BIKE & PED PLAN HITS THE STREETS

bike-route-networkA “bike route network” map in the report details suggested locations for bike lanes, shared lanes, bike parking and more. Below, the cover page of the report. (Click to enlarge)

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Attention Red Bank pedestrians and bicyclists: your wish list is in.

A much-anticipated report on ways to improve biking and walking safety, titled “Red Bank Bicycle/Pedestrian Planning Project,” has been delivered to borough officials and is now available here at redbankgreen (see below).

Based in part on suggestions from dozens of borough residents who attended input sessions and completed questionnaires,  it contains a cornucopia of recommendations, ranging from simple upgrades to signage and traffic signals to the creation of bike lanes and roundabouts.

The comprehensive report is “exactly what we wanted, and then some,” says Jenny Rossano, speaking on behalf of Safe Routes Red Bank, a grassroots organization that promotes walking buses and other alternatives to car use.

marshmallow-bikeThe plan envisions greater use of bicycles, like musician Brent Sisk’s custom ‘marshmallow’ bike, seen outside Monmouth Music last Wednesday afternoon. It also calls for education, presumably to address behaviors like that of the bicyclist seen riding against the flow of traffic on Broad Street that same day, below. (Click to enlarge)

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The 106-page report, prepared by Urban Engineers under a non-cash grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Office of Pedestrian and Bicycle Programs, “is intended to serve as the framework to improve pedestrian and bicycle conditions in Red Bank so that these modes offer safe alternatives to the car,” its authors write.

The report includes a “Bicycle Route Network Plan,” which calls for the creation of 8.6 miles of bike lanes, 7.9 miles of shared lanes, and 2 miles of multi-use trail — each of them with significant portions of those lengths in adjoining towns.

The bike lanes are proposed on Drs. James Parker Boulevard/Bergen Place, River Street, Locust Avenue, Chestnut Street, Peters Place, Pinckney Road, South Street and Bridge Avenue.

It also calls for 17 traffic signal upgrades, 38 non-signalized intersection upgrades, and five possible four-way stops.

For pedestrians, it calls for “a lot of bumpouts, a lot of high-visibility crosswalks with flashing red lights,” says Rossano.

Among the suggestions:

• A mid-block crossing with a median “refuge island” on Maple Avenue between Peters Place — where a crossing guard was struck by a car in December 2009 —  and Chestnut Street.

• The installation of additional traffic signals and median islands on Shrewsbury Avenue.

• A roundabout at the intersection of Hudson Avenue, Harding Road and Branch Avenue, near the Red Bank Middle School.

There’s also a call for education of motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists alike as to the rules of the road, plus police enforcement. The report also contains nearly two dozen suggested sources for grant money to make the elements real.

“All this is is a plan,” Rossano says. “You need money to do anything, and we don’t have money.”

Rossano says Safe Route representatives plans to appear at next Monday night’s council meeting to urge elected officials to do all they can to advance the plan by incorporating it into the Master Plan circulation element and applying for the grants.

Like the Waterfront Development Plan prepared in 2007, the last comprehensive look at the town’s assets, this one is “dreamy,” Rossano says.

“I just hope that some of it comes to fruition,” she says.

Here’s the full report in PDF format. It’s a sizable file, so be patient while it downloads.