We Want To Stop Speeding In Asbury Park!

What the heck is the 85th Percentile Rule?

We recently had a meeting in Asbury Park about the problem of speeding, and slowing drivers on our streets, a proposed traffic calming measure, specifically mini roundabouts, and how speed limits are determined.

Our Transportation Manager attempted to explain to the attendees what the 85th Percentile Rule is as they questioned why we can’t change speed limit signs. We just can’t. Or at least not without great difficulty.

In simple terms it’s an engineering calculation that the speed limit is determined by the actual speed that people drive. It’s hopefully soon-to-be edited Manual For Urban Traffic Control Devices, MUCTD.

The 85th Percentile Rule is horrible. It’s not about safety.

Hear me? IT’S NOT ABOUT SAFETY.  IT’S NOT ABOUT SLOWING DRIVERS.

It’s about expediting the movement of vehicles.

Here’s a simple, short video with great graphics with Transportation 4 America director Beth Osborne, who joined Wall Street Journal correspondent George Downs to explain why one controversial method for setting speed limits results in higher and higher speeds.

It’s also clearly explained in the excellent site for National Association of City Transportation Officials, NACTO. These folks get it.

The crazy thing is that traffic engineers and planning people don’t seem to speak the same language.

We have city planners who are hamstrung by these regulations, but we can get around them with creative solutions to #slowthecars like mini-roundabouts, speed humps, street narrowing…and we have the grant money do do it.

Let’s get on the same page about saving lives and saving the planet.

Onward.

 

 

 

 

Slowing Drivers In Asbury Park

Asbury Park can redesign and reinvest in our streets as spaces for people, as well as critical arteries for traffic. 3rd and 4th Avenues are through streets into and out of our city. These are wide, lovely residential streets that are treated as speedways for drivers.

Drivers will speed if they are able to do so.  Education and enforcement are certainly ways to attempt to change driver behavior. But the most effective way to prevent speeding is to erect visual and physical obstacles, so drivers are less likely to press down on the gas pedal.

One such traffic calming measure that has been discussed in Asbury Park is the use of mini roundabouts. There are other effective measures as well.  Please take a look at the Urban Street Design Guide, offering the best principles and practices of the foremost engineers, planners, and designers working in cities today.

 

 

The guide outlines options that are effective and attractive to keep the most vulnerable road users safe, and to maintain the beauty of our neighborhoods.

Here are a few:

Mini roundabout

Curb extension

Chicane

Note: these traffic calming designs are not those which have been proposed for Asbury Park. They are examples from the Urban Street Design Guide prepared by the National Association of City Transportation Officials

 

As always, APCSC values your comments, and please share!

Polli Schildge, APCSC Editor

Safe Routes to School Project

This is BIG.

Safe Routes to School Project

Making streets safe for the most vulnerable road users. #equityintransit #equitabletransportation #equitableaccess

Safe Routes to School Project

PROJECT BACKGROUND

The purpose of this project is to support Safe Routes to School (SRTS) safety and access improvements by implementing traffic calming measures on Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue between Prospect Avenue and Comstock Street. The project Design and Construction cost is funded by federal funds administered through NJDOT Local Aid Transportation Alternatives (TA) Program and Design Assistance.

PROPOSED PROJECT LIMITS AND IMPROVEMENTS MAY INCLUDE:

  • Installing mini-roundabouts at the intersections of:
    1. Fourth Avenue & Prospect Avenue
    2. Fourth Avenue & Bridge Street
    3. Fourth Avenue & Pine Street
    4. Fourth Avenue & Comstock Street
    5. Third Avenue & Prospect Avenue
  • Installing Driver Feedback (Your Speed Is) signs at the intersections of:
    1. Fourth Avenue & Central Avenue
    2. Fourth Avenue & Jeffrey Street
    3. Third Avenue & Central Avenue
    4. Third Avenue & Bridge Street
  • Installation of a four-way stop at Third Avenue & Comstock Street
  • Removal of the Existing Traffic Signal at Third Avenue & Pine Street
  • Shared lane markings / bicycle lanes on Third Avenue (between Ridge Avenue and Memorial Drive)

ANTICIPATED PROJECT SCHEDULE:

Design Phase Completed: 2022

Construction: 2023

VIRTUAL PUBLIC MEETING INFORMATION FOR WEDNESDAY 12/15/21:

The City of Asbury Park will hold a Public Information Center (PIC) to provide local residents and businesses with information on the 2018 SRTS Asbury Park – Traffic Calming, Bike and Pedestrian Safety Upgrades, Third Ave & Fourth Ave between Prospect Avenue and Comstock Street project. You are encouraged to actively participate by providing comments at the meeting, by mail, or by email.

PARTICIPATION INFORMATION

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

From 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Brief Presentation at 6:05 PM and 7:05 PM

The purpose of the meeting is to provide an opportunity for input on the project. The Public Information Center will be held online:

Participate on a Computer / Smart Phone:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5773006012162768396

– OR –

Participate by Telephone:

Call In Number: +1 (631) 992-3221

Access Code: 962-301-191

You will have an opportunity to review exhibits, ask questions and discuss any concerns. Property owners with rental units are advised that tenants are also invited and encouraged to participate.

