broad st rb 2 061512A view along Broad Street from 2012. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

HOT-TOPIC_03What’s your favorite New Jersey downtown?

The state chapter of the American Planning Association is asking the public for its input on the question, and Red Bank is among the candidates.

Dubbed the ‘2014 People’s Choice awards for Great Downtowns in New Jersey,’ the competition aims to identify the most popular shopping district in the nothern, central and southern regions of the state, according to announcement by APA-NJ.

Red Bank is vying for the honor in the central region, pitted against Asbury Park and Somerville.

From the announcement:

A panel of planning professionals selected the finalists from downtowns nominated by the public throughout the month of July. In reviewing the nominations, the panel considered how well each downtown excels in the characteristics of a great downtown, including how well it functions as the centerpiece in the everyday life of the community; its reputation for excellence beyond the community’s boundaries; its vitality during the day, in the evening and on weekends; accessible parking and transportation alternatives; and support from the community to attract, retain and grow businesses.
“These communities really embody what good planning is about, and it’s clear from the nearly 5,000 votes we’ve received so far that residents from all throughout the state have a strong opinion,” said APA-NJ President Charles Latini, Jr., AICP. “Congratulations to each finalist on this achievement.”
Voting is conducted online here and runs through September 26. APA-NJ says it will announce the winners early in October and present plaques to the three winning downtowns at local award ceremonies. It will also add them to a map of Great Places in New Jersey.
Here are all the finalists by region:
Northern New Jersey
• Hoboken
• Historic Downtown Jersey City
• Montclair Center
• Downtown Morristown
Central New Jersey
• Downtown Asbury Park
• Downtown Red Bank
• Downtown Somerville
Southern New Jersey
• Downtown Haddon Avenue, Collingswood
• Glasstown Arts District, Millville
• Asbury Avenue, Ocean City