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Red Bank River Center

The Red Bank River Center promotes local merchants, recruits new businesses, stages vibrant downtown events, and beautifies our streetscapes.

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RED BANK: NO PARKING… OR ‘SLOPS’

Red Bank’s council plans to ban parking in a downtown alleyway that, long before the advent of the automobile, was seen as a health threat.

Last week, the council introduced, without anyone commenting, a parking ordinance amendment that would ban parking at all times on both sides of Combs Alley, located between Sally Boy’s restaurant and the stores-and-apartment building at 8 East Front Street.

Currently, parking is prohibited only from midnight to 8 a.m., Monday through Friday.

Police chief and interim borough Manager Darren McConnell told redbankgreen the change was recommended because “we have had an increasing problem getting sanitation trucks in and out, largely because of a lack of compliance.”

Besides, he said, “parking is really not appropriate in such a narrow area.”

An adoption vote is scheduled for December 7.

Long before cars, however, Combs Alley needed attention for other reasons, including “slops” and dead cats.

As reported in the May 28, 2021 in ‘Where Have I Seen This,?’ a feature available only in redbankgreen‘s free email newsletter:

In 1881, the Red Bank Register published an editorial railing about the conditions in the alleyway, which at that time apparently had no name and extended all the way to Mechanic Street. The newspaper said it needed “immediate attention” by the board of commissioners.

“The waste pipes from several of the [nearby] buildings empty into this alley, and as there is no sewer or other means of carrying off the slops, they remain on the surface of the ground, creating unpleasant odors and poisoning the air of that neighborhood,” the editorial said.

Two years later, things hadn’t improved, and the Register dialed up its demand that officials clean up the alley, which it said was now filled with “ashes, rags, slops, old boots and shoes, decaying vegetable matter and deceased cats.”

We’re happy to report that the alley is now blessedly free of slops, dead cats and all the rest.

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