RESIDENTS GIVE THEIR TWO CENTS ON SAFETY

mary-lou-burdenMary Lou Burden, right, shows transportation consultant Dave Cox a problem spot on a map. Below, comments compiled on a street map. (Click to enlarge)

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Mary Lou Burden knows the challenges of trying to cross Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank.

A resident of the Bellhaven Commons condos on Locust Avenue, she’s used to standing in the crosswalk at Chestnut or Oakland street just waiting for passing motorists to take notice, slow to a stop and let her cross.

“If we had citizen’s arrest, I could make a lot of money for Red Bank,” she says. Drivers are “on the phone, rushing, texting, putting on makeup. They don’t even see you.”

Burden was among some 35 borough residents — including bicyclists, walkers, motorists and crossing guards — who  showed up at borough hall Thursday night to offer input on how to improve pedestrian and biker safety in town.

“I could be out there dressed up like a Christmas tree, and they’d still almost run me over,” a crossing guard told a consultant from Urban Engineers, a planning firm that’s under contract with the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Office of Pedestrian and Bicycle Programs to come up with recommendations for improving roadway safety in Red Bank.

Urban Engineers is developing a pedestrian and biker’s circulation plan for the town, using comments and recommendations gleaned from residents, as well as field observations.

Burden, for example, wants to see traffic signals at Chestnut Street and Shrewsbury Avenue, as well as in front of the Red Bank Senior Citizens’ Center, also on Shrewsbury.

The next step will be a public presentation of findings and recommendations in early December, followed by the completion of a report by year’s end.

The service is being provided under the aegis of a non-cash grant won for the town by Safe Routes Red Bank, a grassroots organization that promotes walking buses and other alternates to car use.

Residents who missed yesterday’s session may still contribute and comments via this questionnaire, which should be submitted here by October 28: redbank-survey