Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr. today released a letter that he sent to the City Engineering Department requesting that it reconsider bike lanes on Mount Prospect Avenue.
Here is the letter:
November 17, 2014
Phillip Scott, Director
City of Newark
Newark City Hall
920 Broad Street, Room 416
Newark, NJ 07102
Dear Mr. Scott:
I am writing this letter to address an issue that has become a major concern in my ward. As you know, the City of Newark received funding through the Urban Enterprise Zone for streetscape improvements along Mount Prospect Avenue.
The streetscape improvement project is just one of many investments that we have made in the Mount Prospect business corridor in the last few years. My goal is to help make Mount Prospect Avenue one of the city’s premier shopping districts, benefitting both those who have invested in our city and those who live and work in the community.
Overall, the streetscape project has dramatically improved the Mount Prospect business district with new sidewalks and curbs, ADA ramps, benches, trees, decorative lighting poles, clearly demarcated parking and measures to calm traffic on Mount Prospect Avenue.
However, many residents and business owners have raised concerns about certain aspects of the streetscape improvement project, most notably the bicycle lanes that have been created between the on-street parking and the curb running from Heller Parkway to Verona Avenue.
As a result of a community forum I sponsored on Oct. 20, I began an inquiry into what can be done to address the legitimate concerns raised by residents and business owners. I was troubled to learn that the city has no snow removal plan for the roadway nor does it have any street sweeping apparatus to clean the narrow bike lanes between the curb and the on street parking. In addition, the way the roadway is currently configured has caused a net loss of parking spaces that are desperately needed for our businesses.
While bike lanes on Mount Prospect Avenue are certainly well intentioned, I believe the problems created by the roadway’s current configuration far outweigh the benefits at this time. Therefore, I am asking the Engineering Department to consider restriping the street to remove the bike lanes and create more parking.
Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr.
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