PUBLIC COMMENT DUE BY 1/5/2022:

If you are unable to participate in the public meeting on 12/15/21 or want to provide comments after the meeting, please click here to provide comment by January 5, 2022.

Asbury Park Upgrades For Biking and Walking

Set to begin summer 2021, safety measures for people walking and riding bikes will be focused on 3 main areas of resident concern:

Traffic Calming on 3rd and 4th Avenues – What is traffic calming?

New 3rd Avenue Bike Lanes – How bike lanes make a city safer.

Traffic Signal Upgrade on 3rd Avenue at Pine Street – Do traffic signals keep us safer?

“Curbing speeding in neighborhoods has always been one of my priorities,” said Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn.

 

MEASURES TO SLOW TRAFFIC PLANNED FOR 3RD AND 4TH AVES

ROUNDABOUTS, BIKE LANES AND SIGNAL UPGRADES TO INCREASE PEDESTRIAN SAFELY

 

By Dan Jacobson

The City of Asbury Park has been authorized by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) to begin design work on traffic calming measures for 3rd and 4th Avenues. The improvements are funded by $500,000 in federal grants under the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program in partnership with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA). 

 

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

 

Road Diet Support From Tri City News!

Pick up a copy of Tri City today!

Big thanks to Dan Jacobsen Publisher of Tri City News for an in-depth, informative, and supportive article about the reconfiguration of Main Street.

Part of the article quoted from Polli Schildge, APCSC committee member:
As you drive on Main Street, “traffic calming” is what you’re experiencing.  It’s the driver response to a street that feels narrower, and where there’s a need to be more aware. Drivers seem to have adapted, and they’re driving more safely, even though it isn’t pretty. Right now Main Street is in the process of repair, with obstacles like barrels, trucks, and potholes which “calm” traffic. When the project is finished there will be a calmer flow of traffic, because of only one north and one south lane, bike lanes, and a center turning lane. Drivers will find that they’re getting to their destinations without losing time, and without needing to zoom traffic light to traffic light.
Scroll down for more…

More…
A small city like Asbury Park is perfectly positioned to implement infrastructure like the Main Street Road Diet, and to adopt The Asbury Park Plan for Walking and Biking, which Doug references.  We’re at #peakcar. #toomanycars. With bikeshare, jitneys, electric cars, and other transit options Asbury Park can be a model city for getting around safely walking, biking, and with or…without a car. 

For many years, much of the focus in engineering city streets has been how to efficiently move cars. Asbury Park is among other forward thinking cities globally where we’ve realized that safety, and PEOPLE should be the focus. Cars are often needed to get to destinations, but within the city there are much better, healthier, and safer ways to get around, especially for many residents who do not own cars at all.

We’re so fortunate to have Transportation Manager, Mike Manzella and advocate members in Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition who can help educate, and partner with residents, businesses and police to make this city truly walkable and bikeable.  
Stay tuned for more ways in which Asbury Park will be creating better ways for people to move about the city without a car. 

Asbury Park’s Grid Will Ease Traffic Congestion

This article will help Asbury Park drivers, residents, business owners, and visitors understand the causes of congestion, and to envision how the the road diet on Main Street will work especially well due to our grid design (along with reduced speed limits) to calm traffic.

The Neighborhood Traffic Trade-Off

  by Daniel Herriges

People like to blame traffic on one simple, but logical, cause: there are “too many cars” on the road. Opponents of new development, in particular, cite traffic more often than any other issue as a reason for their opposition. And in most places you’ll find a widespread consensus that traffic on residential streets is particularly objectionable. It introduces noise and pollution, and most importantly, it poses a safety hazard. Keep through traffic to major thoroughfares and off side streets, goes the logic. Development approvals, especially for retail businesses, often even come with stipulations about closing access points to ensure that neighborhood streets aren’t affected by those coming and going.

Read more…

https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2019/1/30/the-neighborhood-traffic-trade-off

AP Sun: Grants For Street Safety Improvements

More great coverage from Asbury Park Sun about grants for improvements for safe walking and bicycling in Asbury Park!

CITY HOPES GRANT FUNDING WILL HELP IMPROVE TRAFFIC SAFETY

APPLICATIONS BEING MADE FOR TRAFFIC CALMING MEASURES ALONG 3RD & 4TH AND MEMORIAL DRIVE IMPROVEMENTS

By Michelle Gladden

 

Memorial Drive

“Asbury Park was recognized as Safe Routes to School Gold Community this year,” Manzella said. “We think this distinction makes a good case for us to receive this funding which will help reduce speeding and improve pedestrian and cyclist safety on Third and Fourth Avenues in the vicinity of the Bradley Elementary School.”

Read more…

http://asburyparksun.com/city-hopes-grant-funding-will-help-improve-traffic-safety/