Should bicycles be allowed on the boardwalk beyond 10 a.m.?
It’s a question that comes up every year, said Mayor Walter LaCicero, responding to a request from a resident at a council meeting earlier this week that the hours be expanded. Presently, bicycles are allowed from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Brooklyn Avenue resident Kris Scuorzo implored officials to expand the hours since the boardwalk represents one of the few places in town where cyclists can ride without having to worry about motor vehicles.
“I think [Route] 35 North, especially, provides a really big challenge because cars are backing into the bike lane,” Scuorzo said. “I just feel like Lavallette has a great opportunity, with no cost, to open up the boardwalk.”
Safety, ironically, is the reason why bicycles are not allowed on the boardwalk for the remainder of the day, LaCicero said. There are concerns that the boardwalk becomes too crowded with pedestrians heading to the beach to avoid collisions.
“People request, every year, that we open the boardwalk up,” he said. “It has not, in the 12 years I’ve been sitting here, had enough support to overcome the ‘no’ votes.”
Council President Anita Zalom, a likely supporter of expanding bicycles hours, said the police department has even suggested doing so. If the hours were expanded, she said, there might be fewer bicyclists using the boardwalk at one time, which would reduce the chance of accidents occurring.
The council did not render an opinion on the matter this week. A letter from Scuorzo will be placed on the agenda at the council’s next meeting for a discussion, LaCicero said.