CALL TO ACTION: NEED YOUR COMMENTS

REVISE THE MANUAL ON UNIFORM TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES! 
To our supporters: Many may not realize that there is a manual governing how our roads are designed, which is to prioritize the expedited movement of motor vehicles, NOT for the safety of people. It’s called the Manual On Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). It’s outdated and related to, if not responsible for many of the problems on our streets today.
A large population in Asbury Park, and all over the US are  is directly affected by streets that are not designed for people. We need to change this. We need streets that are safe for the most vulnerable road users.
This graph from the last census shows the numbers of people who walk and bike to work – everyone deserves equitable mobility.
 
Please read about the initiative to rewrite the MUTCD and add your comment.  You can copy and paste the text below (or write your own comment) on the Transportation For America page, and click on “submit your comment” where you can also post on the Regulations.gov site.
MUTCD Revision:
Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition supports America Walks. And I personally care deeply about my community, Asbury Park, NJ, and neighboring communities in the Jersey Shore area.The MUTCD is an obstacle to human activity by prioritizing the level of service for vehicular traffic, and must be completely revised to change the way roads and streets are designed.I join America Walks and other groups to ask that U.S. DOT perform a comprehensive overhaul of the MUTCD, centering on safety and equity. We need a rule book that is designed to support healthier, safer communities, that:
  • Ensures every urban and suburban signalized intersection has basic pedestrian infrastructure, like curb ramps, pedestrian signal heads that display “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” messages and crosswalks.
  • Sets speed limits based on safety, not based on how fast drivers can speed through our cities and towns.
  • Gives local residents a voice in what kind of infrastructure is needed.
  • Gives engineers flexibility to design streets that are safe enough for children, and all vulnerable users to navigate.I join America Walks in asking that FHWA reframe and rewrite the MUTCD, creating a path for guidance that aligns with the equity, safety, and sustainability goals of American cities, as well as those of the Biden Administration.
Thank you,
Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition

Green Transportation Not Just For St. Patrick’s Day

You’ve read it here again and again: almost 40,000 Americans died in automobile-related crashes last year.  Injuries from crashes are a national health crisis, as well as illnesses related to pollution and obesity.  We’re spending more time than ever in our cars because our roads have been designed to prioritize driving above any other mode of transportation. Many are carrying unsustainable debt for their vehicles, not to mention the cost of insurance, fuel, and car storage (aka parking). It doesn’t have to be this way.

THE GREEN NEW DEAL FOR TRANSPORTATION IS HERE.

And polling shows that Americans want it, too

A GREEN NEW DEAL FOR TRANSPORTATION

Polling shows that Americans want more options than just driving. The Green New Deal for Transportation can get us there.

In February 2019, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) and Senator Ed Markey introduced the Green New Deal to Congress, momentous legislation that, if passed, would set goals for future climate lawmaking. But the bill had one glaring omission: it was “devoid of the bold reimagining of federal transportation spending which encourages more roads, more driving, more sprawl, and more emissions,” as T4America director Beth Osborne wrote at the time.  

Download the report here:

A GREEN NEW DEAL FOR CITY AND SUBURBAN TRANSPORTATION

A preview of the report:

The overwhelming majority of federal transportation spending is allocated for roads, leaving limited funds available for more sustainable modes like transit, walking, and biking. As a result, fewer than 10% of Americans currently live within walking distance of frequent transit. The collective “sidewalk gap” in U.S. cities easily adds up to tens of billions of dollars, and the Americans with Disabilities Act mandate to make streets accessible remains unfunded, leaving too many people isolated in their homes. Our roadways are designed to move vehicles at the highest speeds possible, with devastating consequences. More than 35,000 Americans die in automobile-related accidents every year, and pedestrian fatalities have increased by 35 percent
in the past decade. Americans are spending longer than ever in their cars – and taking on unsustainable levels of debt to pay for those cars. These realities are treated as a necessary part of the American transportation system, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

 

 

 

Design Safe Streets=Save The Planet

The transportation sector is responsible for around 14 percent of emissions.  (Meat production is worse for the environment, but that’s another story!)

“After decades of prioritizing transportation investments in new highways with a focus on speed above all else, we’re stuck with a transportation system that produces more carbon emissions than any other sector in the United States. Spread-out development facilitated by wide fast roads make cars all but essential for daily travel in many U.S. communities.”

More than half of vehicle emissions come from light-duty vehicles, which includes the cars we drive around in for most daily trips. Most car trips are usually less than three miles, and most of these trips are made by car, despite efforts in cities to promote alternative transportation options.

 

People are driving more – By some estimates, the total number of vehicles worldwide could double to 2.5 billion by 2050.  So the uptick in driving more is obliterating any emissions benefits, even with cleaner fuels, the prevalence of electric cars, and more efficient vehicles.  We can all make an effort to drive 10% less to make a difference. And designing “safer roads will increase rates of biking, walking, and transit ridership, and enable fewer and shorter car trips.”

Safety Over Speed: Safe Streets Are Climate-Friendly Streets

8 Nov 2019

Lowering speeds have more benefits besides saving lives: street designs that keep speeds low help reduce carbon emissions, too. In this blog post by our friends at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Ann Shikany and Carter Rubin discuss how safer roads increase rates of biking, walking, and transit ridership, and enable fewer and shorter car trips.

“In communities across the county, our transportation system provides key linkages for commuters to jobs, kids to school and all of us to our social, family and recreational opportunities.

But the flip-side is that after decades of prioritizing transportation investments in new highways with a focus on speed above all else, we’re stuck with a transportation system that produces more carbon emissions than any other sector in the United States. Spread-out development facilitated by wide fast roads make cars all but essential for daily travel in many U.S. communities.

