Saturday, July 27, 2013

Rt 71 Complete Streets Project Raises Doubts in Asbury Park City Council

While Route 35 remains in limbo with no decision yet on bike lanes another shoreline state highway, Route 71 in Monmouth County is proposed to get a complete streets makeover by reconfiguring the roadway from 4 lanes to 3 lanes with the extra space allotted for bike lanes.

However at least one Councilman in Asbury Park objects to the lane reduction saying that it will hurt business. This is an old argument that gets recycled because some business owners see the addition of bike lanes as a major traffic disruption; a business killer.

But several studies that have been conducted find this not to be true. That extra lane that downtown businesses see as a way to keep traffic flowing faster actually just serves people who are driving through not to the business district. Lowering traffic speeds (without increasing congestion) and increasing local bike access has a neutral or opposite effect (depending on the mode share of bicyclists). Like Atlantic City beach towns that also have a substantial low income population get a fair amount of bike traffic as both recreation and transportation trips are being taken.

Other towns along Route 71 have already approved the complete streets changes, we hope that pro bike forces can prevail in the Dark City (Yeah, I don't know about that pseudonym either). Kudos to NJDOT for adhering to their complete streets policy. If you live in Asbury Park tell Council that you support bike lanes on Route 71.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Putting the Capital to Coast Trail on the Map

Since 2000 Fred Lockenmeyer has pursued his dream of connecting the Delaware and Raritan Canal in Trenton with the Edgar Felix Bike Path in Manasquan by forging a trail through the rural/suburban swath of Southern Mercer and Monmouth Counties. A trail located in the geographic center of the state that will be known as the Capital to Coast Trail.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

NJTPA TIP and Long Range Plan Up For Public Comment

Earlier this year the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission put up their Long Range Plan, Transportation Improvement Program for New Jersey and Air Quality Conformity Determination up for public comment and the Commission adopted those documents today, which concluded with a picnic in Philadelphia.

Now its the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority's turn: Plan 2040, the NJTPA’s updated Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). The Fiscal Year 2014-2017 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). And the Air Quality Conformity Determination for the RTP and TIP. Copies of the draft documents and more details are available at:

Route 35 Mania Continues With A Listening Tour Kick Off In Seaside Heights

Christie Administration Kicks Off Route 35 Reconstruction “Listening Tour” In Seaside Heights
 First In A Series Of Events Between Department of Transportation Commissioner, Route 35 Project Team and Local Communities

(Seaside Heights) – As the $265 million project rebuilding Route 35 gets underway, New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner James Simpson today kicked off the Christie Administration’s “Listening Tour” to get direct feedback from residents, business owners and local officials.
Commissioner Simpson and DOT project team members gathered today at Seaside Heights Borough Hall and then walked along streets with Mayor Bill Akers, listening to concerns and ideas from business owners and residents along the way.
“Route 35 is the gateway to many Jersey Shore destinations along the Barnegat Peninsula, and the Christie Administration is committed to rebuilding this road as quickly as possible,” said Commissioner Simpson. “We are accelerating this project to accomplish a massive amount of work in a short time frame, and during this process, we want to ensure that the lines of communication between the local communities and our administration remain open. This listening tour will help residents and local officials make sure their concerns are heard.”
The Listening Tour supplements a robust community outreach effort that includes a hotline telephone number, 732-230-7356, and email address, for residents to pose questions or provide suggestions as work progresses.
NJDOT has created a project-specific website that provides information on the proposed construction activity.  The site will be updated as work advances. 

A pre-construction public information center on July 9 in Lavallette was very well attended by hundreds of residents and business owners from the eight Barnegat Peninsula municipalities where Route 35 will be reconstructed (Bay Head, Mantoloking, Brick, Toms River, Lavallette, Seaside Heights, Seaside Borough and Berkeley.

At a groundbreaking event in neighboring Seaside Park on July 2, Governor Chris Christie announced the start of the project to rebuild the roadway that sustained heavy damage during Superstorm Sandy.  At the event, Christie said the Route 35 reconstruction project sends a message that the Jersey Shore is coming back stronger than ever.

The Department has divided the project into three geographical sections and has awarded contracts to three contractors.  Work in all three sections will begin in August.  Construction in the northernmost section will be completed by the summer of 2014, with work in the other two sections completed by the summer of 2015.

The Phone Number and Email Address offer two more avenues to express your desire for bike lanes and complete streets on Route 35. Please use this opportunity to contactl NJDOT today.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Route 35 Followup - Keep Asking For Bike Lanes

Between 2009 and 2011 49 reportable bike crashes occurred on Route 35 with the majority of them resulting in injuries to the bicyclist. The road width of the state highway varies but for most of the central and southern sections the width of the available shoulders is up to 24 feet in each direction (12 feet on each side of the road). Yet at the well attended public meeting held at the Lavallette Elementary school earlier this week engineering drawings show no bike lanes anywhere on  the 12 mile project.

Send an email to Commissioner Simpson

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Action Alert! Voice Your Support For Complete Streets At The Route 35 Public Meeting

NJ DOT will be holding a public information meeting on the Route 35 reconstruction project.

Tuesday July 9
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Lavallette Elementary School Gymnasium
105 Brooklyn Avenue
(corner of Rt. 35 and Brooklyn Ave.)  
Lavallette, NJ 08735

The public meeting handout below gives a "complete streets" assessment of the project. We strongly support the continuous proposed sidewalk Unfortunately the plan calls for "shared shoulder accommodation" meaning that bicyclists could be squeezed into the right lane by parked vehicles. The public should send a message loud and clear that properly marked bike lanes is the best solution (preferably with a buffer). In many area bike lanes can only be put in if back in angle parking is implemented.

We strongly support the continuous sidewalk on the northbound side as proposed. However we encourage everyone to ask for additional traffic calming measures as well as lowering the speed limits in the densely built up areas that should be considered slow zones. For example in Lavallette the speed limit is 45 mph!

If you are unable to attend the meeting in person then we ask that you send your comments to:

Denise Peck, Regional Manager
New Jersey Department of Transportation
Office of Community Relations
P.O. Box 600, Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
Phone: 609.530.2853; Fax: 609.530.2536