With the first of two unprecedented pedestrian plazas set to debut in downtown Red Bank Thursday night, prep work was underway on Broad Street earlier this week.

Above, a crew from Powerhouse Signs, under contract with Red Bank RiverCenter, installed in-tree uplighting that owner Jim Bruno said he hoped will create a “Greenwich Village vibe” for outdoor diners and shoppers. At right, code enforcement official Frank Woods checked  a sidewalk café for its distance from the curb.  

Under the borough’s “Temporary Outdoor Business Extension” program, Broad Street between West Front and Wallace streets is to be closed to vehicular traffic from 3 p.m to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday evenings to allow “plaza” dining and shopping.

Monmouth Street between Broad and Maple Avenue would be closed all day Sunday for the same purpose.

Additional information about the plan can be found here.

There’s also a formal hurdle to clear: the borough council is expected to vote on a resolution temporarily “relaxing enforcement” of a host of ordinances at its Wednesday night session.

The resolution orders borough employees to “interpret and construe” laws concerning alcohol sales, sidewalk cafés, banners and more “to further the purposes” of letting businesses expand their footprints as they try to recover from three months of revenue lost during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Here’s the full agenda. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Access information can be found here.

(Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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