Friday, January 28, 2005

Miller Time

Hello Friday. Oh how I've missed you.

That George Severini character at the Two River Times is one funny cat. Much funnier than the new publisher Michael Gooch. I've been reading Gooch's editorials over the past few weeks and I think he should just start a blog - who cares about the "news" about his "nice cordovan loafers" getting potentially ruined while walking to the ferry? Or about the "crappy situation" he's in because it's too cold for his puppies to go outside. This is our local news?

Speaking of local news (from the tantalizing pages of the Bayshore Courier's public notices):

Section 2. AGENCY DESIGNATION The local enforcing agency shall be the Atlantic Highlands Fire Department through its Division of Fire Prevention, which is hereby created therein. The Division of Fire Prevention shall herein after be known as the local enforcing agency.
I am ALL FOR THIS DIVISION! Prevent fires! Stop the insanely loud fire alarm!

Here's a poem about Atlantic Highlands and the transformative birth of creativity rejuvenating our town. I liked the part about skinny dipping.

Seriously, can anyone tell me why there's not some sort of (even seasonal) protective covering on the pier we use for the ferry? I've heard local environmentalists are against it and I've heard it can't be done because of the boat slips. I don't need Seastreak or Atlantic Highlands to roll out a red carpet every time I walk down the pier but give me a break - it's #$%&*!^ nasty out there!

The Night's Songwriters Showcase/Winter Benefit Concert is tonight. Tickets are only $10.

Stuff from around the Internets:


Benson said...


Here's an idea for a warm commute (though it won't help you this year) . . . . Imagine if the town were to aquire underutilized land up on rte 36, such as the abandoned Julian's tackle place. We could build a nice parking garage for all of the non-resident commuters(funded through the state office smart growth, homeland security, DOT, Seastreak and maybe the harbor commission and anyone else who likes to spend money on stuff like this). PArking would be a snap because the lot would be organized and never snow-covered. Hummer SUV traffic would be greatly reduced on First Ave, and . . . pavement on the waterfront could be converted to virgin forest, soccer fields, and picnic grounds because the Boro's parking problem would be solved.

How will these people get to the boat? Well . . . we could get a few of those trolleys on wheels that run on natural gas, or electricity, or better yet bio-diesel fuel from the Harborside fryer (I hear the exhaust smells like popcorn). They could pick up the non residents at the garage, then begin working their way down 1st ave. with, say two stops, including one at the corner of E. Highlands, for residents like you, Tim, then on to the ferry. This parking/trolley system would serve the business community on 1st well, providing a tourist attraction and a convenient way to get from place to place (today you could hop from a manicure to a used furniture shopping spree to a nice meal at copper canyon!)

Your probably wondering though, how does all of this keep me warm when I walk down the pier? Ok . . . here's the kicker. What if the trolley drove right down a well-landscaped, stone peir and let people out at the end? Like the plans I saw thrown around last year, commuters could then get out and walk over a small covered footbridge to the ferry. WaLa.

For the commuters, the total time from car to boat would be about the same since finding a parking spot would be easier, and since they would drive, not walk, to the end pier. Residents would also get lots of benefits, including possible tourism, reduced parking and traffic problems, and maybe more foot traffic on 1st on the commute home.

What do you think?

Tim Hill said...

Thanks for starting a little bit of a discussion here Benson. I think this idea is great. I'm sure there would be resistance from commuters who don't want to park and ride to the boat but the idea of the trolley is charming and I think the parking garage could ultimately help people cut down on commuting time as I know it takes forever to get out of both the Highlands and AH parking lots after a peak-hour ferry pulls in. Providing easy access to Rt. 36 would help alleviate this problem. I saw that the AH Herald posted some news regarding the harbor over the weekend but I'm yet to dig through it thoroughly. I will be addressing your ideas and the commission's recommendations this week.

Benson said...

One way to deal with balking is to charge commuters who want to park at the harbor and offer free parking for those who ride the AH trolley express.

This raises another point for the Harbor. I have yet to review the latest harbor recommendations myself, but here are a couple of ideas someone may want to consider: 1) by my estimation, more than 150 spots on the Eastern end of the lot are taken up by boats. Many of these boats sit there all year long--in storage. Even when the boats are in the water, this boat storage area is not used by cars. If we had land up on Rte 36 we could store the boats there and free up tons of space (ideally for a soccer field!), 2) during the summer (and winter?) my guess is that many boaters spend days and weeks at sea, leaving their cars in the lot. Like our boat storage lot, this is a waste of space, and they should be required to park in a long-term location away from our most valuable land asset, and 3) we should consider a parking fee to encourage more people to bike and walk to the ferry, and we should negotiate with seastreak to stop charging extra to bring a bike on board.