By Kayla J. Marsh
FAIR HAVEN – Plans continue to get underway to establish dedicated bicycle/pedestrian lanes throughout several municipalities in Monmouth County.
The initiative to encourage safer bicycling has seen some major advancements in the past year with municipalities and the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders working together to establish what local mayors hope will be a continuous bike path linking several areas such as Fair Haven, Rumson and Little Silver.
“That would probably be the highlight of 2015,” Fair Haven Mayor Benjamin Lucarelli said. “The installation of the bike lanes down Ridge Road.”
“It is a good foundation [and] is the beginning of a network that we’re hoping to extend and augment throughout our town and then hopefully throughout the Two River area.”
The county has repaved Rumson Road from Bingham Avenue to Branch Avenue in Little Silver and Ridge Road from Bingham Avenue to Branch in Little Silver.
Also formal bike lanes were created on Rumson Road from Avenue of Two Rivers west to Buena Vista Avenue, across Buena Vista, down Ridge Road to Alderbrook in Little Silver.
“We received a grant to connect our two schools with sidewalks and bike paths,” Lucarelli said. “So from Viola L. Sickles School, down Lewis Street, down Fair Haven Road, then across Third Street to Knollwood School, that will be very enhanced and is the next step.”
Lucarelli said the borough also has a grant application going in to get the full bicycle/pedestrian plans for the municipality written.
“We’re hoping to get that done and approved by the borough this year and then approved by the freeholders, so that way when we do arrive at River Road being repaved, which I think would probably need to be redone in the next two to three years, a bicycle facility in some sort can then be present on the road,” he said.
“That would pretty much complete the network through Fair Haven.”
Lucarelli said the other highlight for the borough in 2015 was the acquisition and closing on DeNormandie Park.
“We’re working right now with the American Littoral Society on designing the waterfront section of that park so that was another highlight, adding more park space.”
Lucarelli said going forward in 2016, the borough will receive delivery of its new fire truck, which he said replaces a truck purchased in the 1970s.
“We’re very happy about that,” he said. “It’ll be a new First-Due Pumper Fire Truck, so it’ll be the first truck to drive out and respond to a fire.
“We’ll probably take delivery of that in about 45 days or so, probably before the end of February, and then we’ll have a wet-down celebration sometime in the spring.”