We’ve hit peak car. People are complaining about traffic, and lack of parking in Asbury Park and in cities all over the US. Building wider roads was never a good idea (induced demand), and it isn’t feasible or economically a great idea to build more parking (Cities are eliminating parking.) Maybe car culture in the US is about to change.
The Streets Were Never Free. Congestion Pricing Finally Makes That Plain.
The policy could change not just traffic, but also how we think about the infrastructure cars require.
By Emily Badger April 4th, 2019
The idea of the open road evokes these intertwined meanings: The freedom to use it should be free. Residential street parking should be free. Traffic lanes should be free. Stretches of public curb dedicated to private driveways? Those should be free, too.
In other ways, the government has heavily subsidized driving, or hidden the reality of who pays for it in places no one sees. Local laws require off-street parking from businesses and housing developers, who pass on the construction cost of it to tenants and customers who may not drive at all.
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.
Cities are at peak car. Traffic congestion and crashes are a constant issue. It’s been shown over and over that adding bike lanes (and walking infrastructure) is a cheap and easy fix in large cities like Toronto, and in small cities it’s even easier. Let’s commit to bike infrastructure. We’ll patiently wait for naysayers and car addicts to calm down as traffic eases and crashes are reduced.
Bike lanes prove that transportation solutions can be cheap and effective