SAVE OCEAN AVENUE COMMIITTEE     
June 9, 2021    

Hello everyone ,hope you are all doing well ,,,,,,,,,,,,,summer is here ,,,,,,,

I am happy to tell you the city of Long Branch under the direction of Stan Dziuba Public Works/Emergency Management and the new Director of Public Safety Domingos Salidas have listened to our requests and have made additional changes in traffic safety and enhancing the board walk with art, culture and history. The SOA committee has been working on these goals for a long time and also for the completion of a new bikeway from north to south Long Branch which is underway. There are now more traffic safety signs along Ocean Boulevard and Ocean Avenue. There has been more enforcement of traffic violations on the beach front, for dogs and bikes on the boardwalk, illegal parking and people jumping the boardwalk railings. There are again children at play placards in the roadway on Ocean Avenue in the south green acres linear no traffic park for people to use more safely. The shade park, picnic tables and flower garden boxes are being put back up at the West End road way by the bathroom for all to use and enjoy. The Save Ocean Avenue 4 by 8 ft. art, history, and culture boards of Long Branch are being put back up on the beach at the beach access points along the boardwalk to enhance the ocean walk along the boardwalk. The seven presidents 4 by 8 ft. art board portraits are next to the boardwalk by the roadway as you enter the south green acres linear park at Brighton Avenue, at the beginning of the boardwalk ocean walk to enjoy the start of the ocean walk.

I am saddened to say the baby oyster catchers are no where in sight. A number of serious storms and weather and many more people using the beach may have been the reason. Remember to look for the whales spouting early most mornings on the south end of the boardwalk and watch the porpoises swimming south. We are still asking for the city of Long Branch to put up State of New Jersey official green acre park signs at each entrance and exit to the south and north green acre linear traffic free parks. 

Stay safe ,,,,,,,,,,

Dennis Sherman 
Chairman Save Ocean Ave Committee  

SAVE OCEAN AVENUE COMMITTEE MESSAGE
May 1, 2021

HeHello everyone, Hope you’re all doing well ,,,,,,

The beginning of May is right around the corner. I am happy to tell you that after much back and forth with the city of Long Branch to try and get more safety signs on the roadways earlier, that the city is planning to put out the pedestrian safety sandwich boards crossing signs on Ocean Boulevard and Ocean Avenue at the crosswalks as of May 1,2021.  Thanks to those of you who have written and asked the city and SOA/LBCC, for safety to be improved as quickly as possible. Ocean Boulevard can be made safer with these signs all year round and not just the summer season, like Sea Bright. Especially with visitors increasing to Long Branch daily because of the covid crisis. Many of our city residents and visitors and families cross the Boulevard, or ride bikes all year round to walk the boardwalk and it dangerous crossing two lanes of traffic going at very fast in both lanes.

A second goal of the SOA and LBCC committee, responding to all your questions and requests, is to help get a safe new bike way that runs from Lake Takanasssee to Monmouth Beach connecting the already traffic free north and south linear green acre parks along the ocean front on Ocean Avenue, where cars and traffic, currently are not allowed. It is safe to use the two green acre parks without fear of being hit by a car. We have spent much time and effort with the city of Long Branch and the engineering department of Monmouth County to try and get more safety for Ocean Boulevard and a new safe bikeway. There is no soft shoulder for bikes from Pavilion Avenue in front of Pier Village north. Many letters and discussions have happened from me and SOA/LBCC to try and make this happen. Last year the idea of a new bike way was finally put into the city’s master plan and a meeting held with the city to try and get bike grants and funding. No funding for bike grants was put in. The County also put in a multimillion-dollar grant to fix all of Ocean Boulevard and the traffic intersection at Brighton Avenue and Ocean Boulevard. A separate bike audit of the city for a new bikeway was completed by the city’s Green Committee and Environmental Committee and the results given to the mayor with specific recommendations. All this happen last year.

A whole year has passed. To date I have been told by the county engineer that the study grant was not accepted to make new improvement's to Ocean Boulevard. I am not aware after much discussion of any new further action being taken on moving ahead with implementing a new bikeway, or any new plans to improve pedestrian and traffic safety on Ocean Boulevard and Ocean Avenue south of Brighton Avenue.

