Bikes return to boards, benches still on hold

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FILE PHOTO / THE COAST STAR

SPRING LAKE — The Spring Lake Borough Council voted to repeal its ban of bikes on the boardwalk, a measure that was originally set in place back in the spring to maintain social distancing on the boardwalk.

Now, bikers will once again be able to enjoy riding along the borough’s two miles of boardwalk at all hours.

The verbal resolution was introduced by Council President Brendan Judge, and was unanimously approved by all members of the council.

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“I am of the opinion that we should [restore bikes on the boardwalk]. It’s important that people are able to get out and exercise. While we wanted it during the height of the summer there, I think now we can [repeal] it and let bikes back on the boardwalk,” Mr. Judge said at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

The bike ban was set so bikers wouldn’t force those walking on the boardwalks to have to move close to each other to get out of the way of bikers. 

BENCHES ON HOLD

While bikes make their return to the boardwalk, the council has determined that it will wait — either a few weeks or months or until spring — to place the borough’s benches back. 

Although the benches are enjoyed by many,  Mayor Jennifer Naughton described replacing the benches as “a massive job.”

“I want to be sure that when they go back up there, they stay up there,” she said Tuesday night.

Most of the benches are currently stored at Marucci Park in the parking lot,, which has been regularly quite crowded between tennis, pickleball, baseball and other fall recreation programs. Some of the benches have been returned to areas around the pavilions and the gazebos.

While some council members said that they were under the impression that the benches would not return until spring, Councilman David Frost said he thinks that the benches should be returned to the boardwalk.

Councilman Judge said he believes that the bench issue should be put on hold for now, since the state has seen a recent rise in positive COVID-19 cases. He noted that the borough could spend all the time and work putting the benches back on the boardwalk, only to have to remove them again per some possible executive order from the Governor.

“I agree that we keep them where they are now, maybe not until spring,” he said.

Councilwoman Syd Whalley agreed that the benches should not be put back on the boardwalk, as did Councilman Matthew Sagui, who said “It doesn’t hurt to wait.”

The next Spring Lake Council meeting will be on Tuesday, October 27 at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 423 Warren Ave.