RED BANK: CHANGES EYED AT BASIE FIELDS

Under the proposal, most of Henry Street would be eliminated and a new playground built alongside Mohawk Pond. (CME Associates graphic. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

A street that effectively serves as shortcut past the main entrance to Count Basie Fields would be closed to traffic under a concept plan discussed by the Red Bank council Wednesday night.

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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: TRAIL FUNDING SOUGHT

The proposed trail would run between the cherry blossom trees lining Fair Haven Road and the eastern edge of Fair Haven Fields. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Fair Haven officials have dusted off a three-year-old proposal that would add a stone-dust trail to the roadside portions of Fair Haven Fields.

It would also cut the cost of removing excess vegetation from McCarter Pond, they said.

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RED BANK: ANDERSON ‘EVOLUTION’ ROLLS ON

The former Anderson Storage building, above. Below, Chris Cole in the space being readied for Glen Goldbaum’s Lambs & Wolves salon.(Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

With the opening last week week of Sickles Market and Booskerdoo, Red Bank’s Anderson Storage building has all but completed a transformation in the works for almost two decades.

But for developer Chris Cole, who oversaw the project, it’s just another day at the office.

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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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RED BANK: PLAZA PLANS REWORKED

princeton parklet 2018 2.jpegA public parklet on Witherspoon Street in Princeton. Red Bank officials plan to allow parklets for designated restaurant use. (Photo courtesy of Planet Princeton. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAmong a series of adjustments, Red Bank’s economic reopening committee has scrapped the Sunday pedestrian plaza on Monmouth Street.

Instead, the Broad Street plaza, which has drawn large turnouts three nights a week since debuting June 18, will become a four-day affair with the addition of Sunday operations starting this weekend, Red Bank RiverCenter executive director Laura Kirkpatrick tells redbankgreen.

At the same time, plans are in the works for “parklets,” or temporary seating structures, to be built in parking spots outside a handful of downtown restaurants, including three that participated in the aborted Monmouth Street plaza effort.

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RED BANK: FOXES, DEER MOVE ON IN

As a trio of deer chowed down on a front lawn, at right, a red fox crossed Madison Avenue in Red Bank just a few doors away shortly after dawn Wednesday morning, perhaps in search of its own breakfast.

Sightings of both deer and foxes are becoming more common on the Greater Green, residents say. redbankgreen also saw a dead fox on Branch Avenue in Little Silver over the past weekend.

Are they relative newcomers to your neighborhood? What other wild creatures have moved in? (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

RED BANK: LANE TO GO ONE-WAY, PARTWAY

red bank boat club denholtz southbankBoat Club Court, seen from Union Street, would become a one-way uphill toward West Front Street, but remain a two-way for a short stretch in the other direction. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njA steep and narrow road serving Red Bank’s Marine Park and two Navesink River clubs would become a partial one-way street under an ordinance up for consideration by the borough council this week.

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FAIR HAVEN: BRUSH GRINDING SITE GRATES

Escorted to the transfer site by police, an 18-wheeler needed more than five minutes of maneuvering to back into the tight space last Friday. (Video by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank nj

A brush-grinding and transfer station tucked into a leafy Fair Haven neighborhood has got to go, neighbors say.

Though Fair Haven officials have touted the operation for years as a model of interlocal sharing and an environmental boon, residents call it a “monstrosity” of noise, dust and dangerous truck traffic.

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RED BANK: PLAZA DETAILS STILL IN THE WORKS

red bank monmouth street 060220Monmouth Street between Broad Street and Maple Avenue would become a pedestrian plaza all day on Sundays as part of a recovery plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njDetails for turning two downtown Red Bank streets into part-time dining and shopping plazas hinge largely on pending clarity from Trenton, borough officials said Tuesday.

On a Zoom/conference call with merchants, borough officials said they need information from Governor Phil Murphy on key issues before they can finalize plans for allotting sidewalk and street space among restaurants, retailers and others.

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RED BANK: STREET CLOSINGS FOR DINING OK’D

red bank broad street 032720Broad Street would be closed from the intersection with Front Street, above, to Wallace Street three nights a week under the plan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njTwo major streets in the heart of downtown Red Bank would be closed to traffic to allow mid-street dining and shopping under action taken by the borough council Wednesday night.

The economic recovery measure needed lightning-fast approval so the business district “can to be ready the second we get the call” from Trenton about expected loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, said Councilwoman Kate Triggiano.

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RED BANK: DINING ‘PLAZAS’ ON THE TABLE

Customers dining in the sidewalk seating area of Robinson Ale House on Broad Street in 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njRed Bank officials have formed a committee to “creatively expand outdoor capacity for restaurants and retail sales” as the town embarks on a post-COVID-19 recovery.

One idea the committee is expected to chew over: use of public spaces for outdoor dining.

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RED BANK: WHITE STREET DISRUPTION FEARED

red bank kristen winters 051820Kris Winters says her White Street shop, Cabana 19, was just getting back on its feet from last year’s streetscape disruption when the pandemic hit. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

park it 2020

A Red Bank construction project looms large for some business owners as they start to crawl out from under one of the worst economic crises in American history.

They’re pleading for “empathy” as they try to avoid a third consecutive blow in one year.

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RED BANK: FAMILY ‘DODGED BULLET’ OF VIRUS

red bank lauterwassers 041720 1The Lauterwassers and Craigs outside their Red Bank home Friday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

If the official figure is accurate, one household accounts for about 6 percent of Red Bank’s 87 COVID-19 cases.

The good news: all four adults in the East Westside Avenue house are now healthy and anxious to go back to work, having “dodged a bullet,” and the lone child there quickly rebounded, they told redbankgreen Friday.

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RED BANK: A HEAD-TURNING SIGHT

red bank deer elk 041520A cyclist did a double take when a vehicle with what appeared to be the head of a deer or elk strapped to the roof passed by on Bridge Avenue in Red Bank Wednesday afternoon.

From a distance, it wasn’t clear if the large-antlered animal head was real. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)