FAIR HAVEN: SERIOUS CRASH AT BIKE RACE

fh tour 091513Racing action at Sunday’s Tour de Fair Haven following the first-race accident. (Click to enlarge)

just_in1A rider in the first race of Sunday’s Tour de Fair Haven series of bike races was seriously injured in a crash, police confirmed to redbankgreen.

The rider, whose identity is not yet being disclosed, was transported by MONOC helicopter to the trauma center at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune following the collision shortly after 7 a.m., according to Sergeant Jesse Dykstra.

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RED BANK: BIKE THEFT CAUGHT ON VIDEO

Recognize this guy? He stole a bike from a porch on Harrison Avenue in Red Bank early Labor Day morning, apparently aware of – but undeterred by the presence of a video camera. If you know him or his funky footwear, give the cops a shout at (732) 5300-2700. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: MUSICAL BROTHERS BIKE FOR KIDS

Brothers Roberto and Angelo Giambra pass through Red Bank Monday morning en route to New York City from their home in Wilmington, North Carolina. Italian natives who moved to the United States in 1996, they embarked on June 5 to raise awareness of the charity Save the Children, distributing several thousand flyers along the way.

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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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A SIX-WHEEL SOLUTION

Spotted heading north on Broad Street (Route 35) in Shrewsbury during Tuesday’s morning commute: a burly New Jersey Transit bus carrying a somewhat simpler machine for getting around. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: BIKE-HOOP DREAMS

Some of Red Bank’s newly decommissioned parking meters (right) could be retrofitted as lock stands for bicycles. Borough Engineer Christine Ballard tells redbankgreen that officials are awaiting word on a grant that would pay for galvanized iron loop sleeves that slide on to former parking meter posts that have had their heads removed.

Meantime, biking-and-walking advocacy group Red Bank Safe Routes is collecting suggestions from residents on where they’d like to see more bike racks in town. Feel free to add your thoughts in a comment below. (Photo above courtesy NYC DOT. Click to enlarge)

TRI DRAWS 400 COMPETITORS

Nearly 400 athletes gathered in Marine Park bright and early Sunday for the Red Bank Triathlon, a swim-bike-run competition of Olympic and sprint distances that took them down a coned-off West Front Street, up Riverside Avenue and into Middletown and Holmdel.

Jonathan Winter of Highland Park took first place overall, finishing the Olympic race – a 1.5k swim in the Navesink River, a 40k bike ride and a 10k run – in 2 hours, 2 minutes and 13 seconds. Full results are here.

redbankgreen photographer Stacie Fanelli was there.

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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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BICYCLIST STRUCK IN LITTLE SILVER

ls-accident-120411Emergency workers tend to Jorge Perez-Lopez, 35, of Long Branch after he was struck by a car while bicycling on White Road in Little Silver around 5:15 p.m. Sunday night. Perez-Lopez was taken to Riverview Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, police said, and no summonses were issued to the driver, Douglas Gibbens, 51, of Rumson. An investigation into the accident is continuing. (Click to enlarge)

CABBIE STIFFED IN FAIR HAVEN

Activity reports for August from the Fair Haven Police Department. Entries appear here unedited.

police-blotter8/1/11

-Ptl. Hostrup arrested 3 Fair Haven juveniles for possession of CDS (marijuana) and drug paraphernalia (pipe).

8/3/11

-Sgt. Townshend took a report of a stolen credit card from a River Rd. resident.

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TEEN BICYCLIST HIT BY CAR IN LITTLE SILVER

just_in1A 16-year-old Little Silver boy was seriously injured late Friday morning when he was struck by a car while crossing Seven Bridges Road on a bike, police say.

The unidentified teen was transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune by the borough volunteer squad with MONOC paramedics on board following the 11:48 a.m. accident, said police Chief Dan Shaffery.

The boy’s condition was not immediately available late in the afternoon.

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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 & WALK PLAN GETS A SHEPHERD

willis-rossanoJenny Rossano, seen here in 2009 with Safe Routes Red Bank co-founder Jim Willis, will help coordinate the integration of a recent bike and pedestrian study with the town’s master plan. (Click to enlarge)

It’s probably a stretch to call her the borough’s bike czar. But Red Bank is about to get an official advocate for safe walking and biking.

Jenny Rossano of Worthley Street is expected to be named as a volunteer liaison to the borough planning and zoning boards to help spot potential conflicts with a recent study of pedestrian and bicyclist safety by Urban Engineers, a Philadelphia planning firm.

“I don’t want to be a czar of anything,” Rossano says with a laugh. “I just don’t want all this work that Urban Engineers did to be pushed under the carpet.”

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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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BIKE GROUP PLANS ART RIDE, OR VICE-VERSA

criticalmass2Some of the participants in Spoke & Art’s inaugural ride in October.

[UPDATE: This event has been indefinitely postponed due to post-storm road conditions.]

Here’s a possible conversation starter: the sight of a people dressed in day-glo and riding bikes through Red Bank. At night.

Kate Okeson is organizing just such an event for Monday night.

Okeson, a Branch Avenue resident who teaches art at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, is the founder of Spoke & Art, a loose-knit effort to promote a variety of community-jelling ideas, including bike riding.

Unlike Safe Routes to School, another new organization but one that takes a conventional approach to securing bike and pedestrian paths to all the schools in town, Spoke & Art is more about mobile art events that spark awareness, Okeson says.

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A RUNNING START FOR BIKE/PED PROPONENTS

img_4370102109Jenny Rossano of Worthley Street and her map, below, with half-mile radii drawn around each of Red Bank’s five schools and suggested bike routes in red. (Click to enlarge)

img_4429102109

[See editor’s note at the bottom of this post]

A grassroots push for safer ways to get Red Bank kids to school on foot or bicycle kicked off with a well-attended town hall-style meeting at the borough middle school Wednesday night.

A borough resident who makes her living as a civil engineer unveiled a map showing proposed new safe routes to each of the five schools in town. A state Department of Transportation official pledged to help the borough snag as much public money as possible for everything from driver awareness efforts to reconfigured intersections, if necessary. A police traffic safety expert gave a thumbs-up to the initiative as a complement to accident-reduction efforts. And the borough engineer spoke about how it could dovetail with existing efforts to improve walkability in the 1.8-square-mile town.

“We have a lot of momentum already,” said Jim Willis of Harrison Avenue, the principal organizer of Red Bank Safe Routes, at the conclusion of the 90-minute event, which drew several dozen residents and local officials.

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FAIR HAVEN GEARS UP FOR BIKE RACE

fh_detour1a1Detour de Tour: Signs on River Road alert motorists to Saturday’s planned shutdown. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

As he was driving through Fair Haven last week, Michel Berger got a sense that his brainchild, the Tour de Fair Haven, is going to be a success this weekend.

He was following a young man decked out in a full cyclist ensemble test-driving the weekend’s route on River Road. He caught up and spoke to the rider.

“He said, ‘This is a great route. I’m happy we have a chance to do this around here,'” Berger said. “You could tell he was really getting ready for Sunday.”

That’s when at least 75 bicyclists of all ages and skill levels will be seen zipping through Fair Haven competing in the first Tour de Fair Haven, a dual-purpose event that Berger, a Fair Haven resident from France, dreamt up last year to promote cycling to children.

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