Pedestrian Safety Forum Monday

first_imgThe Two River Times will be addressing the issue of pedestrian and cyclist safety in a public forum to be held in at 7 p.m., Sept. 21 at Red Bank Catholic High School, 112 Broad St.
Red Bank and we urge every resident of the Two River area interested in this topic to attend.As a result of the Crossroads Initiative begun by the newspaper, a collective effort has resulted in safer streets but there is far more to be done. The Two River Times is delighted to report Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long has joined the group, broadening the towns we are focusing on to Red Bank, Fair Haven, Rumson, Middletown and now Sea Bright.Our state legislators Sens. Joseph Kyrillos and Jennifer Beck, County Freeholder Thomas Arnone, County Engineer Joseph Ettore, Mayors Pasquale Menna, Ben Lucarelli, John Ekdahl and now Dina Long, and police chiefs and representatives from each town, as well as stakeholders Riverview Medical Center, RiverCenter, Newport Media Holdings and several local safety groups should all be commended for their commitment to the topic.More needs to be done about educating the public about what’s legal and what’s not for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers as it pertains to crosswalks and cyclists and police officers from Red Bank, Middletown and Rumson will address those concerns in the beginning of the forum.We are also pleased to say Red Bank Catholic is a new stakeholder, will make a presentation about their Pedestrian Safety Initiative.The officials will also explain the “connector factor” of county roads.Three components of the Crossroads effort that have always been in the forefront are Education, Enforcement and Engineering.The Two River Times has taped pedestrians and cyclists on the roadways as well as tracked the speed of cars and found pedestrians, cyclists and drivers all break the law, some probably unintentionally because they don’t understand what they are required to do. This forum is not meant to blame but to improve things going forward.Much good has already been accomplished and we’d like to share that at the forum as well. For instance, the county’s engineering department announced the county is now studying the problematic intersection of Broad and Pickney where a 78-year-old woman was hit and killed across from Foodtown in Red Bank. The county is also expanding its study of Broad Street to Shrewsbury Avenue, which has few crosswalks and has a heavy population of pedestrians, drivers and cyclists. Traffic counts are beginning there this month. And enforcement is being beefed up with officers being trained now to specifically address this issue in Red Bank. The traffic light, however at Front and Broad, which signal drivers and pedestrians simultaneously to proceed, will not be changed now. The analysis by the county found having a “pedestrian only” time to cross would cause a boomerang effect on traffic in both directions and would negatively impact emergency vehicles headed to Riverview because there are no lanes for them to go around traffic.In Middletown, Police Lt. Neal Hansen said the intersection where a 15-year-old girl was hit and killed on Route 36 and Avenue D needs improvement and noted the long distance to the next crossing. Senators Joseph Kyrillos and Jennifer Beck have agreed to meet with the DOT about the matter to expedite the usually two to three-year wait for such a request. And the Crossroads group would very much like to see towns being given more latitude to paint crosswalks and make sensible traffic decisions without state approval. The Two River Times hopes to attend the meeting with the DOT and make it clear it supports the proposal.Freeholder Thomas Arnone also announced that an accord has been reached with Rumson and Fair Haven and bike lanes are being designated along portions of two county roads, Rumson and Ridge Road after a compromise for 50-50 sharing of cost and liability. And cyclist lanes will be established in Sea Bright.Fair Haven Mayor Lucarelli credited The Two River Times, Arnone, and state Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and state senators Kyrillos and Beck for offering their support and helping broker the agreement.So, it’s clear the Crossroads effort is making an impact thanks to a collective focus to improve a community. We are just beginning and far more must be done, but we’ve made headway.And most importantly, we want to hear from you about areas of concern and solutions you have to offer. There is no registration or fee. Just come, learn, listen and identify problems and suggest solutions.Read more stories about the Crossroads initiative: Crossroads: Results of First Editorial Meeting About Pedestrian Safety in the Greater Red Bank Area March 12, 2015Cyclist Hit In Sea Bright September 10, 2015Yes Another Pedestrian Close Call in Red Bank August 13, 2015Penalties Must Be Stiffer For Leaving Scene and Inattentive Driving August 13, 2015Bike Paths Are Rolling Forward July 24, 2015Progress In Pedestrian/Cyclist Safety July 24, 2015Pedestrian Dies Following Accident July 1, 2015 78-year-old Pedestrian Struck on Broad Street in Red Bank, June 27, 2015Red Bank Streets Feared by Residents, Motorists, June 27, 2015Broad Street Pedestrian Accident Prompts Intensive Investigation, June 25, 2015Bicycle Lanes at Standstill As Two River Mayors and County Fail to Agree, May 22, 2015last_img

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