12 thoughts on “Rutgers Video Presentation on the Future of Highlands

  1. RON

    Well, It’s not what I think, because I’m not an expert. It’s what thr real truth is not the made up real. That is up to ALL thee experts on BOTH SIDES.

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  2. Tricia

    I think the design and the waterfront thing is nice but other than elevation they don’t address protecting this area from rising sea levels as they did in Sayreville. I mean how high can you go? I really don’t think they even thought about options of really protecting the town, this is just a redesign of our main street. Why is it that New York gets it and New Jersey doesn’t even with all the devastation that still exists?

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  3. barbara iannucci

    The presentation did mention the cost benefit ratio needed for a wall to be approved by the feds …. and I think that may be why they rejected a design including a wall. They also stated that many homes are currently getting rebuilt to the elevated FEMA-mandated building codes – which reduces the potential cost of flood damage – and how that impacts the final criteria of the cost-benefit ratio for a wall to be approved for an ACE project.

    I wondered why Rutgers didn’t do this design hypothetically based on a wall? Maybe they wanted to stir up tangible interest from developers and guidelines for rehabilitation that can be immediately implemented? But I think that it would have been a great challenge for Planners to create a design that capitalizes on the waterfront with a 12-14′ steel wall. It would have been an acceptance of the climate change data, and it would have addressed the type of design plans needed for the future. Since this was a study course for a Masters Program I think they missed an opportunity to jump the curve and have the students take a more innovative approach by challenging them to incorporate new designs and visions that will most likely be considered ‘standard’ in 15-50 years.

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    1. NoLongerNew

      In the video they do address the higher sheet pile wall: it got an unfavorable rating from the survey respondents. I don’t remember the exact number, but I think that’s why their design is focused on elevation and not working with the wall/bulkhead.

      I would absolutely love to see our town be revitalized and I love their vision for our main street and that they addressed our need for more parking. At the presentation the parking is behind the buildings, between Bay Ave & Shore Drive.

      I’d love to see a similar presentation for the Transit Village designation. I think the residents and business owners would have a stronger opinion if we knew what the town, from Popomora Park to Cedar Street, would possibly look like.

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    2. Tricia

      Yes was 60 % disapproval but I think at least in my case was hoping for alternative. Even if everyone could elevate it doesn’t address sea levels. We can all be up in air but walking in water as we step outside someday. People are trying to elevate their homes to Fema heights but cannot afford the serous compliance that would actually keep you safe from big storms like Sandy or Cat 1 Hurricanes. There is a difference. I just getting this feeling from this study that elevating is the only protection we need and I don’t agree. I also would love to see town revitalized but in a way that leaves it safe for future generations.

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    3. barbara iannucci

      Tricia …. the concept of the ACE project may still be viable if the cost-benefit ratio meets the federal guidelines for approval. Those values have not been defined with current data and still need to be dropped in as a last phase of the engineered feasibility. At least that was my understanding from attending all the ACE meetings.

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    4. Tricia

      I believe you are correct Barbara and I believe it still probably will be viable. I would have hoped that this plan, as you mentioned, incorporated it in a creative way so that we can perhaps accomplish both revitalization along with some seawall or pilling boardwalk. But don’t get me wrong I would love to see something like this safely come to fruition. We need it for sure!

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  4. highlandsblog Post author

    its not a set in stone reality… however, instead of picking all the stuff apart that we *can’t* do, let’s figure out how to do the stuff that is do-able…

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  5. Tricia

    Yes they really just touched upon the ACE project but even with many people elevating there are still many structures that are not or cannot. I agree Barbara, I really wish they would have considered future climate change and how to incorporate either another idea or Ace project in positive way, perhaps a boardwalk above to utilize all the waterfront. I don’t think we can’t do it, but if we are looking for tangible interests we must consider a safe future for all. I fear that we have not learned from the past or taking into account reality of future. as sea levels will continue to rise.

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  6. dougcard4highlands

    What is doable would be an inventory of current housing and structure status. This was recognized in another post written on this blog.. The Rutgers study identified residential structures at risk and blocks of lots that MIGHT be open for infill/ revitalization. It also identified a commercial retail area. An inventory of our current ‘downtown’ Bay Ave structures would shed light on whether to demo and make residential? Demo and remain commercial or multi-use? Or renovate with proper FEMA codes for commercial structures? The data on the legend maps used for the Masters course of Rutgers is already obsolete and needs to reflect current conditions. That is doable.

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