2006-06-29 / Front Page

County grant to improve pedestrian access at park

BY JENNIFER AMATO Staff Writer

BY JENNIFER AMATO
Staff Writer

NORTH BRUNSWICK - The township is pedaling towards improving the 105-acre North Brunswick Community Park on Route 130.

The township has received an $80,000 grant from the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders under the county's Open Space & Recreation Pedestrian/

Bicycle Grant Program, according to a statement released Friday.

The funds will be used to extend the existing sidewalk on Adams Lane 910-feet to the entrance of the park on the former Otken farm. There will be a 4-foot-wide sidewalk along with an 8-foot-wide bike path and a pedestrian bridge leading into the park area.

"The key is that North Brunswick is basically developed compared to where we were 10 years ago. The responsibility of [the Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Services] along with the Open Space Committee is to assess key linkages that provide the community with access to biking, running or walking with safety, also while considering the handicapped population," said Lou Ann Benson, the director of the Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Services. "This will provide safe, convenient and attractive access to the park for pedestrians and bicyclists."

The proposed project will allow residents of the Maple Meade area and Judd Elementary School to access the park with minimal use of vehicles.

"This will allow a lot of children in our neighborhood areas to not rely on their parents to get to the neighborhood park and to get adults as well to focus on a healthier lifestyle by bicycling or walking as families or as individuals," Benson said.

She added that the mayor, the Township Council and the Department of Community Development, headed by Director Tom Vigna, have been supportive of the development of the park, and that the freeholders have been integral to its fruition.

Mayor Francis "Mac" Womack stressed the importance of county and municipal officials cooperating to improve the quality of life for township residents.

"In the near future, the North Brunswick Community Park will be a great destination for all kinds of activities, and having safe access pathways will add to its value to the community," he said.

Bids for the project are scheduled to be awarded within four months of the receipt of funding.

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