Asbury Park Gets A Grant For Safer Streets

Residents on through streets who have been rightfully concerned about speeding will see traffic calming measures put in place to #slowthecars.  New bike lanes will be implemented so students can ride to school, and pedestrian safety will be improved with new signals. Thanks Safe Routes To Schools and Transportation Manager Mike Manzella. Asbury Park is building infrastructure to become a model city for biking and walking.

Asbury Park Grant For Pedestrian Safety Improvements

The funds will be used to make pedestrian safety improvements focused on three main areas of resident concern.

By Tom Davis, Patch National Staff | 

“We’re proud of our current Gold Level standing with the Safe Routes to School Program and thankful to EZ Ride for the significant support they’ve provided the city in reaching that goal,” said Transportation Director Michael Manzella. “We have been putting in the work to build and maintain our standing in the program in anticipation of applying for grants such as these and securing future funding.”

Read about it:

https://patch.com/new-jersey/asbury-park/asbury-park-grant-pedestrian-safety-improvements

 

Parking Problems Everywhere

The issues of parking in Australia are the same as those in the US. Comforting to know that we’re not alone struggling with this, and in every city with the same problem, it all comes down to #toomanycars. There’s tension between the auto industry desperately trying to keep cars on the roads, engineers who persist in designing roads for cars, and the oil and gas industries vs environmentalists who have been letting us know that emissions are killing the planet, and urban planners who realize that streets should be designed as places for people and that #slowthecars will save thousands of lives each year. Cities designed with alternative transportation options are more livable – healthier and safer.

OF ALL THE PROBLEMS OUR CITIES NEED TO FIX, LACK OF CAR PARKING ISN’T ONE OF THEM

“…cars dominate our cities, supported by decades of unbalanced planning decisions favouring space for cars over other land uses or forms of transport. “

Car parking is such a pervasive feature of our cities that we have become blind to how much space it takes up. 

“Finally, providing more housing options without rigidly attached parking spaces will encourage people who don’t actually need to drive to choose to drive less or switch to other forms of transport.”

Read more…

https://theconversation.com/of-all-the-problems-our-cities-need-to-fix-lack-of-car-parking-isnt-one-of-them-116179

What’s An LPI? Pedestrians First!

 

Correction!

Although APCSC advocates for LPIs-

Unfortunately Asbury Park Main Street redesign does NOT include LPIs. Main ST is NJ 71, a state highway, and NJDOT engineers are not including LPIs in the traffic lights, although they are recommended by the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

Drivers have been injuring and killing people walking, and  people on bikes at an increasing rate. Mixing people with cars is a bad combination. #slowthecars #toomanycars

Canadian cities are grappling with the same issues that we are here in the US. Speed kills, and there are too many cars. One way to make streets safer for people is the traffic signal that lets people cross before drivers are permitted to go, called an LPI, Leading Pedestrian Interval.  (There are also LBIs in many cities, which allow people on bikes to go first.) Asbury Park will experience the benefit of LBIs at intersections when the Main Street reconfiguration is completed.

‘We need to implement this everywhere’

Critic calls for installation of LPIs, which give head start to pedestrians at crosswalks

 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/we-need-to-implement-this-everywhere-is-vancouver-dragging-its-heels-on-pedestrian-safety-1.5093227

What Are We Going to Do About It?

If you wouldn’t let your kids ride a bike or walk across town in your city, or if you, as an adult are fearful of riding your bike around your town or for a bike ride to another town, there’s something seriously wrong.  And the tragedy is that we know what it is. It’s cars. We know cars kill.  We know that streets and roads are engineered to move cars quickly, and not to enable people to move about safely. So what are we going to do about it?  Check out the podcasts.

We Need a Sea Change in How We Think About Roads and Streets

March 12, 2019

“You are grossly negligent if you show a conscious indifference to the safety of others. In other words, you’re aware that the safety of others is endangered, but you don’t do anything to act on that knowledge.”

