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SEA BRIGHT: SUMMER FOR SALE

SB beach 061614sb mural 072014 6This should take the chill out of a rainy March Monday: thoughts of sunny days on the sands of Sea Bright.

Full-season beach badges for the coming summer are still available at half price: $50. The discount ends Thursday. To get yours, visit borough hall, at 1167 Ocean Avenue, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: REJECTED PLAN GETS SECOND SHOT

55 w front 092315The project, dubbed the Element, would be built on West Front Street next door to Trinity Episcopal Church. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A proposed 35-unit apartment building rejected by the Red Bank zoning board last week may end up getting built anyway.

The borough council on Wednesday night began a process that could lead to the construction of the Element apartments on West Front Street, opposite Riverside Gardens Park, without the developer having to appeal the zoning board’s denial of last Thursday.

And the council was acting, said Mayor Pasquale Menna, on a request made by the developer less than 24 hours after the zoning board rejection.

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RED BANK: ZONERS NIX APARTMENT PLAN

55 w front 040215 2The project, dubbed the Element, called for 35 rental units on a site previously approved for 27 condos. (Architect’s rendering. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Red Bank’s zoning board rejected plans for a 35-unit apartment building on a long-vacant downtown lot Thursday night.

The proposed structure — at 55 West Front Street, opposite Riverside Gardens Park — was shot down on a motion by presumptive Democratic council candidate Erik Yngstrom, who said it was too dense.

Mayor Pasquale Menna, who was in the audience, was sharply critical of the decision.

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LITTLE SILVER: BRIDGE CLOSING PLANNED

LS detour plan 010916Commuters who travel between Little Silver and Oceanport via Oceanport Avenue are in for some changes to their routine.

Beginning on or about January 12, the Oceanport Avenue bridge will be closed from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays for several weeks of repairs, according to Oceanport police. Detours via the nearby Goosenck Bridge will be in effect. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: MONTHLONG ROADWORK TO BEGIN

bridge ave 092815 1The northbound lane of Bridge Avenue in Red Bank between Chestnut Street and Drs. Parker Boulevard will be closed between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily for the month of October for roadwork, according to borough Engineer Christine Ballard.

As part of the town’s road program, the street is to get new sewers, curbs and asphalt, and paving will necessitate a full closure for a day or two, she said. Motorists are advised to use Shrewsbury Avenue instead.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: LANE MARKINGS NOW LEGIT

broad st 072215Though they’ve been there for years, the turning lanes on Broad Street in downtown Red Bank turn out not to have ever been codified by ordinance, an oversight, according to Mayor Pasquale Menna, that the borough council corrected Wednesday night.

The fix applies to turning lanes at Harding Road, Linden Place, Monmouth Street and East and West Front Streets.

Any lawyers out there want to weigh in on the validity of tickets issued before the change? (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: DUCKLINGS RESCUED FROM SEWER

rb ducks 051415 5While passersby tried to corral the mother duck and eight of her ducklings, above, Lauren Dezzi, below, got ready to retrieve four other babies from the sewer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb ducks 051415 6Four ducklings that apparently fell into a storm drain in downtown Red Bank were reunited with their mother and eight siblings by a fast-acting office worker Thursday afternoon.

Using a fish net from an aquarium in her office at OceanFirst Bank, Lauren Dezzi of Manchester got down on all fours atop a Broad Street sewer and gently plucked the downy babies to safety shortly after noon.

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RUMSON: CRASH ON BRIDGE INJURES TWO

bridge crash 040715Both drivers were taken to Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank following a rear-end accident on the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge at 10:12 a.m. Tuesday, according to Rumson police. The extent of their injuries and other information was not immediately available. The bridge was briefly closed to traffic. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: DRIVEWAY PLAN IRKS NEIGHBORS

76 e front 031615Changes to the structure include the addition of an ADA-accessible wraparound porch along the east side, shown in the bottom illustration. The vacant lot next door is shown below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

washington-stThe planned restoration of a stately Victorian home in Red Bank for use by a plastic surgeon mostly won praise at a meeting of the borough planning board Monday night.

Neighbors and other residents expressed thanks to Dr. Negin Griffith for proposing to renovate rather than raze the building, at 76 East Front Street. But several claimed that moving the access driveway off East Front and onto an adjoining empty lot at the corner of Washington Street would increase car traffic through the historic district neighborhood.

