2013 seems to be the year that established Ocean and Monmouth Counties at the forefront of the New Jersey's complete streets movement. It has dominated the news on this blog with Routes 72, 35 and 71 proving to be a litmus test of NJ DOT's complete streets policy.
And now many residents in Harvey Cedars want to do the same for Long Beach Boulevard, Last year the borough adopted their own complete streets policy and are backing their new policy with a campaign dubbed 3 in HC which seeks to reduce the number of lanes on the boulevard from 4 lanes to 3.
Unfortunately the tiny borough has faced opposition from the County which maintains Long Beach Boulevard and lacks a complete streets policy. But its the neighboring communities - Barnegat Light and Long Beach Township that have voiced the loudest opposition. You may remember that in 2010 Mayor Mancini of Long Beach Township sought to repeal the stop for pedestrians law saying that such a law wouldn't work on a 5 lane road.
Once again the Asbury Park Press is documenting the complete streets movement on video with highlights from the Ocean County Freeholders meeting, where supporters traveled 30 miles to get pooh poohed by the Freeholders and, you guessed it, Mayor Mancini. Who was proud to tout a petition that opposes reducing lanes on Long Beach Blvd. The petition states among other unfounded arguments that "Any perceived danger to pedestrian and bicyclists is hypothetical.".
Kudos to Harvey Cedars Mayor Oldham and his supporters for their 3 in HC campaign. Long Beach Township may be neighbors with Harvey Cedars but they are at opposite ends of the ideological spectrum when it comes to livable communities. Its clear that complete streets advocates have lots of work to do to win the hearts and minds of Long Beach Island residents and businesses. A resort with poor pedestrian facilities and no public transportation.
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