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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LITTLE SILVER: STUDENT TO RATE WALKWAYS

theo cheevers 071015 1Theo Cheevers at Church Street and Rumson Road, site of a recent sidewalk reconstruction. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

donegoodlogoWhere exactly in Little Silver are there sidewalks, and what condition are they in? How might crosswalks be improved?

A young borough man has decided to tackle those questions this summer. And while the effort sounds, um, pedestrian, local government officials are looking forward to his findings.

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SAFETY PUSH MAKES IT TO MASTER PLAN

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

bicyclist1Red Bank’s team of two-wheeled street safety activists earned a small victory Monday night in their effort to make borough paths safer and more accessible to bicyclists and pedestrians.

As anticipated, the borough planning board voted to incorporate a lengthy bike and pedestrian safety report and recommendations into Red Bank’s Master Plan, the principle guiding document for development in town.

With the addition of the “Red Bank Bicycle/Pedestrian Planning Project” report, the group’s vision of shared streets and consideration of walkers and non-vehicular riders in future planning is coming into focus.

“We’re hoping (Red Bank) is safer and more community friendly,” said Jenny Rossano, one of the founders of Safe Routes Red Bank, whose members pulled in a non-cash grant to prepare the 106-page report. “We’re hoping people will walk and bike more, and that makes a community better.”

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BIKE AND PED SAFETY PLAN ROLLS ON

willis-rossanoJenny Rossano reviews the soon-to-be-adopted bike and pedestrian plan in Red Bank, while Jim Willis, in the background, views it on an iPad. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

When a group of residents banded together almost two years ago to make Red Bank’s streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, there were never any notions it’d be a fast-moving process. Compiling data, analyzing studies and working with local and state government simply don’t lend themselves to timeliness.

But in the long-distance course to effect change, a grassroots group made a leap forward Monday night when it all but secured adoption from the borough planning board of a 100-plus page report on bike and walker safety, including a multitude of recommendations on how to improve the way of life of those on two legs and two wheels.

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SNOW ADDED TO TOP PED SAFETY CONCERNS

snow-sidewalkIt doesn’t do much good if snow blocks access to a shoveled sidewalk, residents say. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The list of concerns related to pedestrian safety are well-documented. Red Bank needs more traffic lights, better signage, sidewalk improves and more, residents say.

But now, with snow packed into blocks of ice at the end of sidewalks throughout town, fears are heightened that something bad is going to happen.

That concern, along with the usual gripes, were aired at Wednesday night’s monthly West Side Community Group meeting with police and Mayor Pasquale Menna.

“It’s not that the sidewalks are not shoveled. It’s just that the curbing is blocked with snow,” said Carl Colmorgen, a school crossing guard. “The crosswalks are there, but you can’t get to them because of the snow.”

But the problem is going to take time to resolve, officials said.

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NEW CROSSWALK LAW DRAWS MIXED REAX

crosswalkerA woman crosses Mechanic Street at the interesection of Broad in downtown Red Bank Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A new, statewide vehicle-related law went into effect Thursday, with the aim of improving pedestrian safety. But will it?

Drivers must now completely “stop and stay stopped” when someone is in a crosswalk, according to a campaign launched by the state Attorney General’s office. Prior law said yielding would do, but officials cited increased fatality rates as the cause to tighten down on drivers. Violating the law carries a fine of $200. (Pedestrians may also be cited and fined $54 for failing to use due care when crossing.)

redbankgreen spent a good part of the sun-splashed day posing a question to folks in Red Bank and the surrounding area: Do you think this law will actually make your town safer?

We got a mixed bag of responses.

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