New Fair Haven Streetscapes: The Best Course of Action?

by Nick Lencznyk

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As many have noticed as pedestrians, residents, licensed drivers, and visitors, Fair Haven is seeing quite a construction project on its main artery, River Road.   The current “revamping” project is phase two of three located between Hance Road and Fair Haven Road.  In the spring of 2007, the Historic district where River Road Books is located and many other businesses was the first to get a facelift.  New curbs, brick and concrete sidewalks, streetlights, trees, and a new traffic light replacing one from 1981 were just the first part of River Road’s stimulus package.

Signs like these are appearing everywhere

Paving of the roadway was also performed upon the completion of the sidewalks.  The current phase under construction is River Road West.  Again new curb, sidewalk, many more streetlights, eventually a new traffic light at Hance Road, and benches along with a wall are being put in.  As early as next spring, phase three or River Road East will begin from Oak Place to the Rumson border.

RFH students living in the Two Rivers Area will also be interested to know that Rumson is planning a similar project in the Oceanic business district on River Road.  This project is expected to be quite similar to Fair Haven’s.  However, many long-time residents of Fair Haven are quite upset about the way the town is changing.

“It’s like a city more than a town these days,” as one long-time resident put it.  However, many others, especially younger families who have not resided in the area as long, tend to think it looks great.

A revamped Fair Haven

In recent years the town has changed drastically.  There were the three phases of Fair Haven Fields (still in the process), the River Road Streetscapes (still in the process), the privatization of trash and recycling collection, and the Monmouth County Dispatch, just to name a few.

These are ideas that could be used in other towns, but not this one.  There is no such thing as small town Fair Haven anymore.  That was ruined years ago.  This latest project confirms that drastically.  River Road is turning into just another American town with nothing original.   The future of our Two River area is changing before our eyes for the worst.   Before we know it, there will be nothing left of the Fair Have we have grown up to know and love.

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