— Charles Marohn

#8 in our Greatest Hits collection of the best Strong Towns Podcast episodes you may have missed the first time around, here’s “Gross Negligence” from June 2015. In it, Chuck Marohn describes:

  • An exercise from army basic training in which he had to crawl through a trench while an expert marksman sent bullets whizzing nearby. No parent would let their child do this. So why do we accept that this is basically the condition of being on the sidewalk of an American stroad?
  • Why we tend to associate speed with mobility and economic opportunity—and why we’re wrong.
  • The incoherence of common responses to tragedy on our streets, such as a proposal to remedy an unsafe highway through a park in Buffalo by simultaneously making it more like a city street… and more like a high-speed road.
  • What we would do if we actually wanted to make safety the number one priority on our streets.  The podcast:  http://podcast.strongtowns.org/e/greatest-hits-7-gross-negligence/
Read more…

https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2019/3/12/we-need-a-sea-change-in-how-we-think-about-roads-and-streets

People Are Being Killed By Cars

People are killed every day while walking, even in crosswalks, and with the right-of-way. The narrative we hear too often is that they were “distracted walkers” or officer’s reports stating that the person was “hit by a car* while        walking outside the crosswalk  …”  Do we realize yet that the media is presenting “facts” in such a way as to dehumanize and exonerate drivers*, while blaming victims for their deaths?   #slowthecars #toomanycars  While lawmakers are still bumbling through legislation to reduce the numbers of cars on city streets all over the US, what can  WE do about it in Asbury Park?

01.23.19

The number of pedestrians killed by cars keeps going up

Americans are walking less, but the number of people killed by drivers while walking keeps going up. Unsurprisingly, these deaths happen more in poor neighborhoods of color.

Every year, the amount of time Americans spend walking declines. Driving, on the other hand, has slightly but steadily risen in popularity since 2008. During that period, the number of pedestrians killed by people in cars has skyrocketed.

Read more…

https://www.fastcompany.com/90294569/the-number-of-pedestrians-killed-by-cars-keeps-going-up?partner=rss&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=rss+fastcompany&utm_content=rss

The Two Most Deadly Years

Between 2008 and 2017 drivers struck and killed 49,340 people who were walking on streets all across the United States. That’s more than 13 people per day, or one person every hour and 46 minutes. The last two years on record (2016 and 2017) were the most deadly years for people killed by drivers while walking since 1990.

A frightening report just came out from NJ.com ranking the deadliest N.J. counties for traffic accidents, ranked from least to most. 

It’s time to accept that we are at #peakcar, and people driving vehicles and speeding kills people walking and on bikes. #slowthecars.

Take a look at the report from  Smart Growth America , and join the webinar on Thursday, January 24th at 2:30pm EST. 

Dangerous by Design ranks states & metros on danger to pedestrians

Too many Americans are being struck and killed by the drivers of cars, trucks, and SUVs while walking. Dangerous by Design 2019, released today, chronicles the preventable epidemic of pedestrian fatalities, which have been steadily increasing in recent years, even as traffic fatalities overall have been decreasing.

Dangerous by Design 2019 takes a closer look at this alarming epidemic.

We can and must do more to reduce the number of people who die while walking every day on our roadways. For too long we have disregarded this problem by prioritizing moving cars at high speeds over safety for everyone. It’s past time for that to change. Protecting the safety of all people who use the street—especially the people most vulnerable to being struck and killed—needs to be a higher priority for policymakers, and this priority must be reflected in the decisions we make about how to fund, design, operate, maintain, and measure the success of our roads.

Overview

In the past decade, the number of people struck and killed while walking increased by 35 percent. Though fatalities decreased ever so slightly in 2017, the last two years on record (2016 and 2017) were the most deadly years for people killed by drivers while walking since 1990.

 

 

Read more about it:

https://smartgrowthamerica.org/dangerous-by-design/

Big Deal: How Traffic Speeds Are Set

This is a big deal to begin making effective change in slowing traffic speeds and saving lives. #slowthecars.  First, we need to understand how traffic speeds have been set by the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) . On any given street or road speed limits have been set according to the highest speed of 15% of drivers in free flowing conditions. “85th percentile rule,” which pegs the speed limit on any particular roadway to the speeds of the fastest 15 percent of drivers in “free-flowing conditions.” So if 85 percent of the drivers stay below 40 miles per hour and 15 percent of drivers exceed it, that becomes the speed limit, even if 40 miles per hour is a bit too fast for that roadway.  The new language requires other criteria are used — like the presence of pedestrians — in setting speed limits, in addition to the 85th percentile rule.

