LONG BRANCH: The following is a press release from Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth)
Beck and Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider announced on May 18 that the New Jersey Department of Transportation has approved the Long Branch City Council's application to designate the city as a "transit village." Senator Beck, together with the Mayor and City Council, has fought to secure this designation for more than three years.
"With a bustling train station and the prestigious Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch has enormous potential to become a thriving destination for commuters, new residents, tourists, and business owners," Senator Beck said. "This designation paves the way for the city to become more pedestrian and bicyclist-friendly, with new businesses, improved parking, and a walkable downtown with abundant opportunities for shopping and community-building."
A transit village designation will allow Long Branch to redevelop areas surrounding Monmouth Medical Center, the train station and along the waterfront. Highlights of the master plan for redevelopment include:
Bicycle routes throughout the city and to the rail platform, to be completed by 2019
Mixed-use districts that encourage pedestrian activity, public safety, human interaction, and easy access to goods, services and mass transit
Commercial development and retrofitting that emphasizes quality architecture, shared access and parking, transit friendly facilities, and walkability
"For years, Senator Beck and I have fought to convince the NJ DOT of a fact that we have known all along - Long Branch is much more than a place to catch a train or walk on the beach," Mayor Schneider said. "We are eager to embark on our plans to bring foot traffic and a diverse array of businesses back to the west side, and create a community that is welcoming and safe for pedestrians, bicyclists, and visitors to Monmouth Medical Center and the train station. With this well-deserved and long overdue designation, we can now accomplish our vision for emphasizing everything the city has to offer."
The new Transit Village District will include four sub-districts: Mixed-Use Core; Higher Density Medical Transition; Lower Density Residential Fringe; and Medical Village. The Long Branch City Council first voted to approve an application the NJ DOT for a transit village designation in 2013.