An analysis about making Point Pleasant Borough more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly recommended establishing bike lanes among some of the higher-trafficked roads, such as Bridge Avenue and Route 88, as well as the creation of a bike path adjacent to the east side of the canal.
The report from Parsons Brinckerhoff of Philadelphia recommended completing sidewalks on some of the higher-traveled roads and those near schools, intersection upgrades, replacing drainage grates that are unsafe for bicycles, and turning some of the side streets near the high school and middle school into one way streets.
“All the ideas here are meritorious and worth investigation,” said Councilman Christopher Leitner. “We should take easiest things first. Although there are lot of great ideas, none of this is going to be done overnight.”
Stephen Chiaramonte, lead transportation planner at Parsons Brinckerhoff of Philadelphia, said at Tuesday night's Council Meeting that the report looked at suggestions to make walking and bicycling safer in the borough, but the recommendations can be implemented in phases since funding is difficult to obtain. Parsons Brinckerhoff developed the 158-page, state-funded study, which started in 2011 and examined traffic data during a three-year period.While Council President Robert Sabosik agreed with many of the recommendations, he thought converting the bridges into one lane in each direction would "create backups as far as the eye can see" since that is how the bridges functioned before each was improved.
An option to create a pedestrian and bicycle only bridge was presented as an option, but high costs make it not feasible, the report said.
Christine Ward, a Point Pleasant resident and a nurse for 18 years, told the Borough Council that the report's recommendations are worthwhile, but special attention should be made about lowering speed limits, particularly during school hours. She said she once had to help treat a man who was hit by a car on Herbertsville Road, while she was waiting for her children to get on the bus.
Mayor William Schroeder said that he has seen only one street -- Bridge Ave. -- have its speed limit reduced during his 20 years of involvement in local government. States and counties have say over the speed limits on the roads under their jurisdiction, such as Route 88, Bridge Ave, Beaver Dam Road, Bay Avenue, and Herbertsville Road, officials said.
Leitner said the council is considering the use of signs that flash a driver's miles per hour to make them more conscious of speed.