39°F overcast clouds

RED BANK: SIDEWALKS AS HOV LANES

mori-bus-100511A ‘walking bus’ destined for the Red Bank Charter School heads west on McLaren Place Wednesday morning. The group, organized with help from Safe Routes Red Bank, and others from around town celebrated International Walk to School Day. (Click to enlarge)

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.

More →