false sense of security, encouraging them to take greater risks. Their height makes them twice as likely to roll in crashes and twice as likely to kill pedestrians by inflicting greater upper body and head injuries, as opposed to lower limb injuries people have a greater chance of surviving. Originally modelled from trucks, they are often exempt from the kinds of safety standards applied to passenger vehicles, including bonnet height. In Europe legislation is being brought in to end such “outdated and unjustified” exemptions.
The benefits of a city designed for kids is that it becomes safe, healthy, and a desirable place to live for everyone. Traffic injuries and fatalities have dropped dramatically, and this city now has lowest crime rate in a decade
What Happens to Kid Culture When You Close the Streets to Cars
In the Spanish city Pontevedra, a family-friendly “pedestrianization” policy has helped increase the population of kids, despite the country’s low birth rates.
“By restricting traffic and eliminating physical barriers, the city council has redesigned Pontevedra from the sight line of a child. Doing so, Mosquera believes, helps the city address everybody’s needs, especially the disadvantaged. “Where there are children, there are healthy adults,” Mosquera said. The policy, which has been expanding for almost two decades now, has had many impacts on the community.”
“The crime rate has gone down, too, adding to the feeling that the city is safe for unattended kids. In 2010, Pontevedra reached its lowest crime rate in a decade with 34 offenses per 1,000 citizens, and last year it reached a new low of 27.”
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.