Bicyclists allotted time on boardwalk

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LAVALLETTE — The borough council has rescinded its ban of bicycles on the boardwalk, giving cyclists a window from 5 to 8 p.m. to ride daily.  

Councilwoman Anita Zalom, who has been pushing for the return of bikes to the boardwalk, worked with Borough Administrator Robert Bryce, Beach Capt. Jack Caucino and Councilman Michael Stogdill to work out times when riders may use the boardwalk. 

Ms. Zalom said she is glad to give the cyclists a chance to use the boardwalk and test if social distancing can be done.

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“They have to know they have to social distance; they have to be careful; they have to watch out for people crossing the boardwalk,” Ms. Zalom said at Monday night’s council meeting. 

She said the daily three hours is also during the busiest time on the highway, so she thought it would be good to get people off the beach. 

The council discussed the measure during its meeting. All members but Councilman Robert Lamb voted to approve it. He said he did not agree that that period at night was the best time to have bikes back on the boards. 

“I worked many years with the police department over there. It’s very crowded at night. There’s a lot of people walking around at night,” said the councilman. “I just think it’s a very dangerous situation that we would be suggesting to do.”

Councilwoman Joanne Filippone said she thought it was time to give the bicycles a try, mixing with walkers.

“One of the reasons that we changed this was because of the governor’s directive. It was impossible to have both there simultaneously,” she said. 

She said cyclists have given up their right to ride on the boardwalk, with walkers giving nothing,  so it’s only fair to give them a few hours to ride. 

“This is their chance to prove that they can handle what I think is a privilege to use our boardwalk, and if it doesn’t work, we have the option to go back to banning them completely,” said Ms. Filippone.

According to Mayor Walter LaCicero, the mornings are very busy and not conducive to having walkers and riders mixing. He said the period in the early evening made the most sense to reintroduce bikes, with social distancing rules.

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