APCSC is proud to be a signatory on the letter sent to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader McCarthy, and Minority Leader Schumer: “We write because America’s transportation system is in a crisis…”
“The point of transportation is to get people where they need to go, meaning we should prioritize infrastructure and transportation projects that connect people to jobs and services. Since the dawn of the modern highway era, we have used vehicle speed as a poor proxy for access to jobs and important services like healthcare, education, public services, and grocery stores. The way we build roads and design communities to achieve high vehicle speed often requires longer trips and makes shorter walking, bicycling, or transit trips unsafe, unpleasant, or impossible. New data can help to address decades of disinvestment which have disconnected communities and worsened economic outcomes.”
14 Apr 2020
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to shift the political landscape, 293 elected officials and organizations from 45 states signed Transportation for America’s letter urging Congress to reform the federal transportation program in the upcoming reauthorization. Because rethinking transportation policy matters now more than ever.
When Transportation for America first wrote this letter advocating for groundbreaking changes in the upcoming federal transportation reauthorization, COVID-19 had yet to radically alter our everyday lives. But as the effects of the virus grew more and more dire, we’ve realized that establishing a new framework for U.S. transportation policy matters more now than ever.
We’re not alone: 293 elected officials and organizations from 45 states signed this letter, with many signatories joining as the coronavirus accelerated. While focused on reauthorization, adopting the reforms in this letter is necessary for Congress to guarantee that any future COVID-19 stimulus substantially improves American lives—not just pump more money into a broken highway program that fails to create new jobs.
Read more here:
Polli Schildge, Founding Member
Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition
The outbreak of COVID-19, is one more strike against mass transit with public health agencies urging people to avoid public gatherings, and “social distancing. “It’s still early to know exactly how this will unfold, but without proper mitigation efforts from local governments, we could be feeling the effects of coronavirus on public transportation service for years to come.”
Mass transit has pretty much always had a bad reputation in popular culture – bus and subway riders in film are often depicted as poor and derelict at worst, and just short of miserable at best.
Ride share like Uber and Lyft has chipped away at transit ridership, flooding streets with more cars, and undermining struggling transit systems. “The legacy of these companies amounts to a warning to the public and policymakers: If you do not provide people with good transportation options, they will take bad ones.”
One way for people to avoid exposure during the outbreak of COVID-19 is to ride bikes, but in some cities like NYC, with “cyclists are reporting huge increases in biking this week” the conditions for bicyclists are not optimal, and the administration isn’t currently planning to focus on better bike infrastructure, as seen in this film: Streetfilms: Biking is the Way to Beat Coronavirus.
As spring approaches in Asbury Park we can get around within this 1.4 mile sq. city on foot, on bikes, and we can utilize other micro-mobility options as they become available. Supporters of Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition can continue to lobby for more and better infrastructure for walking and biking in the city, now and onward.
Ridership is likely going to plummet, which will make it harder on local transit agencies
By Aaron Gordon Mar 10 2020
Coronavirus is beginning to upend American life. The stock market is crashing, universities are cancelling classes or moving them online
, conferences are being canceled
, and airlines
are struggling. Unsurprisingly, public transportation is also going to be greatly impacted. It’s still early to know exactly how this will unfold, but without proper mitigation efforts from local governments, we could be feeling the effects of coronavirus on public transportation service for years to come.
In keeping with the GREEN Streets Act, this is Asbury Park’s goal: “…we must make it possible for people to take fewer and shorter car trips, as well as make it easy and convenient for people to bike, walk and use transit.”
Generating Resilient, Environmentally Exceptional National (GREEN) Streets Act introduced in the Senate today
Today Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced a bill that would measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled. This would be transformative.
“Unfortunately, our federal transportation program forces people to drive more by measuring success through vehicle speed—not the time it actually takes people to reach their destination. Building wider highways and sprawling cities to accommodate high-speed driving creates a feedback loop of more driving, virtually guaranteeing ever-increasing transportation emissions (and congestion). “
It’s about a better city, not about riding bikes or walking, or certainly not a “war on cars”. Many people (or most) who ride bikes and walk also drive a vehicle. We’re all in this together. Asbury Park is finalizing the Asbury Park Bike and Walk Master Plan which will create a network for safe walking and bicycling .
“…a few separated routes through a large, still car-dominated city and region don’t create a viable choice in how to get around for people aged 8-80. For people of both genders and all ages to choose a mode of movement a system or network is needed – complete, connected, efficient, predictable, and safe in both perception and reality.”
It’s Not About The Bike Or Car —It’s About Better Cities
“I don’t consider myself a ‘cyclist.’ Calling myself that would seem as odd as calling myself a walker, a transit-rider, or a driver. I’m someone who loves living in cities, who has studied how cities work all of my adult life. Really, I’m a citizen.”