The delay in the Tennent Road improvements in Manalapan (to 2022) provides an opportunity to provide much needed walking and bike paths that were left out of the original plain.
I was a commissioner on the Environmental Commission for many years and in conjunction with the Transportation Committee, we sought to encourage trails in the township (this letter is written on my behalf and not as a member of the Environmental Commission).
In 2015, when we first heard about the Tennent Road plan, I called the Monmouth County engineer and was told it was too late to change the plans – construction was scheduled to start in 2017.
With the delay, we should be able to add bike paths and sidewalks to the project. Sidewalks and bike trails encourage healthy living and reduce traffic.
Tennent Road is particularly well suited for trails. It connects the north and south of town, and passes near both the Manalapan Recreation Center and Manalapan High School. There are already sidewalks on portions of Route 522 and Church Lane.
Having a continuous safe path for walkers and bikers on Route 522, Church Lane, Tennent Road, Craig Road and Taylors Mills Road would encourage walking and biking. High school students could ride their bike to school; kids could ride to the rec center; and everyone could bike or walk for exercise and fresh air.
I encourage Monmouth County and the Township Committee to integrate sidewalks and bike paths into the Tennent Road project given the opportunity presented by the construction delay.