RED BANK: BIKE SAFETY GIVEAWAY PLANNED

rb bike 091715 4Cyclists can get a free bike lamp and helmet at the event. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

donegoodlogoRed Bank retailer Dean Ross, who spearheaded a bike lamp giveaway earlier this year, is planning to reprise the effort next month. But he needs some help.

The owner of the Doc Shoppe shoe store and Bagel Oven tells redbankgreen that he’s seeking donations of used helmets to give away at the same time.

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RED BANK: TWO CYCLISTS IN CAR ACCIDENTS

HOT-TOPIC_02In one of two Red Bank accidents involving bicyclists, a 14-year-old boy wound up in the emergency room Wednesday.

According to police Chief Darren McConnell, the unidentified boy was traveling west in the eastbound lane of Harding Road when he collided with a car emerging from Tower Hill Avenue at about 10 a.m.

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RED BANK: BIKE LIGHT GIVEAWAY PLANNED

rb bike 042915 2It’s a mitzvah for local cyclists, says the temple member who dreamed it up. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

donegoodlogoIn an effort to improve pedaling safety, a local Jewish congregation is planning a giveaway of bicycle lamps in Red Bank next week.

As one of two Tikkun Olam, or “repairing the world,” social action events planned for May, members of Monmouth Reform Temple in Tinton Falls plan to install front-and-rear bike lights for all comers on Monday, May 11, at St. Anthony of Padua Church on Bridge Avenue.

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FAIR HAVEN: KOCH RECALLED WITH HUMOR

koch funeral 120414Pallbearers with the casket of Councilman Jerome Koch, below, who died Sunday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Koch 2008Friends and family eulogized Fair Haven Councilman Jerome A. Koch, Jr. with love and humor in the form of some of his favorite aphorisms Thursday, four days after he died from injuries suffered in a bicycling accident on River Road.

Setting aside the “nightmare” circumstances of Koch’s death, one of his four children told a packed Church of the Nativity that her father “would be telling us to knock off with the crying.”

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FAIR HAVEN: KOCH CRITICAL AFTER CRASH

jerome koch 112811Councilman Jerome Koch speaking during a council meeting at the Knollwood School in November, 2011. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

just_in1Fair Haven Councilman Jerome Koch was critically injured in a bicycling accident on River Road Saturday afternoon, according to Mayor Ben Lucarelli.

Koch, a retiree who has served on the council since 2006, was riding westbound near Elm Place when he swerved into the traffic lane and was rear-ended by a vehicle at about 3:30 p.m., Lucarelli said.

“It was a severe impact,” said Lucarelli, who arrived on the scene moments later.

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‘EVERYTHING WAS RIGHT’ IN CYCLIST’S LIFE

meg porter 2 111113Megan Porter at her Shrewsbury home earlier this month. Her husband, Cole, below, on the morning of his fatal accident. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

cole porter 091513He was going to win this one, his widow says.

Six years into a personal gut job, Cole Porter had transformed himself from a heavy-smoking, overweight electrician and handyman into… well, as his wife, Megan, put it, in a comically theatrical voice, “Cole Porter, you are ironman!

Ironman as in triathlete: swimmer, biker, runner. He’d gone all-in, and with such infectious energy that she followed his lead, as their two young daughters later did, too. It was something they all did together now. Even Faye, at age 10, had already completed an adult sprint tri.

At age 38, though, Porter had decided he would focus on cycling for the coming year. And onlookers that sunny September morning in Fair Haven should not have been fooled by all his laughing and chatting at the starting line – so much in fact that a race official asked him, please, sir, can we have your attention? That was just Porter being his irrepressible self. Inside, he carried a determination to win.

And, as if right on script, as the pack of whirring racers completed the first lap of the first race, Porter was in the lead when he spotted his three “girls” standing on the sidewalk.

Megan raised her camera and snapped a photo as he approached. He was smiling that smile that had captivated her from the day they met.

Seconds later, there was a crash.

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RED BANK: BIKE AND CAR COLLIDE

Red Bank police with the victim’s bike following the Wednesday morning accident. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A 51-year-old bicyclist was taken to a hospital after a collision with a car on Newman Springs Road Wednesday morning, Red Bank police said.

Alfonso Kelly was transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune with unknown, but non-life-threatening injuries following the 7:28 a.m. accident, said Captain Darren McConnell.

The car’s driver, 17-year-old Lauren Fitzpatrick, of Jackson Township, was issued a summons for failure to yield, McConnell said.

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RED BANK: AFFORDABLE GIFTS AND GOODIES

What, she doesn’t have a wine purse? We can fix that. Read on. (Photos by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

Unsure of what gifts to buy this holiday season? Don’t fret. redbankgreen has been window-shopping downtown Red Bank in search of the perfect gift ideas for everyone on your list.

For example: your fashion-forward wine aficionado? Help her arrive at her next BYOB in style. At Red Ginger Home at 48 Broad Street, the wine purse shown above sells for $39 and includes a corkscrew for on-the-go bottle opening action.

