Safety upgrades are being proposed for Grand Avenue in Asbury Park.
By CAROL GORGA WILLIAMS
Asbury Park is more popular than ever according to a report prepared by the city’s transportation director.
Prepared by James Bonnano, the city’s transportation director, with help from John McCormick of Dynamic Traffic, the report said metered parking brought in $7.47 million in 2022, as of the end of November, which surpasses the former high in 2019. Some 62,000 transactions were recorded.
“So we are seeing more visitors to the city,” Bonnano said.
Also, due to more than 100 car crashes along Grand Avenue in the last few years safety upgrades are being proposed. The proposal for upgrading Grand Avenue would cost $100,000. It calls for four-way stop signs at nearly all intersections along the length of the roadway. The exceptions would be at Asbury Avenue, Fifth Street and Sixth and Eight avenues, the men said of their recommendations presented to the City Council.
Traffic signals at Asbury Avenue, Fifth Street and Sunset Avenue should be upgraded while Sixth and Eight Avenues should remain two-way stops.
A two-foot painted buffer for bicycle lanes is recommended along both sides of Grand Avenue and would be installed along with new “STOP” striping and pedestrian signage at each stop, the men said.
Bump outs are recommended at all intersections to improve pedestrian crossings, reduce the speed of turning vehicles and increase visibility, according to the proposal. A bump out, also known as. a curb extension, is a traffic -calming measure that extends the. width of the sidewalk and curb line at crosswalks and other locations.
Grand Avenue has had 140 car crashes in recent years, according to the report.
For another $45,000, officials could make improvements at the intersections of Prospect and Monroe Avenues and Church Street, officials said.
The proposal calls for a change from a signalized intersection to a four-way stop while the existing signal would be converted to a flashing red signals.
Striping would include stop bars, additional “STOP” striping and pedestrian signage.
A bump out should be installed along the eastbound approach from Monroe Avenue to allow the stop bar to be relocated closer to the interaction to improve sight lines.
The report also incorporated recommendations from the city’s Parking Committee.
The group recommends new alternate-side parking at Prospect Avenue between Asbury and Washington Avenues; at Bond Street from Monroe to Summerfield avenues; at Springwood Avenue between Ridge Avenue and Main Street and at Sunset Drive between Sunset Avenue and Comstock Street.
Bonnano’s report also indicates the city appears to have more residents as well. This year – as of Nov. 30- some 1,215 residential parking permits were issued, up from 865 in 2020.
Employees permits and guest permits also are up while the e-scooter program generated $39,416 in 2022, up from $33,929 in 2021. Total e-scooter trips amounted to 112,619 this year as opposed to 96,940 in 2021, the first year of the program.
Electric vehicle chargers also are showing adequate use, Bonnano said. The chargers can be found at Mattison Avenue, at Seventh Avenue and Kingsley Street and at Springwood and Union Avenues.