Ramos Calls for Changes to Mount Prospect Avenue Bicycle Lanes

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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
Engineering Department
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.


Sincerely,

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Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr.

What's your opinion on the bicycle lanes on Mount Prospect. Please take less than 10 seconds to fill out my survey.

 

Showing 8 reactions

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  • commented 2015-12-28 17:54:09 -0500
    Councilman Ramos, it’s been more than a year since your letter was sent to the Engineering Department of Newark to address the bike lanes on Mt. Prospect Avenue. Apart from an Executive Order from the Mayor, which was ultimately ineffectual, there has been no action to remove the bike lanes. It appears that time has appeased the residents, business owners, and nearby neighbors who were affected by the arbitrary decision to install them. An article on this subject made reference to how “Pedestrian fatalities are higher in cities with lower income residents” to justify this $3 million dollar paint job. All affected should be outraged at the lack of consideration shown to their community. I’m certain those responsible equated “lower income residents” with folks who are less educated, and therefore lacking the ability to organize and fight against this type of government waste and I’ll dare say misconduct. It is why we rely on our community representatives to act on our behalf. To exhaust every means necessary to right a wrong! Including utilizing the legal system, if need be, to compel a thorough investigation into the background of this project. Make no mistake about it, these bike lanes are a blatant example of what our local government thinks about us “low income” folks, who are predominantly of a Latino background. As long as they remain, we will be reminded of this plight. As history will prove, without oversight/representation, it’s just a matter of time before another offense is devised against a people who are regarded as powerless and insignificant!
  • commented 2014-11-19 10:46:39 -0500
    Hi i don’t live in my prospect ave but I shop in the area , those bike lines have to go. People can’t park , was it nessasery for those lanes we still see people riding bike all over except the bike lanes. So please remove
  • commented 2014-11-19 10:29:22 -0500
    It seems only too typical that a politician will immediately throw a great improvement under the bus due to the initial (and often unavoidable) push-back that any intervention that challenges the status quo receives. Newark has set a great example by moving away from the convention of serving the every whim of motorists and making an effort to support a less car dependent city. I hope that the DOT does not cave to these demands so that people may continue to illegally double park on this street.
  • commented 2014-11-19 08:17:50 -0500
    Good morning Councilman Ramos. Thank you for your due diligence in the impending removal of the bike lanes on Mt. Prospect Ave. My sincere gratitude is in your efforts to improve the North Ward by providing healthy alternatives and a better Quality of Life! However, this doesn’t delineate from the fact that other projects to beautify the North Ward as well as the safety of your constituents should continue! One suggestion, please get the residents and business owners the ability to give their input and suggestions for future projects…
  • commented 2014-11-18 22:43:14 -0500
    Hello, I DONT agree with having a bike lane on Mt Prospect Ave, for many years we have not had the need for it and the same as today, we dont have space to park as it is and now to make it worst we will have the snow piled-up on our cars. Who’s ever idea it was to make this project they WERE and ARE wrong and did not think of the consequences, so much money wasted…What a mess..
  • commented 2014-11-18 19:20:04 -0500
    Good evening all, please be advised that i am in favor of the bike lanes. Not only does the bike lanes promote a healthy lifestyle, it reflects that the city of Newark is sharing, caring and safe. Also note that it is more convenient for people to hop off their bikes to shop and enjoy what this beautiful city has to offer oppose to those who drive.
  • followed this page 2014-11-17 20:24:55 -0500
  • commented 2014-11-17 19:11:48 -0500
    Councilman Ramos, thanks for reconsideration on this matter. It was headed in the wrong direction and causing separation in the community. True leaders know when to admit they are wrong.
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