6REDBANKRed Bank, New Jersey is small town with an urban feel at 1.75 square miles having a population of 12,000+ people.  Red Bank is very accessible by car, bus, train from outside of its perimeter, and by foot within for all local residents.  It was rated 91 out of 100 by http://www.walkscore.com/score/red-bank-nj  for its ease of getting all of your errands done easily on foot with a small neighborhood feel and was actually called “A walker’s paradise.”

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Throughout Red Bank, one might imagine they were inside of a large shopping mall equipped with stores, restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, clubs, and a playhouse before realizing that they are actually outdoors and lucky enough to be in such a wonderfully planned out community designed for its residences and visitors.  These abilities didn’t come without a struggle and a fight.   Red Bank had a need to implement a “Strategic Revitalization Plan” in 1995 after economic struggle in the 1980’s and being listed on the 1996 New Jersey Municipal Distress Index for urban development funding.  The goal of the government, planners, and people of Red Bank was to preserve small town nature of this 18th century port settlement, make most of privileged geographical advantages while ensuring access to all forms of transportation as well as maintain and improve economic and social activities and community.

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During cold days in Red Bank you can see a movie in the theater, paint pottery, go wine tasting, take a knitting class, go to the arcade, browse art galleries and antique shops, or see a play at Couth Basie Theater.  During warmer days you may enjoy sidewalk sales or a concert in Riverside Gardens Park which is steps off of Front Street where you have a spectacular view of the Navesink River.  Evening lighting, benches, and restaurant dining line the sidewalks of the streets in Red Bank for many months out of the year to add to the ambiance of this spectacular town.

Though I love the feeling that the community of Red Bank is continuously moving, I have to say that a big negative for me is the through traffic. There currently is on street parking all along the main roads Front Street and Broad Street.  This small town has very ample parking available through numerous lots behind the store with walkways between the buildings. Front Street also has a large parking garage nearby but out of sight.   The on street parking interferes with the picturesque store fronts and hogs the space that could be more suitably used for bike paths.  Another issue that I have in this town is the feeling that many of the shops are targeting a more high-end customer and stores in this town tend to close very early or not open on certain days as well.  I think the town needs to adapt to even further change to attract more visitors so that it can see further growth.

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