By John Burton
A number of Two River mayors are on board with a plan to establish a bike path connecting the area communities and county roads.
According to Eatontown Mayor Gerald J. Tarantolo, who chairs the Two River Council of Mayors, eight of the participating mayors have agreed with a plan first proposed by Fair Haven Mayor Benjamin Lucarelli to create a route for bicycles through 11 municipalities.
“By establishing this network of bike paths, we can maybe accomplish less car traffic on the roads, less pollution,” Tarantolo said. “So, there are a lot of benefits.”
The Two River Council, which usually suspends its monthly meetings for the summer months, held a special session on July 30 to address this issue, according to Tarantolo.
“We all came to the conclusion that we all supported the concept of the local paths in each of the municipalities, with the understanding we would interconnect them and ultimately connect with the county roads.”
The mayors agreed to adopt a resolution in each of their communities supporting the plan.
Fair Haven passed its resolution earlier this summer, Lucarelli told The Two River Times last month.
Eatontown officials planned to vote on it during this week’s council meeting, Tarantolo said.
With those approvals in hand the mayors have determined that there will be a representative from each town to work on creating the network of roads. They will draft an operating plan and have a mayor’s subcommittee seek the support of the county freeholders, Tarantolo said.
Once the route is established and as the roads are repaved a 4-foot wide path will be marked on the streets, Tarantolo said.
Lucarelli told The Two River Times in July he was seeking support from the mayors and Monmouth County officials for the network of roads that would take cyclists from Red Bank eastward to Sea Bright, south on Ocean Avenue through Monmouth Beach, a portion of Long Branch, through Oceanport and loop back to Red Bank. It would be an ideal route for “commuting and recreation” for many, Tarantolo said.
The Two River Council of Mayors is an informal gathering of area elected officials who meet monthly for most of the year to discuss mutual interests and concerns.