Share the Road

Sep 25, 2019

To the Editor:

During the summer months, especially on weekends, the people of this Island are exposed to the heavy traffic on Beach Avenue in Long Beach Township. There are pedestrians of all ages, joggers, skateboarders, cars and, yes, most importantly, people riding bicycles. I say most importantly because those folks in their stretch clown outfits feel that they are the primary reason Beach Avenue even exists.

They tear up and down the street with apparent disregard for the safety of any others who may be in their way. If a car comes up behind them, they seldom, and very reluctantly, are willing to share the road. When they do, it’s often with a passing obscene gesture. They ride as if they are training for the Tour de France. Stop signs? They mean nothing. And the police apparently do nothing about it.

Earlier this month the annual Long Beach Island Triathlon included a 10-mile bike ride, converting the Boulevard into a track for the bicyclists. This is a nice gesture on the part of the township, inviting riders from all over to take part in the event.

What the township doesn’t seem to care about is the effect on the full-time, and even weekend, residents. What is usually a daily 15-minute (at most) ride to the Wawa around 132nd Street took well over an hour. Folks heading to the churches or the Acme also got caught up in the mess. No vehicles were permitted to cross the Boulevard during the race.

After I waited a long while in my car at an intersection, a young officer said he would try to help me cross when there was a break in the bike traffic. Shortly, an older storm trooper on a motorcycle stopped to talk to the young officer and told him that under no circumstances should I be allowed to cross. The trooper directed me to go up to 58th Street where I would be able to cross to the other side. I did so and while heading south, I hit another detour which directed me back to the beach road. I was essentially back where I started. The trooper had no common sense whatever.

The race is nice for the self-centered bicyclists who train all summer on the beach road, but township officials have to keep in mind that others use Beach Avenue and the Boulevard also.

Pat Nelson

Beach Haven Park

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