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Revitalizing Route 37 Corridor

Ocean County’s public officials, residents and business community members are invited to attend a series of focus groups aimed at breathing life back into the Route 37 corridor from Toms River to Lakehurst.

 

Regional planning consortium, Together North Jersey (aka, North Jersey Sustainable Communities Consortium), is hosting eight focus groups next week that will help develop a Route 37 Economic Corridor Vision Plan.

“This whole improvement looks to me like they’re trying to attract businesses and diversify that strip,” said Toms River/Ocean County Chamber of Commerce President Maureen Stankowitz. “I mean it will also enhance the senior community giving them more accessibility to roadways and hospitals and whatever.”

Stankowitz said she believes the goal is to show businesses that Ocean County has a vibrant corridor that runs through the four municipalities of Toms River, Berkeley Township, Manchester and Lakehurst, where they can set up shop and do well.

However, she believes that in order to make it attractive for businesses to locate on the corridor, you have to show them that there’s an infrastructure in place that will supportĀ  business growth, like mass transportation, housing and work force training.

“Mostly I think that transportation is a big issue. If you’re going to attract businesses to come out to that corridor, you need transportation to get people to those businesses. I think that’s where it starts but there are many other aspects.”

Together North Jersey also takes things like the environment and the availability of healthcare also into consideration.

Focus Group Schedule:

MONDAY, July 14th
Seniors, 10 – 11:30 am
Toms River Senior Center
652 Garfield Avenue.

Manufacturing/Industry & Tourism, 2:30 – 4 pm
Hirshblond Room
Toms River Town Hall

Business Community, 4:30 – 6 pm
Hirshblond Room
Toms River Town Hall

TUESDAY, July 15th
Education/Workforce Development, 10:30 – Noon
Lomell Room
Toms River Town Hall

Housing, 12:30 – 2 pm
Lomell Room
Toms River Town Hall

Environment, 2:30 – 4 pm
Lomell Room
Toms River Town Hall

THURSDAY, July 17th
Transportation, 10:30 – Noon
Home Town Dairy Room, Ocean County Library
Toms River Branch

Health Care, 12:30 – 2 pm
Home Town Dairy Room, Ocean County Library
Toms River Branch

According to its website “Together North Jersey is an unprecedented planning initiative currently underway in the 13-county North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority region of New Jersey.” Through a $5 million federal Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant, they’ve been developing 15 local demonstration projects in the 13-county region. One that we reported on earlier looked at improving transportation access and beautifying public areas along a stretch of Route 35 that runs from Asbury Park to Bradley Beach in Monmouth County.

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