First there is this story about the Rt 72 Bridge to LBI needing to be replaced and that money from Obama's stimulus package should be used to do it. While several years away, I am fairly confident that NJDOT will make sure that any new bridge to LBI will be at least as bike/ped friendly as the Rt 52 to Ocean City talked about in the previous post. Still we'll stay vigilant on any future Rt 72 project just to make sure.
Second is the below letter that appeared in the paper on January 4th. Be aware that when Mr. Rake says "keep the bridge in the open position," it is a draw bridge and keeping it "open" means keeping it closed to any vehicular traffic. Also he proposes a decent compromise. His letter reads:
Cyclists need Beesleys bridge
Concerning the Dec. 30 article, "Cape to buy Beesleys Point Bridge today":
I was filled with great consternation at the decision to keep the bridge in the open position for the next three years. This bridge is a main artery for bicyclists traveling from Cape May County to Atlantic County. It has also, since it's closure, become a haven for joggers, walkers and fishermen (despite the arbitrary "banned" signs).
Without use of the bridge, a cyclist will have to choose between one of two bad alternatives - either a 10-mile detour through Ocean City (including a highly risky trip over the 34th Street bridge), or a 25-mile loop through Mays Landing. Neither is practical nor safe.
If our country is ever to become less dependent on cars, we need to take into consideration all modes of transportation before making decisions. Obviously, it was not done in this case.
Can't money be found for a drawbridge operator during daylight hours, or at least on weekends?
PHILIP RAKE, Ocean City
For those who are not exactly familiar what and where the Beesleys Point Bridge enlarge the above image by clicking on it. The bridge in question is the Rt 9 Bridge just to the west of the Garden State Parkway. Take a look here to get a better idea of how much of an obstacle the current network of roads around the Great Egg Harbor poses for cyclists. Be aware that the Rt 52 bridge is still totally of limits to bikes and peds until construction is completed. Bikes are also not allowed on the Garden State Parkway, if you didn't know.
Hmmm... I wonder when that Parkway bridge is due for a replacement? That might be the place to put in a bike/ped path since it doesn't look like the Rt 9, Beesleys Point Bridge will be replaced or even opened anytime soon.