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Taking Your Freedom

48 Inches At A Time

Am I the only one who can detect the harmonic dissonance when some freedom-grabbing politician makes a speech on Memorial Day thanking those who fought and died for our freedom?

These are the people who think it’s their job is to detail exactly how we are to behave in nearly every situation in life.  They limit free speech.  They work to disarm us.  They spy on us.  They control our medical care.  They control the value of our dollars.  They tell us what we can eat, drink and inhale and they tell us where, when and how much.  And they tax us to death.

Good thing we kept those Iraqis away!

One of the most noticeable ways we feel the presence of the busybody state, at least in our day to day lives, is through the increase in the number of traffic laws.  Stop when a pedestrian is on the crosswalk.  Don’t stop if he’s on the sidewalk.  Change lanes when vehicles in this list are on the shoulder.  But only if you can do it safely.

Tell you what.  Why don’t you drive?

Here’s that latest way they are adding to the need to drive on eggshells if there is a cop in your mirror:

TRENTON – A bill that cleared the Assembly Transportation Committee on Thursday would require drivers to leave 4 feet between their vehicle and a bicycle or a pedestrian they encounter on the road. But will it help or add to the confusion that now exists when cars and bikes encounter each other on the road?………………..

………………..New Jersey’s proposed law evolved by merging two competing bills proposed by the same lawmaker, Assemblywoman Linda Stender, D-Middlesex. One bill was similar to the existing “Move Over Law” that requires drivers to move over one lane or slow down when encountering police, first responders, tow trucks or construction crews.

The other was a proposed law requiring drivers to leave 3 feet between them and a cyclist or pedestrian. The law covers pedestrians walking on roads that lack sidewalks. Both bills were merged into a bill requiring drivers to leave 4 feet, the same as Pennsylvania requires, between a motor vehicle and “vulnerable user.” That vulnerable user can be a pedestrian, cyclist, person on a skateboard, roller blades or a senior citizen on an electric scooter.


Make sure that whenever you get in the car you keep that list and a tape measure handy.



On Ocean Ave here in Belmar I don’t see how it’s even possible to obey the new law when the warning signs about the old law squeeze bikes and cars together at every corner.  I’ve told  the council that I think those signs are a menace for cyclists and don’t make crossing the street any safer anyway.  But the signs remain.

Actually Sandy presented us with the opportunity to widen Ocean Ave. enough to make room for a bike lane and Councilman Bean proposed that we do exactly that.  But having the new boardwalk completed by Memorial Day last year required that we fast track the approvals and in order to fast tract the approvals we had to build on exactly the old footprint.  So we did the expedient thing.  And bicycle safety was thrown under the bus.

Let’s hope it’s never literally.


  1. guest wrote:

    I couldn’t agree more. Get rid of those signs in the middle of Ocean Ave. If saftely is an issue, lay down portable speed bumps during the summer. At least that way I can move over to make room for bikers and car doors that fly open in front of me.

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink
  2. Tom Burke wrote:

    There are a number of public safety issues we face here in Belmar. People have been hurt, and most likely will continue to get hurt due to traffic (including Bicycle) issues. I am a bike rider and have almost been hit several times over the past couple of years. Once I actually got knocked down. I would agree that it is difficult to legislate safety. Unfortunately I think it is an issue that needs both law and common sense.

    I would like to see a public safety forum somehow be convened as a starting point. I am sure there are many low cost ideas or initiatives that could be identified that would promote better public awareness and lead to some rectification of the issues. If we can spend money on some of the things we do, why not invest in the time of our public servants to sit and work with community representatives toward solutions toward a safer Belmar.

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 6:44 pm | Permalink
  3. BelmarsFinest wrote:

    Sure, another fourm.

    Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 6:39 am | Permalink
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    You nailed that!!! The only thing I would add is the ridiculousness of the cement islands that jut out at every block,particularly the one on 5th Ave that goes out even further into the road. There is not even enough space for a bike and a smart car to pass. We only needed all of the lost parking spots in the summer anyway. During the Winter months there was always safe haven for cyclists in the unused parking spots but not anymore. At least We have palm trees in NJ and an anchor.
    Many mornings it is to dangerous to ride your bike or even run on the boardwalk if there is any dew, mist or precipitation at all because of the slippery plastic nature of the boardwalk. We just had to get it done fast.
    Why is the only Republican member of the Council proposing bike paths. I thought they were greenaphobes. Even Al Gore would approve of a bike path although his private jet might not fit.

    Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

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