As the expression goes, Atlantic City, New Jersey Mayor Marty Small is a radical local official “who travels to the beat of a different drum.”

Despite the casino industry, local businesses, residents and visitors a like being in universal, strong disagreement with a bad plan to shrink Atlantic Avenue from 4 lanes to 2 lanes … Small was in such a rush to jam this unwanted "road diet” scheme through … that he didn’t even wait to obtain certain required approvals before beginning the controversial project.

Because part of Atlantic Avenue resides within what is known as the Atlantic City Tourism District … Small was legally required to go before the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (NJCRDA) and obtain their approval of this road scheme before proceeding.

Small began the project without presenting the plans to the NJCRDA.

In a follow-up article that I’m still working on, there appears to be other significant problems caused by Small that I will be able to report about in the very near future.

The new configuration calls for 1 traffic lane in each direction and a dedicated bicycle lane, located to the right side in each direction.

I took a drive on the newly configured road last week. Cars were driving in the bicycle lane and bicycles were dangerously riding down the middle of the street, between both lanes of moving traffic.

Additionally, I observed how cars have to drive right through the bicycle lane in order to make a right hand turn.

Everyone agrees that Atlantic Avenue is in desperate need of resurfacing and the traffic lights must be resynchronized … however, this road diet is a dangerous configuration that will also negatively impact the overall traffic flow on this busy roadway.

More to follow about this in the very near future.

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