Engineering Group Takes on High Speed Limits

By Angie Schmitt 

Read about it:

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2019/01/18/engineering-group-helps-battle-high-speed-limits/

Well-Known Musician Ken Sorensen “Stringbean” Says Streets Are For People

Kenny Sorensen, the talented and well-known musician has been advocating for safe infrastructure for bicycling for years. This is his letter to the editor of the Asbury Park Press. A road diet can be the solution. “While New Jersey traffic fatalities have declined slightly, pedestrian and bicycle deaths have sharply increased. This is a trend nationwide. More pedestrians and bicyclists are being killed and injured by cars than ever before.” #slowthecars Learn more…

Public streets not just for car owners: Sorensen

Ken Sorensen Jan. 11, 2019

Public streets should be for everyone, not just car owners. Our friends in Asbury Park Complete Streets have been successful in implementing a “road diet” on Main Street in Asbury Park. This current project converts four lanes of traffic to a three-lane configuration with a turning lane and bike lanes. It’s much safer for motorists and pedestrians. A road diet is a design tool that reverses six decades of road design focused solely on cars at the expense of pedestrians’ safety and general quality of life.

Read more…

https://www.app.com/story/opinion/columnists/2019/01/11/pedestrian-bike-safety-neptune/2540030002/

Asbury Park, Let’s Keep Up The Good Work in 2019

“The U.S. is an outlier both in terms of road deaths and gun deaths, the analysis shows.”

The horrendous statistics make it clear that the US has to take a serious look at the car culture and make big changes. #slowthecars This can happen one city at a time. Let’s keep up the good work protecting the city’s most vulnerable road users in 2019, Asbury Park. 

“The rate of death from motor vehicle crashes among U.S. children and adolescents was the highest observed among high-income countries; the U.S. rate was more than triple the overall rate observed in 12 other developed countries…”

America’s Car Culture is Literally Shortening Your Life: Study

 

Guns kill twice as many kids as cancer does, new study shows

“The United States is clearly not effectively protecting its children,” the journal’s editor writes.
By Maggie Fox
“Guns are the second leading killer of U.S. kids, after car crashes, according to a new report published Wednesday.”

“…just over 20,000 children died in the U.S. last year, most of them from injuries of some sort. They found 4,074 children died in road deaths, 3,143 from firearms and 1,853 from cancer.”

“Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for children and adolescents, representing 20 percent of all deaths; firearm-related injuries were the second leading cause of death, responsible for 15 percent of deaths,” they wrote.”

Read about it:

It’s Not All About Fire Truck Response Times

APCSC has found that Asbury Park’s Fire Department is coming on board with Complete Streets principles (the concept of the Road Diet is still somewhat a sticking point), but there are still holdouts (and also in our Police Department) clinging to the thinking that it’s all about response times, rather than accepting that faster road speeds lead to increasingly high numbers of traffic related injuries and deaths. It’s about #slowthecars and right-sized emergency vehicles.

Rule 51: Expand the Fire Chief’s Mandate

Rewrite the fire chief’s mandate to optimize public safety, not response times. Replace the 20-foot clear and minimum curb radii with more precise measures. Do not add or keep unwarranted signals in the name of preemption. Size new fire trucks to the community and not vice versa.

Perhaps the most ironic day in the life of every city planner is the one on which she discovers that her greatest opponent in making her city’s streets safer is the fire chief. How this bizarre circumstance has come to occur in city after city across the United States is a veritable morality play on the topics of siloed thinking, the confusion of ends and means, and Murphy’s Law. It goes something like this:

Walkable City Rules, the upcoming book from Jeff Speck. Image: Island Press
“Walkable City Rules” (Island Press)

A faster response time is good, but not at the expense of life safety.

The fire chief’s job performance is typically judged on response time. The fire department’s budget is often based on the number of calls that fire trucks respond to. These two facts conspire to replace a fire chief’s natural mandate, optimizing the life safety of the community, with a much narrower focus: sending out lots of trucks, and getting them to their destinations quickly.

Get the book:

Walkable City Rules by Jeff Speck

 

Read more…

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2018/11/12/for-a-more-walkable-city-enlist-the-fire-chief/