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BIKE SHOP PLANS WEST FRONT ROLLOUT

Jonathan Erdelyi takes a break from painting the interior of the Red Bicycle Studio, his new bike shop on West Front Street. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

More and more, Red Bank’s a biking town.

There’s the Safe Routes Red Bank initiative, which aims to make it easier for kids to bike and walk to school, and beyond that, to improve safety for all riders and pedestrians.

There’s a master plan to do the same. There’s a group planning to establish a pilot program for bike-sharing here.

There are scads of bike commuters, local road racing groups and triathloners.

But since the departure of the Peddler from White Street half a decade ago, there hasn’t been a bike shop in town.

Jonathan Erdelyi, a 30-year-old national racing champion, has a fix for that.

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PED/BIKE RAMP PLANNED FOR NEW BRIDGE

Monmouth County Engineer Joe Ettore traces the path of the planned walkway, which continues off the proposed new bridge (in yellow) and up a series of ramps along the the west side of the rail line to Shrewsbury Avenue. Below, an elevation rendering of the bridge.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Monmouth County officials say they have solved the daunting sidewalk-to-nowhere conundrum they faced in designing a new bridge to connect Red Bank and Middletown at West Front Street.

The fix? Create a walk-and-bike path that will bypass the narrow rail trestle on the Red Bank side, Monmouth County Engineer Joe Ettore said Wednesday.

In what was billed as a preview of a fuller public presentation to come in the spring, Monmouth County Engineer Joe Ettore told Red Bank’s mayor and council that the revised plan for the new Hubbards Bridge also calls for a construction timetable that will detour traffic around the span for just three or four months of the projected 18-to-24-month buildout.

And when it’s all done, the borough will end up with a new parcel of green space overlooking the upper Navesink River, he said.

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BIKERS GET SAFETY MARKERS IN RED BANK

chestnut-sharrow-071211Borough workers painted the first of a series of “sharrows” on the new pavement on Chestnut Street Tuesday morning. (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

A push to make Red Bank’s streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians moved from the conceptual to the actual as workers installed markings on Chestnut Street Tuesday morning.

Eight so-called “sharrows,” depicting a bicycle beneath two directional arrows, were painted onto the freshly paved street, where eight street signs were also to be installed.

The dual-approach signage “just reminds motorists that they’re sharing the road with bikes,” said Jenny Rossano, of Safe Routes Red Bank, an advocacy group that lobbied for the markings. “It’s not a separate bike lane.” Read More »

BIKE & PED PLAN HITS THE STREETS

bike-route-networkA “bike route network” map in the report details suggested locations for bike lanes, shared lanes, bike parking and more. Below, the cover page of the report. (Click to enlarge)

saferoutes-report-cover

Attention Red Bank pedestrians and bicyclists: your wish list is in.

A much-anticipated report on ways to improve biking and walking safety, titled “Red Bank Bicycle/Pedestrian Planning Project,” has been delivered to borough officials and is now available here at redbankgreen (see below).

Based in part on suggestions from dozens of borough residents who attended input sessions and completed questionnaires,  it contains a cornucopia of recommendations, ranging from simple upgrades to signage and traffic signals to the creation of bike lanes and roundabouts.

The comprehensive report is “exactly what we wanted, and then some,” says Jenny Rossano, speaking on behalf of Safe Routes Red Bank, a grassroots organization that promotes walking buses and other alternatives to car use.

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RESIDENTS GIVE THEIR TWO CENTS ON SAFETY

mary-lou-burdenMary Lou Burden, right, shows transportation consultant Dave Cox a problem spot on a map. Below, comments compiled on a street map. (Click to enlarge)

comment-map

Mary Lou Burden knows the challenges of trying to cross Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank.

A resident of the Bellhaven Commons condos on Locust Avenue, she’s used to standing in the crosswalk at Chestnut or Oakland street just waiting for passing motorists to take notice, slow to a stop and let her cross.

“If we had citizen’s arrest, I could make a lot of money for Red Bank,” she says. Drivers are “on the phone, rushing, texting, putting on makeup. They don’t even see you.”

Burden was among some 35 borough residents — including bicyclists, walkers, motorists and crossing guards — who  showed up at borough hall Thursday night to offer input on how to improve pedestrian and biker safety in town.

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TOUR FINDS ITS PLACE IN FAIR HAVEN

fh-bike-4The riders were serious, no matter their level of experience. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

fh-bike-5

Last Sunday’s Tour de Fair Haven went a long way toward solidifying the borough’s place among bicycle-racing aficionados as the real deal, race organizer Michele Berger tells redbankgreen.

With more than $15,000 in prize money this year — a fivefold increase from the $3,000 handed out at the inaugural 2009 edition of the event — the tour attracted an estimated 525 racers, or about 100 more than anticipated, Berger said.

One came from Switzerland, another from New Zealand, and every state east of the Mississippi is believed to have been represented.

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