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RED BANK: DUCK PAIR TAKES TO BROAD STREET

rb fowl 022615 1 rb fowl 022615 2Arianna Deleks, an employee at Char Steakhouse, shoos a pair of ducks onto the sidewalk on Broad Street in Red Bank Thursday afternoon. Deleks said the ducks showed up two days ago and keep wandering into traffic, and she’s worried they’ll get hit by a car.

“It’s so sad that they’re here,” she said, when they should be down on the nearby Navesink, which is frozen. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

MASON TO STEER INTO RED BANK TRAFFIC JAM

Dave-Mason_eventClassic rock legend Dave Mason bears witness to a career’s worth of historic hapenings on the Basie stage Thursday night. 

It wasn’t what you might have called a heavy-traffic day in Red Bank on February 10, 2010, when a paralyzing blizzard brought most movement to a snow-hushed halt — with the notable exception of Steve Winwood‘s tour bus, which crept into town so that the rock legend could perform an as-scheduled show for the benefit of what turned out to be a precious few attendees.

While the forecast for Thursday, January 15 calls neither for slammings of snow nor sightings of Steve, there is a Traffic alert being issued for the area in and around the stage of the Count Basie Theatre — where Winwood’s onetime colleague in that jazzy, jammy British band is due to arrive for a career-spanning concert presented under the name Dave Mason‘s Traffic Jam.

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SHREWSBURY: ENOUGH SIGNS FOR YOU?

patterson ave 111714 1A view east along Patterson Avenue on November 17, above, and again on Wednesday morning, below, when a motorist was pulled over for speeding. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

patterson ave 120314 2A recent $640,000 refurbishment of Patterson Avenue in Shrewsbury included new drainage, pavement, crosswalks, traffic calming features and signage.

Lots of signage. Too much signage, in the view of some residents and officials.

A profusion of chartreuse signage created, in the words of Mayor Donald Burden, “that Las Vegas Strip effect.”

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RED BANK: GAS LEAK SLOWS THE FLOW

rb traffic 111814rb traffic 111814 2Repair work on a leaking natural gas line on Riverside Avenue in Red Bank had northbound traffic on Route 35 backed up nearly to Waverly Place early Tuesday afternoon as vehicles encountered a one-lane bottleneck just past West Front Street. Both southbound lanes were closed for the length of Riverside, though Middletown police report no significant backups from detours. Red Bank police say they’ve been told the work should be completed by about 4 p.m.

Update, 2:45 p.m.: as seen in the photo at right, traffic is backing up onto Cooper Bridge. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

LITTLE SILVER: TRAFFIC TIE-UP

ls traffic 111114Southbound traffic on Branch Avenue in Little Silver was backed up into Red Bank shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday. The slow crawl was evident on the northbound side, too, as motorists wended their way around an opening in the road for utility work. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: TRAFFIC NIGHTMARE AVERTED

rb rr xing 102614A shutdown of the North Jersey Coast Line grade crossing at Broad Street in Red Bank that was originally expected to take nearly three and a half days was completed in less than two, officials said, averting anticipated traffic jams on Monday. As of 3:30 p.m. Sunday, the work was completed, and crew members were waiting for asphalt to cure, one said, with an expected reopening at midnight.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

 

RED BANK: RR XING TO CLOSE FOR WEEKEND

rb rr xing 102314A three-plus-day shutdown of Broad Street at the North Jersey Coast Line grade crossing begins at 10 p.m. Friday for what New Jersey Transit calls routine inspection and maintenance. The shutdown, lasting until Tuesday morning, is expected to cause traffic havoc throughout the weekend, but particularly on Monday; rail commuters are also being warned to expect delays. Here’s redbankgreen‘s full story on the closure, in case you missed it. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

 

 

AREA TOWNS BRACE FOR TRAFFIC NIGHTMARE

HOT-TOPIC_01Red Bank and neighboring towns could be in for a day or more of truly bad traffic next Monday – and rail commuters may be in for headaches as well.

New Jersey Transit plans to close the heavily traveled railroad crossing at Broad Street/Route 35 to vehicular traffic starting Friday night for an estimated three-plus days of round-the-clock inspections and repairs on its North Jersey Coast Line track, a spokeswoman said.

In addition, rail traffic in both directions will be funneled onto a single track pair near the location, rather than the usual two, a move that is expected to cause mass transit delays, said spokeswoman Nancy Snyder.

