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RED BANK: DOWNTOWN PARKLET PLAN GETS THUMBS UP

Mr. Pizza Slice’s mustache guy gives thumbs up to a planned parklet which would be built in the area to the right of his hand.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By BRIAN DONOHUE

There’s soon going to be a nice new outdoor spot to chill at the  Broad and Monmouth Streets.

The plans for the new parklet on Monmouth Street. (Red Bank RiverCenter. Click to enlarge.)

A section of sidewalk on Monmouth Street would be turned into a tiny “parklet” with benches, plants and trees under a plan unveiled to praise from the Borough Council Thursday.

Red Bank Rivercenter Executive Director Bob Zuckerman presented the plan  he said would be paid for entirely with grant money and funds raised by the nonprofit which manages Red Bank’s downtown special improvement district.

A parklet, he said, “is basically  a small public space that converts part of a street or a parking area into pedestrian friendly environment.”

They became a common sight in cities across the country during the pandemic as a way to extend space for outdoor dining. Now, many cities are realizing the benefits and making them more permanent features of the streetscape.

“They’re just a great respite for people who are downtown dining or shopping and they want to sit outside and have a quick bite or just sit outside and work on their laptop, or sit down and meditate or whatever they want to do,” Zuckerman told the council.

The council unanimously approved a resolution entering into a shared service agreement needed to complete the $80,000 project.

Zuckerman said agency officials got the idea after mulling what to do with an area of space where plastic bollards had been installed a few feet from the curb during the pandemic to keep people from parking illegally while they run into shops to pick up take-out orders.

“Why not do something interesting,” said Zuckerman.”Why not do something cool there that would benefit the entire public?”

The project removes one parking spot. It has been approved by NJ Transit, which has a bus stop in that area. The plan, developed by the Red Bank planning firm Engenuity calls for benches, a table, a variety of plants and flowers, trees and a bike rack. 

Here are the visuals from the presentation: Red Bank Parklet Presentation 031424

In other business, the council:

  • Introduced an ordinance establishing registration rules for the newly refurbished tennis/pickleball courts at East Side Park. Borough residents will get priority to reserve the courts for free and not-for-profit organizations and teams will require a $75 per season fee.
  • Voted unanimously to approve a “Skip the Stuff” ordinance that bans eateries and food delivery services from giving out plastic utensils and packaged condiments unless a customer specifically requests them. The ordinance is designed to combat plastic pollution.

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