When you dive deeper into those carbon emissions—you’ll find that 59 percent of them come from light-duty vehicles—that includes the cars we drive around in for most daily trips. While the majority of daily trips are less than three miles, most of them are made by car.

Even worse, transportation emissions are rising because people are driving more and making longer trips. Even with cleaner fuels (not to mention electric cars) and more efficient vehicles, the uptick in driving more is obliterating any emissions benefits.”

Read about it~

http://t4america.org/2019/11/08/safety-over-speed-safe-streets-are-climate-friendly-streets/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+transportationforamerica+%28Transportation+For+America+%28All%29%29

Candidates’ Plans For Climate Are Not Enough

“Simply put, we’ll never achieve ambitious climate targets if we don’t reduce driving.”

So. What do the Democratic candidates say about climate – and how transportation is directly accounts for the largest share of carbon emissions in the U.S.?  Not nearly enough. They focus on a few big things—electric vehicles, renewable energy, putting a price on carbon, and strengthening fuel efficiency standards, but it’s not nearly enough as long as there are so many vehicles on the roads. Both parties rely on “antiquated policy that undermines any action we take on climate change: spending billions to build new highways, encouraging more and more driving.”

Check out the Candidate list in the article below.

“Democrats and Republicans remain deeply committed to

THE CANDIDATES’ CLIMATE PLANS & TRANSPORTATION

“We took an in-depth look at the climate plans from the top eight presidential candidates (according to RealClearPolitics polling data as of November 1, 2019) for the Democratic Party nomination. We’ve also included Jay Inslee in our analysis, despite the fact that he dropped out of the race, because his climate plan is widely considered to have set the standard for climate plans.

There are some candidates running for the Republican nomination for president, but none of them have released climate plans. The closest thing President Trump has to a climate plan is the “Affordable Clean Energy” rule which could actually increase pollution.”

Note: Investments, quantifiable targets, or policy proposals below are bolded; broad value statements or acknowledgements of an issue without a proposal to address it are not bolded.

All candidates except U.S. Senator Cory Booker raise their hands while responding to a question that they would currently support the original Iran nuclear agreement during the first U.S. 2020 presidential election Democratic candidates debate in Miami, Florida, U.S., June 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

 

Climate change has become a top issue for Americans, so how do the top Democratic candidates plan to reduce emissions? Here’s a brief look at what some of the presidential candidates are proposing when it comes to emissions from transportation.

Polling Candidate Electrify vehicles Reduce driving Promote bikeable/walkable communities Invest in transit Support passenger rail
1 Biden 500,000 new public charging outlets by the end of 2030 and restore the full electric vehicle tax credit. Altering local regulations to eliminate sprawl and allow for denser, more affordable housing near public transit would cut commute times for many of the country’s workers while decreasing their carbon footprint. Communities across the country are experiencing a growing need for alternative and cleaner transportation options, including transit, dedicated bicycle and pedestrian thoroughfares, and first- and last-mile connections. Ensure that America has the cleanest, safest, and fastest rail system in the world and will begin the construction of an end-to-end high speed rail system that will connect the coasts.
2 Warren Zero emissions in all new light and medium duty vehicles by 2030. Expand and improve public transit across our country.
3 Sanders 100 percent electric vehicles powered with renewable energy. For too long, government policy has encouraged long car commutes, congestion, and dangerous emissions. Create more livable, connected, and vibrant communities. $300 billion investment to increase public transit ridership by 65 percent by 2030. $607 billion investment in a regional high-speed rail system.
4 Buttigeig All new passenger vehicles sold be zero-emissions by 2035. Switching from individual vehicles to public transportation not only reduces traffic congestion, but also reduces emissions while improving air quality. $100 billion over 10 years, which will include installing bike and scooter lanes. $100 billion over 10 years, which will include modernizing subways and other transit systems and deploying electric commuter buses and school buses.
5 Harris 100 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2035. Incentivize people to reduce car usage and use public transit…focusing our transportation infrastructure investments toward projects that reduce vehicle miles traveled and address gaps in first mile, last mile service. Funding robust public transportation networks to bring communities together.
6 Yang Require all models from 2030 on to be zero-emission vehicles. $200 billion grant program to states to electrify transit systems.
7 Gabbard While Gabbard has not released a climate plan, she has introduced legislation in the U.S. House that would require all new vehicle sales to be 100% electric by 2035.
8 O’Rourke Rapidly accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicles. $1.2 trillion through grants and other investments, including: Transportation grants that cut commutes, crashes, and carbon pollution — all while boosting access to public transit.
Honorable Mention: Jay Inslee Invest federal moneys and expand effective public policies linking community-based economic development to housing affordability and mobility. Promote vibrant communities, more healthy and walkable neighborhoods, and both the preservation of existing affordable housing and construction of new affordable units. Invest in expanding public transit and connecting people in communities through safe, multi-modal transportation options. More than double annual federal investment in public transit systems and incentivize expansion of transit networks. Provide major new federal investment in electrifying passenger and freight rail throughout the country, and offering federal investment to states and regional partnerships to expand ultra-high-speed rail.

IT’S TIME TO DESIGN FOR SAFETY, NOT SPEED

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.

Traffic engineers by definition prioritize the level of service (LOS) of automobiles moving in traffic. In the world of traffic engineering, speed limits are determined by allowing drivers to self-govern, thereby setting speeds according to the 85th Percentile Speed – the speed at or below which 85 percent of vehicles travel. 

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.

Let’s start with a number: 49,340.

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.

Read all about it:

http://t4america.org/2019/11/04/safety-over-speed-week-theres-one-thing-that-almost-every-fatal-car-crash-has-in-common/#easy-footnote-bottom-1-28661