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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THE WHEELS ON THE WALKING BUS GO ‘HMM’

walking-bus1Transportation planner Mike Dannemiller leads a group through the West Side for the Red Bank Safe Routes initiative. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Mike Dannemiller, a cheery, bespectacled transportation planner from north Jersey, led a group up the sidewalk from Red Bank Primary School, along the north side of River Street to Leighton Avenue Tuesday night, stopping at random intervals to quiz the adults walking two-abreast behind him.

“How’s that feel for you?” he’d ask.

The responses were mixed; some said it was OK, one said “it feels different now,” and another mentioned how he narrowly avoided stepping on a chicken bone.

On the return trip, he asked again, and got the kind of response he seemed to be looking for.

“It was a little claustrophobic,” said Jim Willis (redbankgreen‘s tech guy, for disclosure), referring to a few trees along the east side of Leighton Avenue that were starting to take up some sidewalk space.

“That’s really why you need  to go out and walk the streets,” Dannemiller said, “and not just plan the paths from satellites in outer space.”

The subtleties of a simple walk may seem petty, but really, these are important things to guys like Dannemiller.

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SAFE ROUTES MOVES AHEAD IN RED BANK

safe-routesMarc Dostie, Jim Willis and Jenny Rossano of the Safe Routes initiative.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A grassroots group focused on making it safer to walk or ride a bike in Red Bank is getting a little closer to fulfilling its mission.

Safe Routes Red Bank recently secured a non-financial grant of engineering help from the state Department of Transportation to raise awareness and implement new ways to make for safer, easier modes of getting around without a car.

Now that the grant is secured, it’s up to the DOT and borough officials, with some help from the Safe Routes group, to see the program through.

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