We are in a new time at the city of Long Branch, with many visitors coming to Long Branch year-round, and with new condominium buildings opening up along the ocean front by the railway station and next to Seven Presidents Park, and there will be even more congestion. This will result in more people, more cars, more traffic all along the oceanfront and north and south of Pier Village ,not only in the summer, but year-round. What new plans are there to improve the safety of Ocean Boulevard and Ocean Avenue and when will the the new bike way be  started. Last summer the crowds forced beaches to be closed and Ocean Boulevard was clogged up with traffic especially at Brighton Avenue. What is going to change this year and how quickly will it happen?  What are the cities priorities to quickly deal with these problems?

The city has zoom council meetings every other week and the mayor and city council are very accessible and open to phone calls and e mails, and ideas and complaints. Write or call the mayor    jpallone@longbranch.org   Your voice counts and unless the city makes the safety of Ocean Avenue and Ocean Boulevard and a new safe bikeway a higher priority, nothing more will happen.

I urge all of you who care, to call into the city council meeting tonight Wednesday at 7:30 PM and help ask these questions. The numbers to call for  council meeting are 1-929-205-6099,1-312-626-6799,1-253-215-8782, then enter meeting ID  814-3875-1701 followed by the pound # sign.   The city council meets are every other week at 7:30 PM.  Call them. write, speak to the mayor and council and ask questions if you care about these issues and   more safety. Traffic is increasing with every new day of warmer weather

Your voice counts only if you use it.  We ask you to help communicate these issues to the city if you care. 


Dennis Sherman 
Chairman Save Ocean Ave Committee  




GOALS AND MISSION STATEMENT
of Save Ocean Ave. Committee

 
The Save Ocean Avenue Committee (SOA) was created as part of the Long Branch Coalition of Condominiums Associations (LBCC) in 2007.  The groups supporters’ number in the many hundreds of city residents and condominium association presidents.  The city of Long Branch introduced an Ordinance to put traffic in the south green acres park on Ocean Avenue next to the boardwalk at Brighton Avenue. After obtaining more than four thousand signatures opposing this ordinance the city and council withdrew the ordinance. and invited the SOA committee to meet with the city on a regular basis to share its’ ideas and goals. After much hard work and effort, many improvements to the boardwalk were made only to be destroyed by hurricane "Sandy" in 2012. The destroyed boardwalk was rebuilt three years later in 2015. Unfortunately, much of the art, culture history, shade areas, safety issues, and enough green acre park signs identifying the parks, were not replaced. Additional traffic and parking filled Ocean Avenue along the boardwalk between the south and north traffic free green acre parks along the oceanfront raising traffic safety concerns for bikes,skateboards ,dog walkers, pedestrians,etc.

With many new redevelopment projects nearing competition shortly, many more people will be using the oceanfront and parks. Visit the save ocean avenue committee website. It is interactive and answers questions, signs up new supporters and regularly sends out news blasts about the boardwalk and oceanfront.

The goals and mission statement of the Save Ocean Avenue Committee are as follows;

1.  Protect, beautify and enhance the Green Acre Open Space Parks along Ocean Avenue and the boardwalk and in the city. Introduce more culture, art, sculpture, history onto the boardwalk and linear parks, including West End Park and Jackson woods park.

2.  Improve the safety for pedestrians getting to and from the beach and boardwalk crossing Ocean Boulevard and using Ocean Avenue.

3.  Help create a complete safe bikeway from the beginning of the boardwalk at Brighton Avenue at the south end of the boardwalk up to Seven President park.



SAVE OCEAN AVE FOUNDING FATHER PASSES

Bill McLaughlin    
October 5, 1938 - December 21, 2020



Bill was born to the late Rachel and James McLaughlin in Jersey City. He graduated from Dickinson high school where he was the pitcher for the baseball team and earned the nickname “Ace”.

He moved to Long Branch 40 years ago and became a “watchdog” for the town. For almost twenty years Bill was a leader and outspoken "watchdog"  of the city of Long Branch and didn't hesitate to speak up at the many city council meetings we attended over the years. When the city first tried to put traffic on Ocean Avenue next to the boardwalk, Bill led the efforts to get signed signature's and petitions and with the SOA committee and many other people, got the city to withdraw the ordinance. No traffic was allowed into the protected  Green Acre State linear parks along the Long Branch boardwalk and Ocean Avenue. The first effort was in the early 2000's and than again around 2015 when the city tried again to put traffic in the Green Acre Park at Brighton and Ocean Avenues. Both times the city was persuaded to drop their efforts. The city was also encouraged to make many improvements to the boardwalk before hurricane "Sandy" in 2012. Bill's favorite saying was, "you have a voice ,,,,use It."  Both the north and south linear parks are traffic free now and many people use them to enjoy the oceanfront.

