Bike and pedestrian safety in Ventnor was a prime topic of discussion at the recent, April 12 commissioners meeting. Bike lanes on Atlantic Ave was one specific topic. The issue most challenging: increased use of bikes on the Boardwalk.
It’s a good thing for Ventnor to be bike friendly. No wonder AAAA Bikes is so busy. Unfortunately, some bikers feel the boardwalk is a racetrack. This is both dangerous and disrespectful.
We’ve personally witnessed seniors hit by a bike. It was ugly. Kids and pets are especially vulnerable to a bicyclist zipping along. Sometimes, while texting on their smart phone. We see that insanity often. Really.
Increased use of pedal-assist or electric powered bikes on Ventnor boardwalk.
We understand why power-assist bikes are helpful for those who really need it. But we also see electric bikes utilized by those who don’t need the help. This is problematic on the boardwalk.
Speeding on the boardwalk. It’s common. Well over 20 mph. Crazy. Sometimes it’s someone using the boardwalk as a racetrack. Other times, it’s someone throttling-up their powerful electric bike. Acting more like motorcycles or mini-bikes. Not good. A crack-down is needed here asap. Before someone gets hurt. Bad.
How to solve this growing bike-speed problem? Step #1 – education via appropriate signage on the boardwalk. Step # 2 – Boardwalk officers handing out warnings to 1st time offenders. Repeat offenders risk losing boardwalk riding privileges.
One bike issue that many struggle with: Bike riding is prohibited on the boardwalk after dark. Not sure why. Our lighted boardwalk is a very safe place to traverse in the evening. The street is not. Often, we are kindly directed by public safety, to ride on Atlantic Ave after dark. We comply, but still wonder why we’re mandated to use a much more dangerous place to bike after dark. Cars zip by at 35+ mph on Atlantic Ave. That particular speed limit is a separate story, for another day :)
We trust that Ventnor Commissioners & Public Safety will thoughtfully consider these issues.
What are YOUR thoughts? Join the conversation. Leave a comment below.
See April 12 video recorded by WE LOVE VENTNOR >
Note: The city still needs to do better job of recording audio from these meetings, and then posting them. (Like Margate)
Proper microphone usage is critical, as these recordings do become part of the public record. The typed meeting minutes rarely cover ALL of the discussions of that meeting. Most meeting minutes are only summaries. Public comment and other back-n-forth should be part of the public record.
Also: Those who are speaking, must speak closely into the microphone. We think this will get better over time tho.