Highlands, NJ - The Borough of Highlands Environmental Commission has been awarded a grant from the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) to develop a bike path network in the Borough. This is a matching grant in the amount of $2,333. The Borough, through the unanimous support of the Borough Council and Mayor, is providing $1,667 towards the project. An additional $1,666 is being provided as an in-kind contribution from Borough employees and citizen volunteers serving as project team members.
It is envisioned, the “share-the-road” bike path network will interconnect municipal, county, state, and federal parks as well as other points-of-interest (POI) including the Highlands business district, the Borough’s Community Center and the high speed ferry terminal which offers service between NJ and NYC. The bike path network will interconnect, directly or indirectly, the many parks in the area. These include:
- Huddy Park (municipal)
- Veteran’s Riverfront Park – 911 Memoria Project (municipal)
- Miller Street Beach (municipal)
- Gertrude Ederle Park (municipal)
- Pompamora Point (county)
- Hartshorne Woods (county)
- Twin Lights State Park (state)
- Sandy Hook - Gateway National Recreation Area (federal)
All of the parks and other POI are in close proximity to one another and are particularly amenable to a network of “share-the-road” bicycle routes which will provide for a safe and effective manner of interconnection.
The proposed bike path network will provide a series of routes originating as “jump-off” points from the existing Henry Hudson Trail (managed by Monmouth County Parks). The Henry Hudson Trail traverses the Borough connecting to points west through Atlantic Highlands and east to Sandy Hook. A continuous connection of the Henry Hudson Trail and the Sandy Hook recreation path will occur once replacement of the Highland Bridge is completed (approximately March 2011). The new bridge will have lanes designated solely for bicycles. It is anticipated that the usage of the Henry Hudson Trail will increase appreciably once this occurs.
The bike path network will accomplish two primary objectives. One; provide information on POI through the use of kiosks and two; provide a network of “share-the-road” bike routes to safely travel between POI and the Henry Hudson Trail. The kiosks will display a map of town identifying the POI and the designated bike routes to reach those locations. The kiosks will likely be located along the Henry Hudson Trail at the municipal boundaries and at some or all of the POI.
The plan, developed with this grant, will facilitate the implementation of a bike path network resulting in improved access to open space and enhanced recreational opportunities. It will also help promote bicycling as an environmentally-friendly form of transportation.