New Jersey Health Initiatives - A Better State of Health
A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program
Asbury Park Alive!
October 18, 2019 / Building a Healthier Asbury Park

The vision of the Asbury Park Alliance is to improve the health and well-being of all Asbury Park residents through prevention, health education, active programs, policy, and environmental change. Its mission is to prevent and reduce chronic disease by eliminating the barriers and conditions that prevent healthy living and thinking.

The Open Streets movement is a global phenomenon about getting communities active and changing the way people view their streets and neighborhoods. In Spring 2019, the Alliance closed a series of roads in town and made them available for walking, biking, yoga, and rock climbing — helping promote healthy lifestyles in the city. In addition to the grant from New Jersey Health Initiatives, the Alliance raised more than $20,000 from the community to support the event.

Dubbed “Asbury Park Alive,” the slogan for this inaugural event was “Uniting a City through Streets in Motion!” The city closed several major streets to provide a safe space for people to walk, bike, or skate, while bands, DJs, and numerous activity stations lined the streets, promoting health, well-being and a sense of community.

EZ Ride provided shuttle services to transport residents from the senior housing buildings to the event. In addition, EZ Ride’s Bike and Pedestrian team set up an extensive Safe Bike Riding Skills Course. They distributed safety information, bike safety coloring books, Street Smart tip cards, bike lights, bike water bottle holders and free helmets.

“I had the privilege to be stationed near EZ Ride’s Bike Rodeo. The team focused on the children’s enjoyment and safety and distributed a lot of essential items, including helmets and bicycle water bottle holders,” said Rev. Jackie Burgess, Volunteer Coordinator for Asbury Park Alive. “They did face a few challenges, including illegally parked vehicles and the rain. But EZ Ride’s Bike & Pedestrian Team rearranged the course several times as necessary. In spite of the rain, they kept the children and families fully engaged.”

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Project
Author
Krishna Murthy
Organization
Meadowlands Transportation Brokerage Corporation