Share the Road II

Oct 23, 2019

To the Editor:

Regarding my letter,“Share the Road.” (9/25), it’s nice that Rich Weinstock took the time to read and actually comment on the article (“Let’s Get Along,” 10/2). However, I do have some rebuttal comments of my own I’d like to tell him.

First, my remarks had nothing to do with the Long Beach Township police department as a whole. They applied to one overweight motorcycle driver who cared nothing about the public in general. He wanted to let the young officer, who was trying to help me, know that he was in charge, and that no one was to be permitted to cross the Boulevard until the race was over. The young officer had some common sense and had been watching very carefully for a break in the traffic when he would let me cross.

On another occasion, at a previous race, an older regular officer did the same thing for me. He let me pass during a bicycle traffic break. (Township officials don’t seem to recognize the inconvenience to residents when they turn the Boulevard over to visitors for their fun and games.)

Second, I was not “lumping all cyclists” in my discussion. On the contrary, I specifically cited the racing-type riders who have no respect for others’ space and who seem to use the beach road as a training ground for bigger and better races.

Third, I do not know of any road along the beach in Loveladies, where Mr. Weinstock apparently resides, but Beach Avenue and Ocean Boulevard, where a lot of these activities take place, is generally kept in pretty good shape. I know of no areas that are potholed or strewn with rocks and debris. Rather, the township regularly sends a power street sweeper up and down the streets to prevent problems.

Fourth, he mentions having to cycle around runners, walkers, etc., who mostly stay within the designated areas. Of course he does. That’s called sharing the road. My letter referred to those who endanger others because of their accelerated speeds and weaving in and out. It becomes worse when they insist on riding side by side.

Fifth, he claims that I’m “troubled with rage against cyclists.” Not at all. My feelings against self-centered cyclists are no different from those regarding obnoxious northerners who leave a mess at the Wawa coffee counter or carry on boisterously in restaurants, upsetting an otherwise enjoyable meal in a nice place. Yes, you may be here to enjoy a well-earned vacation, but not to the detriment of others.

At one time this island was not unlike the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Contractors would be able to leave their tools overnight in a house they were building and expect to find them right where they left them the next morning. Many of the contractors lived on the Island but have been forced to move to the mainland. As Jon Coen said in Liquid Lines last week, the Island has become a serfdom! Why is this?

The answer is quite simple. Prior to the opening of the Garden State Parkway, most northerners never even heard of LBI. The haves would come as far south to stay at the elite Monmouth or Sussex hotels in Spring Lake and the others would settle in to the various shore towns south of Long Branch. Do you recall driving across the old wood plank bridge to the Island when you were not sure if you were going to be the last car to cross or the first one not to?

Mr. Weinstock, enjoy your bike ride, be it up in Loveladies or all the way down on “debris strewn” Beach Avenue.

Pat Nelson

Beach Haven Park

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