Long Branch takes the issue of cyclist safety very seriously and is concerned about the increase in incidents of Ride Outs by cyclists who operate their bicycles in an aggressive and unsafe manner against traffic, whether pedestrian or vehicular.
This is a difficult issue because we want to make sure that anyone that commits an assault is apprehended, but at the same time, not inhibit legit cycling activity at a time when the pandemic limits recreational opportunities for our residents, particularly young people.
On Saturday, April 24th an incident occurred with a group of aggressive cyclists that is now under investigation. During this incident, another cyclist was severely injured. There have been other incidents in Long Branch involving young teenagers/ adults who have used their bicycles to force pedestrians/bikers/cars off the road or walkway.
This is a problem nationwide, where these young cyclists obstruct traffic or "play chicken" with people, forcing them off the roadways.
This trend is growing throughout the country and needs attention before riders or pedestrians suffer injury.
We want to stop these Ride Outs and turn these kids around to more positive behavior. We are trying to find ways to provide productive opportunities for young cyclists such a Bicycle Rodeo, educational programs that encourage bike safety like wearing helmets and paying careful attention to the rules of the road.
The Police Department will work with the Mayor and Council as well as community groups to see how we can better implement a cycling program in Long Branch that prevents assaults and encourages positive cycling activities.