RED BANK: EYES ON THE ROAD, PLEASE

Put down the cellphone and pay attention: that’s the message to motorists that Red Bank police hope to underline this month as they conduct a special distracted-driving enforcement detail.

Why? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2014, 3,179 people were killed and an estimated 431,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.

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RED BANK: SIGN RULES IN LIMBO

rb signs 032416 2Proposed changes to the ordinance that regulates signage were rejected by the council. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
HOT-TOPIC_03

The Red Bank council yanked the plug on a new sign ordinance Wednesday night, leaving the town with a law that even local officials say is hot mess.

Amid widespread criticism, and some squabbling among majority Republicans, the governing body on Wednesday rejected proposed changes to the sign law that Councilwoman Cindy Burnham said had been in the works for three years and cost the town $18,000.

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RED BANK: SIGN LAW FLICKERS BACK TO LIFE

rb signs 061214 2A proposed ordinance to regulate signage is still too complex, officials say. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD
HOT-TOPIC_03

After more than two years of review and tweaking, a proposed change to Red Bank’s signage law is still too complicated, according to… well, nearly everyone who’s looked at it.

“Fourteen pages of regulations with three pages of tables does not help simplify what’s allowed and not allowed,” Jim Scavone, executive director of the downtown promotion agency Red Bank RiverCenter, told the borough council two weeks ago.

His comments have since been widely echoed. Planning board member Linda Cohen, who owns Eye Design on Broad Street, expressed concern that prospective business tenants would get one look at the document and decide to set up shop elsewhere.

Still, the planning board unanimously agreed Monday night that the proposed changes did not conflict with the town’s Master Plan, and kicked it back to the council with the message to “keep tweaking,” even if the amendments become law. Read More »

RED BANK: COUNCIL TAKES UP BUSINESS BIZ

rb doc shoppe 081915Doc Shoppe, and only Doc Shoppe, is permitted to have a table on the sidewalk out front under a trial run approved by the council. Meanwhile, a sign ordinance was sent back for more revisions. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb signs 061214 3Efforts by Red Bank businesses to draw in more customers were the subject of two measures discussed by the borough council last week.

One concerned retail and restaurant signage, which was the subject of an enforcement crackdown that generated considerable blowback a year ago.

The other is a trial run, using one store, to gauge the impact of allowing merchants to display wares in front of their stores.

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RED BANK: COPS PUSH PEDESTRIAN SAFETY

rbpd 042915 3rb pedestrian 042915 2Red Bank police were out on Broad Street Wednesday afternoon for a brief pedestrian safety enforcement push. The effort resulted in five summonses issued to motorists and 13 warnings, some to drivers and some to pedestrians, said Chief Darren McConnell.

But the enforcement might easily have gone on for hours, judging by activity seen by redbankgreen. See below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: SIGN CRACKDOWN SPARKS IRE

RB signs 061214 1Neon signs in store windows at the City Centre strip mall on White Street. Cluck U Chicken, above left, got a warning, but Psychic Advisor Gina on Monmouth Street, below, did not, according to borough records. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb neon 061714A recent crackdown on neon and other illuminated signs that lit up the business community with outrage prompted Red Bank officials to pull the plug on enforcement Wednesday night.

The blitz came to light at the bimonthly meeting of the mayor and council, when Councilman Mike DuPont said he had been besieged with complaints by merchants and restaurateurs over warning letters for signs some of them have had in their windows for decades.

“Many of the restaurants I visited complained bitterly,” said DuPont. “I heard all about it.”

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MORE TEETH SOUGHT IN CRUELTY LAWS

By WIL FULTON

Animal cruelty stands as one of the sad realities of life. Every day, our televisions, news sites, and social media feeds carry images and stories of animal neglect, abuse and abandonment. Last week, redbankgreen reported on puppies suspected of having been dumped in Shrewsbury, no owner in sight.

Red Bank’s mayor and council think offenders of cruelty prevention laws need to hear a stronger message of condemnation. Last week, they endorsed a resolution that asks state legislators to rachet up the penalties for those convicted of animal cruelty.

“Unfortunately we live in a society that is showing a great deal of insensitivity for those who don’t have a voice for themselves,” said Mayor Pasquale Menna. “We have regulations and laws in place, but I think that, frankly, the time has come for our legislators in Trenton to look at those bills that deal with cases and incidents of animal cruelty, and ask that they be upgraded.”

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PARK IT: SIDEWALK PARKER GETS A BREAK

catherine-0322112A motorist parked a car atop the sidewalk on Leighton Avenue near Catherine Street in Red Bank late Tuesday morning and then vanished for hours, a reader tells redbankgreen.

The reader, who supplied the photo and asked not to be identified, says he notified the borough’s parking enforcement department, which sent a couple of officers around.

But the they left without issuing a ticket.

redbankgreen put in a call to parking utility director Gary Watson for an explanation.

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NO SATURDAY ENFORCEMENT YET FOR METERS

meter-decal2-060310A parking authority employee applies new yellow stickers to meters on Broad Street earlier this month. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

meter-decal-060310Two weeks after the end of free Saturday parking in downtown Red Bank, not a single ticket has been written for overtime violations on Saturdays, redbankgreen has learned.

And it has nothing to do with full compliance from the meter feeders.

The borough, it turns out, hasn’t been enforcing the Saturday parking charge, and won’t start until next month, even though the rationale for the change was to boost revenue for the cash-strapped town.

“We’re going to start enforcing the weekend after the fireworks,” Assistant Borough Administrator Gary Watson said.

When asked why, he said, “I don’t know any rhyme or reason.”

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