FAIR HAVEN: NEW MAYOR FINDS COMPROMISE

Mayor Joshua Halpern, second from left in top row, as seen during Monday’s virtual council meeting. (Screengrab from Zoom. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njFive days into the job, Fair Haven’s new mayor forged a “compromise” Monday night in an effort to preserve funding for a road project that appeared dead a week ago.

“We’re looking for progress here,” Mayor Joshua Halpern said during a 47-minute special council meeting, his first as a public official.

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FAIR HAVEN: NEW MAYOR REVIVES ROAD PLAN

Cooney Terrace, above, and part of Hance Road would remain sidewalk-free, and possibly curb-free, under a proposal up for a vote Monday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Se UPDATE below

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA Fair Haven road project that appeared dead Tuesday may have been revived by the man who was named mayor that night.

Mayor Joshua Halpern on Friday called a special meeting of the council for Monday night to consider a plan to repave the northern end of Hance Road – but without sidewalks and maybe without curbs.

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FAIR HAVEN: SIDEWALK PLAN HITS DEAD END

Delivery trucks and tree-removal equipment narrowed a stretch of Hance Road Wednesday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter seven years of planning, and months of intense pushback, Fair Haven’s council killed a plan to install sidewalks and curbs in an area that residents likened to a “country lane” Tuesday night.

The action, on a 3-3 vote without a mayor in place to cast a tiebreaker, left unanswered what to do about streets that still need repaving, and whether to waive a $350,000 grant to pay for it.

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FAIR HAVEN: SIDEWALK PLAN GETS PUSHBACK

Pedestrians on Grange Avenue Monday evening. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Residents of a Fair Haven neighborhood on the Navesink River told the borough council Monday night they don’t want sidewalks installed on their “bucolic” streets, even if a $350,000 grant has to be abandoned.

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FAIR HAVEN: BUSY COUNCIL AGENDA SLATED

A plan for bike lanes would advance with a parking ban on the north side of River Road between Lake Avenue and Hance Road. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Parking, borough facilities and more will keep Fair Haven’s elected officials busy on their Zoom session Tuesday night.

Also on the agenda: a plan to terminate an “interlocal services” agreement under which Fair Haven disposes of Rumson’s collected yard brush.

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RED BANK: BIKING LANDSCAPER GETS ASSIST

Ricardo Paz with Liz Schuber and restaurateur Danny Murphy outside Danny’s Steakhouse Tuesday, and below, in Fair Haven in July. (redbankgreen photos. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A Red Bank landscaper who hauls his equipment around in a trailer attached to his bicycle needed a new set of wheels.

And thanks to a fund drive set up by a stranger, Ricardo Paz now has $3,600 to buy one. But because there’s been a run on bikes triggered by the pandemic, Paz hasn’t been able to find a bike sturdy enough to accommodate his trailer, which carries more than 300 pounds of gear.

So last month, Paz –yes – started pushing his gear to his clients’ homes.

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FAIR HAVEN: ‘TRANSITION’ CUSTOM ROLLS ON

Delayed three months by the COVID-19 pandemic, Fair Haven’s ‘Transition Day’ rolled down Third Street Thursday afternoon.

As per custom in the borough, where an estimated 75 percent of kids regularly bike to school, a group of rising fifth-graders and teachers from the Knollwood Middle School rode across town to Viola Sickles elementary. There, they picked up the incoming fourth-grade class and rode back, parade-style, for an orientation.

Along the way, the riders – including a suit-wearing Superintendent Sean McNeil – were cheered and showered with streamers and confetti.

“It’s the best,” McNeil told redbankgreen. “I think this was exactly what we needed right now, because everybody’s got these tricky school openings, and so it’s nice to get to a place of normalcy and remember what we’re doing this for.”

See more photos below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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FAIR HAVEN: BIKE LANE DEBATE CONTINUES

fair haven bike laneUnder the plan, “share the road” sharrows would be painted in both directions through the eastern business district. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A debate over proposed bike lanes and share-the-road markings along the length of River Road in Fair Haven rolled on Monday night.

One week after he broke a tie to advance the plan, Mayor Ben Lucarelli brought in some “sources of authority” on the issue. But opposition, even among some bikers, continued.

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FAIR HAVEN: COUNCIL SPLITS ON BIKE PLAN

Under the plan, both sides of River Road between Lake Avenue and Hance Road would be marked with bike lanes; sharrows would be painted from Hance east to the Rumson border. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See CORRECTION below]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A plan for bike lanes in Fair Haven hit some potholes last week.

Mayor Ben Lucarelli was forced to break a tie when three council members balked at approving share-the-road markings through the River Road business district.

