Bicycling the Jersey Shore

By Andrew Pagano

The Jersey Shore is a haven to some of the most scenic bicycling in the state. From Belmar to Seaside Heights, Long Beach Island to Ocean City, and as far south as Wildwood, there are boardwalks, bicycle lanes and bicycle parking to be used. In this article we’ll look at some of the rules for bicycling on each town’s boardwalk, any bike rentals in the area, and some of the bicycle facilities and amenities.

    • Belmar’s boardwalk

      Belmar: According to Belmar’s municipal website, Between May 1st and September 30th, bicycles are permitted on the boardwalk only between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Bicycles are permitted on the boardwalk at any time between October 1>st and April 30th.[1] The closest bicycle rentals are available in nearby Spring Lake or further out in Asbury Park. Stretching 11 miles through notable towns such as Asbury Park, Bradley Beach and of course Belmar, there is a formal route [2] that can be ridden safely using the bicycle facilities at hand. Along the beginning of the route is a wide, unmarked shoulder with ample space for all confidence levels of bicyclists, and along the road through nearby Deal is a full-fledged bike path with plenty of bicycle parking around town.

 

    • Ocean City’s boardwalk

      Ocean City: Bicyclists are allowed on the boardwalk between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. from May 15th through Labor Day.[3] There are over a dozen rental and sales stores located throughout Ocean City, with Sunday being the busiest day of the week for rentals. Ocean City is a great example of a benchmark shore town that has implemented NJDOT’s Complete Streets In “The Gardens” neighborhood, brand new separated bicycle lanes installed recently connect into Longport Bridge. Buffered bicycle lanes exist on West Avenue from 34th street all the way to 55th street in the south end of town. Haven Avenue is home to a beautiful bike boulevard, and $175,000 from NJDOT’s Division of Local Aid and Economic Development have been allocated for street improvements on 16th street from Pleasure Avenue to West Avenue. On the pedestrian side, Simpson Avenue and 2nd Street received corner bump outs, West Avenue, received pedestrian improvements, and a midblock crosswalk was installed on the 800 block of Asbury Avenue.[4]

 

    • Bicycling on Wildwood’s boardwalk

      Wildwood: Between May 15th and October 1st, bicycling on the boardwalk is unlawful from 11 a.m. to 5 a.m. the following day. On weekends the boardwalk is off limits by 10:30 a.m.[5] Bike rental shops are located throughout the island with well over a dozen locations for both servicing and renting. A “bikes only” lane is dedicated throughout the length of North Wildwood, from 1st Avenue to 26th Avenue along Surf Avenue. There are bike paths running along the beachside in Wildwood Crest from Rambler Road to Cresse Avenue, eventually meeting the boardwalk. Wildwood has received number of local aid grants from NJDOT’s Division of Local Aid and Economic Development over the years to assist with road conditions and walkability in and around town. Each project was allotted $175,000 for a total of $525,000 of aid from the NJDOT in and around Wildwood to reconstruct corridors such as Q Avenue in West Wildwood, Pacific Avenue in Wildwood Crest, and 15th Avenue in North Wildwood.[6]

 

    • Seaside Heights Boardwalk

      Seaside Heights: Bicycling on the Seaside Heights boardwalk is prohibited on weekends from April 1st to October 31st of each year except between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., and no boardwalk bicycling is allowed on weekdays from June 15 to Labor Day of each year, except between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. For detailed information about Seaside Heights’ boardwalk bicycling regulations, information can be found here.[7] Bicycle rentals are readily available year round at one of the many establishments between Lafayette and Trenton Avenue. Though Seaside Heights has not yet passed a Complete Streets policy, NJDOT’s Division of Local Aid and Economic Development granted the city $168,000 for DuPont Avenue road improvements in 2014 as well as a $138,500 grant for Franklin Avenue Improvements in 2015. There are plenty of attractions to bicycle to, with Jenkinson’s boardwalk in Point Pleasant, Casino Pier and water parks at Seaside Heights, and the ever-so-white sands of Island Beach State Park. Bicycle parking is readily accessible along the route.

 

  • LBI North loop

    Long Beach Island: Bicycling around LBI mainly consists of road biking within the area. From nearby Beach Haven to Beach Haven Inlet there are about 4 miles of bike lanes. Additionally, Long Beach has an 18-mile bicycling route called the Island North Loop located near Beach Haven, good for all levels of bicyclists.[8] The route is primarily used for road biking and is accessible from March until November. There are plenty of bicycle rental shops along CR 607. Depending on whether or not you decide to book a room on the island, some motels provide free loaner bicycles to guests of the motel. NJDOT’s Division of Local Aid and Economic Development granted Long Beach Township $220,000 for road improvement on Mears Avenue in 2014 and another $183,000 for improvement on Mark Drive. In addition to all the road pavement improvements bicycle parking is readily available throughout town.

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References:

[1] City of Belmar

[2] Biking New Jersey

[3] Biking Ocean City, New Jersey

[4] Ocean City Walk score

[5] Wildwood Bicyling

[6] NJDOT – Division of Local Aid and Economic Development

[7] Seaside Heights Regulation of Boardwalk Use

[8] Long Beach Island North Loop

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