RIVERCENTER PLANS DOWNTOWN KIOSKS
RiverCenter’s first kiosk is slated for installation in English Plaza to let visitors know its new location. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Not that it was so easy to find when it was sequestered in a second-story space above Broad Street, but with Red Bank RiverCenter‘s move three months ago, the agency compromised what little visibility it had, taking up residence in an all-but-hidden office in English Plaza.
And if you’re a tourist looking for the Red Bank Visitors Center, which shares space with RiverCenter, well, good luck trying to find it.
But the move presented a fresh reason for RiverCenter, which promotes the downtown and portions of the West Side businesses, to put into action an idea executive director Nancy Adams has harbored since she stepped into her role more than three years ago, she said.
On Wednesday night, Adams presented the borough council with a plan to install information kiosks in English Plaza to alert visitors to the new RiverCenter and the Visitors Center digs.
It would be the first of a handful of kiosks downtown to offer maps and pertinent borough info to people coming into town, Adams said.
“People get off the train, for example, and they have no idea where to go,” Adams said. “Unless you’re familiar with the area, you really don’t know where to go.”
The first kiosk, proposed to be installed on the sidewalk in English Plaza, would stand about six or seven feet high and be about three feet wide, Adams said. The two-sided kiosks would likely have a map on one side and a poster, a list of events or contacts on the other, she said.
In time, Adams said the agency would like to install the information centers in other locations in town, such as Monmouth Street, Riverside Gardens Park and/or the train station.
The council, after being reassured by Adams that the signs wouldn’t violate handicapped-access requirements, gave RiverCenter the green light and a pat on the back for bringing the idea to the table.
“I love it,” said Councilman Mike DuPont, who’s leading a charge for wholesale changes to make the borough more business- and visitor-friendly.
“I think it’s a swell idea,” Councilman Ed Zipprich said.
Adams said she doesn’t have a timeframe when the kiosks would be installed, but when DuPont suggested they’d be a great addition for the Kaboom fireworks in July, Adams, seemingly assured it won’t be a project with a quick turnaround, gave a chuckle and said, “yeah, that’s not happening.”