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VIRUS UPDATE: SANDY HOOK REOPENING MAY 9

sandy hookA  pedestrian and biking trail at Sandy Hook. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook will be partially reopened May 9, the National Park Service announced late Friday.

While group gatherings and swimming will be prohibited, visitors can use the park to fish, kayak, run, hike and bike – if they arrive before a 50-percent capacity limit is reached, that is.

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RED BANK: TRAFFIC STUDY ON AGENDA

red bank broad st snow 011820A proposed study is expected to track traffic at 19 downtown intersections, including Broad and West Front streets, above. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A study of downtown traffic is up for discussion at the Red Bank council’s workshop session Wednesday evening.

The data to be gathered is expected to be useful for future parking, pedestrian and other initiatives, borough Business Administrator Ziad Shehady tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: SUN TO RISE AGAIN ON STREET

red bank parker bridge 121819The intersection of Drs. James Parker Boulevard and Bridge Avenue as it appeared this week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njThe sun won’t go down on a “tactical urbanist” experiment undertaken to improve traffic safety at a tricky Red Bank intersection earlier this year, redbankgreen has learned.

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RED BANK: RETHINKING SHREWSBURY AVENUE

RU shrewsbury avenue 100619 Student planners from Rutgers led the information-gathering session at the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center. Below, a map on display at the event. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Worries about gentrification and pedestrian safety were at the fore as Red Bank residents gathered for a brainstorming session about the future of Shrewsbury Avenue Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: ‘MAGIC WAND’ IDEAS SOUGHT

RED BANK SHREWSBURY AVE 032819Student planners from Rutgers will solicit ideas for improving neighborhoods along Shrewsbury Avenue. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njHere’s a ‘magic wand’ question for you: if you could instantly transform Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank, what would it become?

Ditto for creating direct access to the Navesink River from Broad Street: what’s your dream?

Borough residents and other interested parties will get to weigh in on those questions and more Wednesday night.

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RED BANK: SHREWSBURY AVENUE TO GET $1M

red bank shrewsbury aveFlashing beacons to help pedestrians cross Shrewsbury Avenue would be installed at Locust Avenue, above, and two other intersections. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njShrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank will get $1 million worth of pedestrian-safety and streetscape upgrades under a grant award announced Friday.

New streetlamps are also to be installed along the roadway, where dozens of existing fixtures have been out of commission for years.

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RED BANK: INTERSECTION POPS WITH COLOR

red bank parker & bridge The intersection of Drs. Parker Boulevard and Bridge Avenue in Red Bank got a new look earlier this week: an eye-popping, curb-to-curb road painting that looks something like a cross between the national flags of Brazil and Kazakhstan

What’s Going On Here? Click ‘read more’ for the answer. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: SHEDDING LIGHT ON SHREWSBURY

red bank shrewsbury avenue lampsStreetlamps on both ends of a crosswalk at Catherine Street are among dozens along Shrewsbury Avenue awaiting repairs. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njPedestrian safety issues rose to the fore again at the Red Bank borough council’s latest meeting.

As they have often in the past, conditions along Shrewsbury Avenue in particular sparked outrage.

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RED BANK: HUNT FOR GRANTS CONTINUES

red bank, nj, broad streetA grant seeking $821,000 for improvements to Broad Street is among the nearly three dozen applications pending, according to a report. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Six months after hiring a professional contractor to seek out grant funds, the Red Bank council is hopeful that a cash pump has been primed.

Business Administrator Ziad Shehady told the council last week that while no grants have yet been secured under the contract with Millennium Strategies, there is now “several million dollars” worth of potential funding “in the pipeline.”

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RED BANK: BIKE SHARE PLAN IN THE WORKS

Biking in Red Bank —and possibly, Fair Haven and Little Silver — could get a boost under a push to bring a bike-sharing vendor to town. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank officials are exploring the possibility of allowing a bike-share vendor to offer its services in town, and inviting two neighboring towns to get in on the two-wheeled action, Business Administrator Ziad Shehady told the borough council last week.

 

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FAIR HAVEN: WALK & BIKE PLAN ON TABLE

Among changes recommended in the draft plan is an expansion of sidewalk coverage in town. Below, Councilman Jon Peters with residents at Monday’s event. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven residents and business got their latest opportunity Monday night to weigh in on host of walking-and-biking infrastructure proposals that could serve as a blueprint for decades to come.

The informational session, which preceded the borough council’s regular semimonthly meeting, was focused on the latest version of a draft document called the Pedestrian and Bike Active Transportation Plan.

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