As president of the L.B.C.C. Bill got the city to reimburse every condominium association every year for the over payments for snow and lighting that were made to the city. This practice continues today and condominium lists are updated every year by the city. The LBCC under Bills leadership would provide help to anyone that needed it with names of reliable contractors and handy men.  At city council meetings, issues of bonds, budgets, ordinances were followed closely and questioned when necessary.  Bill was a fighter and leader over these many years  and many people benefitted by his efforts .

Bill was a retired member of Local 68 operating engineers after a 50 year career, and was also a former president of the Long Branch Coalition of Condominiums Association.

Bill was a devout Catholic and a parishioner of St. Michael’s RC Church for many years. He enjoyed participating in politics, attending NY Jets games with his son, and was a big fan of horse racing, if he wasn’t at Monmouth Park, you could find him at the Saratoga racetrack. On his relaxing days, he would often walk the boardwalk.

He is predeceased by his daughter Donna McLaughlin, his brother Joseph McLaughlin, and his fiancé Joan Neto.

Surviving are his children James and his wife Jerylann McLaughlin of North Arlington, and Maureen Walsh and her husband Joseph Weimert of Brick, five grandchildren Sarah, Joseph, Jennifer, William, and Jamie, and four great-grandchildren Madison, Samantha, Brian, and Colin.

SAVE OCEAN AVENUE COMMITTEE
MESSAGE

10/14/2020    
     

Hello everyone, hope you are all doing well as the weather is turning colder. I also hope you are all enjoying the boardwalk during the end of fall and the beginning of winter.

It is much less crowded. I have asked the city to leave up until November the beautiful 4’ by 8’ art, history and culture boards of the seven presidents, Winslow Homers’ painting of the bluffs, etc., along the boardwalk. You can see these art boards at the beach access points from Brighton Ave up to Laird Street.  The art boards stand alone and can be appreciated by all who see them from the boardwalk. The city has also removed all the lockers and cabanas, but the art boards still remain. I have also attached a picture of a swan that was resting on the West End beach last week. Kind of a farewell to the summer.

As I have mentioned before I asked the city to leave a bathroom opened for the winter which they do at Laird Avenue near the Ocean Place hotel and now also a portable toilet opened at Cottage Avenue. Soon I assume the main bathrooms along the boardwalk will be closed.

I have also gotten lapel pins just like the Save Ocean Avenue logo at the top of this page, but smaller and they can be worn on your clothing to show your support for this committee and its goals of; keeping the Ocean Avenue linear green acre parks along the boardwalk traffic free, making Ocean Avenue and Ocean Boulevard safer to use and getting one continuous safe bike way from Brighton Avenue North to Seven Presidents Park. These logo pins are free to anyone who wants one, and I carry them with me when walking on the boards almost every day. I will gladly give them to you free, no cost involved. Our hope is that you will support the S.O.A committee and wear the pins, visit our website, saveoceanave.com and add names to our supporters list at our interactive website that also answers any questions or comments you may have.

There have been questions about the city of Long Branch tax assessments, and taxes.  I have spent a good amount of time talking with John Butow the city’s tax assessor,732 571 56658, about taxes, assessments and assessment rates.

Dennis Sherman

THE SAVE OCEAN AVENUE LOGO of  LONG BRANCH


The save ocean avenue logo of the city of Long Branch was created in 2007 when the city tried to put cars and traffic next to the boardwalk on Ocean Avenue in the protected paved Green Acres Linear Park. The SOA committee was formed as part of the Long Branch Coalition of Condominium Associations (LBCC) and together got thousands of signatures to petition the city not to pass the ordinance. The committees name was intended to save the boardwalk and roadway from the cities intention to put cars and traffic next to the boardwalk. The city tried to do this in 2007 and again in 2016. The city withdrew their 2007 ordinance after much of our committee’s efforts, attending city council meetings and going to the state capital to petition Green Acres. Our group then started meeting with the city to help improve, create and make the cities plan of a new boardwalk come true with public input. This included improving Ocean Avenue and Ocean Boulevard so people could get to the beach safely. Part of the plan was to be able to walk and bike all of Ocean Avenue north through Seven Presidents Park safely to Monmouth beach.