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RED BANK: WALGREEN’S GETS GREEN LIGHT

walgreen's 021914 1Walgreen’s developer Marc Steinberg greets neighborhood supporters after winning plan approval. Below, the revised site plan, at left, called for a smaller structure than the prior proposal, at right. The building was also  moved slightly from the property lines along Garfield Place and Broad Street. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

walgreen's 021914 2After six months of hearings and a close call with defeat, a proposed Walgreen’s store won approval from the Red Bank planning board Wednesday night.

The 6 to 2 vote came after store developer Marc Steinberg revised his  plan by shrinking the proposed building and changing its placement on the site of the former Rassas Buick auto dealership on Broad Street, at the southern gateway in the heart of town.

The vote also followed passionate pleas by neighbors, one of whom said Steinberg had “bent over backwards” to address their concerns, while others called the changes “token” measures.

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RED BANK: WALGREEN’S MOVES STORE

walgreen's 121613Walgreen’s developer Marc Steinberg talks with neighbors about the proposed store’s traffic flow at a December hearing. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The builder of a proposed Walgreen’s pharmacy in Red Bank has changed the location of the would-be store, moving it a dozen feet in order to avoid a variance request on one of the plan’s most controversial aspects.

The store would also shrink by about 1,100 square feet, according to revised plans filed with the borough in anticipation of a hearing scheduled for Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: WALGREEN’S TO REVISE PLAN

josephine menna 012314Josephine Menna, an aunt to Mayor Pasquale Menna – who recused himselfqueries Walgreen’s lawyer Marty McGann. Below, site owner Aaron Rassas confers with his team during a break. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

aaron rassas 012314The developer of the proposed Walgreen’s pharmacy in Red Bank yanked the plan from what appeared to be certain defeat Thursday night.

With a motion pending to reject the proposed 14,200-square-foot store, the lawyer for the developer Marc Steinberg asked the borough planning board for time to revise the proposal to meet concerns that the building would be too close to the streets at the longtime site of the now-closed Rassas Buick dealership.

“I think I’d feel like I was living in a prison if I had to look at that,” said board member Barbara Boas, referring to a 135-foot-long, 30-foot-high windowless wall that would run along Garfield place, just four feet from a sidewalk.

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RED BANK: ASPHALT IS ‘VICTORY’ TO PLOWMAN

rb snow 012214 3The view looking south on Leighton Avenue through the windshield of a borough salt truck early Wednesday morning, above. Below, a plow working Monmouth Street. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb snow 012214 1The  plowman got lucky this time.

Tuesday’s fast-moving snowstorm may have caught motorists and school administrators off guard with its blinding swiftness. But it dropped a powdery load, and ended late at night, giving those responsible for clearing it from roadways a leg up.

In Red Bank, it also helped that more residents than usual moved their cars off the streets, said Gary Watson, director of the borough public utilities department.

“That made a huge difference,” he told redbankgreen as he drove a road-salting truck early Wednesday morning.

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RED BANK: STORM SNARLS TRAFFIC

rb traffic 012114 1fh traffic 012114Motorists who failed to get a jump on Tuesday’s fast-moving snowstorm paid the price in slow-moving traffic in the early afternoon, as on East Front Street in Red Bank, above, and River Road in Fair Haven, right.

Red BankPolice Chief Darren McConnell reported the bottlenecks were beginning to clear shortly after 3 p.m. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: WALGREEN’S AIRS TRAFFIC PITCH

walgreen's 121613Walgreen’s developer Marc Steinberg talks about the proposed store’s traffic flow with nearby resident Mary Todt during a break in Monday night’s planning board hearing. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Traffic would be a lot worse if a convenience store were built at the former Rassas Buick site in Red Bank instead of the Walgreen’s that’s proposed, a consultant for the pharmacy chain says.

Both are permitted uses at the former car dealership property on Broad Street, traffic engineer John Harter testified at the borough planning board Monday night.

Still, nearby residents pressed Harter on how the store could do anything but worsen traffic flow through an junction that the state Department of Transportation has given a failing grade for motorist delays.

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RED BANK: BRIDGE FIX NEARS COMPLETION

NS Rd bridge 110613The rebuilding of twin Route 520/Newman Springs Road bridges over the Swimming River between Red Bank and Middletown, which began in April, is on schedule to wrap up next month, Monmouth County officials said Tuesday. Milling and paving of the roadway approaches was to start Wednesday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)