Strolling around Rockefeller Plaza is a pleasure for visitors this Christmas season. NYC went through the expected bureaucratic machinations, but finally did it. Streets are walkable, and cars are marginalized (at least temporarily), and even the naysayers have changed their tune, enjoying the friendliness and lack of traffic congestion. Cities all over the world are re-imagining their relationship with cars and re-designing for people. We can begin to see this becoming a reality in Asbury Park. Onward, looking forward to a people-centered city. Happy 2020 and beyond!
“Less is more, regarding traffic,” said Joe Friedman, a Connecticut resident who commutes to Rockefeller Center for his job in television production as he took a break on 49th Street. “There’s usually much more congestion and you’re fighting for space all the time.”
On the ground, the pilot program was, unsurprisingly, a huge hit with the people walking in the middle of the street. “We’re from Oklahoma, and this is great!”, one of the tourists told Gothamist. “I hope they do this with more streets,” said an Upper West Side woman out shopping with her daughter. “It’s so nice to have to have some space, and not have to worry about cars.” Even the one guy I found who may have had a legitimate reason to be irritated by the change, a Baldor’s driver on delivery who had to park his truck two blocks away and hand truck his produce in instead of pulling into the Rock Center garage, was not at all annoyed. “Look at all the happy people,” he told me. “Taking pictures, holding hands… it’s beautiful.”
Think of the reasons that you love Asbury Park. Four cities were in the semi-final round of The Strongest Town. (Voting is now closed, and results are in as of April 6. Stay tuned.). Would Asbury Park someday be able to see our name on this list? Could we win? Take a look at the The Strong Towns Strength Test. Click on the underlined questions for details. How do you think we would score? Asbury Park might only score a 1 out of 10 right now – We have work to do, but with your support of APCSC advocacy we are moving in the right direction!
We understand that cities are complex, adaptable systems that defy easy or precise measurement, so we asked ourselves: are there simple observations we use to signal that a city is either a strong town or on its way to becoming one? If you went to a place and had a little bit of time, could you scratch the surface and get a sense of how strong and resilient it was?
Here are ten simple questions we call the Strong Towns Strength Test. A Strong Town should be able to answer “yes” to each of these questions. (Click on the underlined questions to read a step-by-step guide for answering that question.)
Asbury Park is on it’s way to becoming a more walkable and livable city with new construction and improvements in infrastructure underway. Go for a walk in Asbury Park and look around. Find things you never knew existed. Get a feel for an unfamiliar neighborhood. Observe what you like, and what you aren’t crazy about, and let us know…APCSC wants to help make our city safer and more livable for everyone.
How walking might save the world (or at least our cities)
Lloyd Alter August 23, 2018
Berlin. (But doesn’t it look like Asbury Park’s Cookman Ave?)
“Walking is healthy. Walking is fun. People who walk engage with their cities in a different way, they are connected to it. It’s why walkable cities are such a joy. I have walked a mile in suburban Toronto and it felt like an eternity, but ten times as far downtown without being bored for a minute. This is the true test of a place- what is it like to walk there?”