Our committee worked with the city to rename the boardwalk and bike path, "Seven Presidents Ocean Walk", displayed on the SOA logo. The SOA logo is a picture that was designed by graphic artist, Ryan Sherman, of Philadelphia, to represent these efforts and history. There are seven large waves that represent the seven United States presidents who vacationed in Long Branch and contributed to the history, culture and development of the city. The logo has the sky, sun, seagulls, lifeguard stand, beach, seven waves, boardwalk, railings and red bike path along the ocean walk.  There are also links to other important sights and past and current history of the SOA Committee. The seven colors of the logo were specifically chosen to show the Long Branch ocean front, seven president’s walk, board walk, roadway and bike path.



COMMITTEE NEWS

July 22, 2020

Hello Everyone,

Hope you are all doing well in this heat, the virus and with the crowds of people coming to the long Branch boardwalk and beaches.Weekly your ideas and suggestions plus mine are given to the mayor and beach manager to deal with the crowds on the boardwalk and beaches.

Anyone can speak to or email the mayor, beach manager or council about their issues and concerns.  The town has daily meetings to discuss and improve the beaches and boardwalk during this difficult time. I am very sad to tell you one of the oystercatchers babies is missing and has not been seen and presumed dead. If anyone has any information about it's disappearance please let me or the beach manager Stan Dzuiba know. The last sighting of the two fledglings was more than a few weeks ago. Only the two parents and one baby are left. Attached are the latest pictures of one parent and one baby bird. With the overcrowding of the boardwalks, beaches and parking many people jump the fence, ruin the dune grass and disturb the birds.  There are complaints of large unsecured canopies, loud boom boxes and bothering the baby oystercatcher babies. You can report complaints to the life guards, or ticket booths who will call security to address them. You can also call the beach office with the complaint, 732-571-5697. If you see violations call the beach office during the day and police after 4 pm.

I am happy to report to you that the Save Ocean Avenue Committee has made very good progress and has gotten support to get a complete bikeway through all of Long Branch and to start making Ocean Boulevard and Ocean Avenue safer. With Freeholder Director Tom  Arnone's support, I was able to discuss the safety of Ocean Boulevard, Ocean Avenue and a safe bikeway for Long Branch with the director of county highways and their plans for city improvements.  Our SOA committee and I have been working on this for a very long time and have met with the county and city before over the years. The county who meets with the city is very soon going to start repainting the crosswalks and lines on Ocean Boulevard, add new crosswalks and put up more safety signage along Ocean Boulevard to help pedestrians cross the boulevard safely. This will start soon.

There are also plans to fix the traffic congestion at the Brighton Avenue intersection. The county also talked about a study grant they were applying for, with the cities agreement to fix all of Ocean Boulevard and Ocean Avenue with them. The cities Green team committee recently completed a bike and pedestrian audit with pictures of a bikeway from church of the seven presidents up past the counties park of the Seven Presidents leading into Monmouth beach. This plan has specific pictures of the roadways, dangers and recommendations and will be discussed with the mayor. The SOA committee and LBCC were part of the stakeholders giving our input and ideas which were to connect the north and south already existing traffic free green acre linear parks along the oceanfront and already being used by many people. Ocean Avenue north of South Bath Avenue up to Madison Avenue is very dangerous for bikes and families with the increased traffic of beach goers and visitors on the weekend and at night. This is all good news because the county is going to start work on Ocean Boulevard after meeting again with the city and we should see results of that right away.

Hopefully this plan will be coordinated with the cities new master plan, the county’s plans for Ocean Boulevard and the cities plans for Ocean Avenue. We are also asking when there will be a second public hearing and discussion of the city’s new ten year master plan. Last year we gave our input and ideas to the city for the new bikeway to go from Brighton Avenue to Madison Avenue connecting the north and south traffic free Green Acre linear parks. When the next public discussion of the master plan is announced it will be very important for everyone who has an interest to call in and ask questions about your concerns, and support the new bikeway.

Dennis Sherman  - Chairman Save Ocean Ave Committee