Three years ago Frome Physical Therapy patient Ken Sorensen was bicycling in Neptune City, NJ with and his wife Katie Saldutti and their baby. They realized that it just wasn’t safe to bicycle in their neighborhood with a child on the streets of Neptune City. They also observed that it was almost impossible to cross Memorial Drive on foot as a pedestrian without risking their lives.
The call to action was clear. They formed a grass roots organization called Friends of Fourth Avenue in Neptune City. Joined by their neighbors, they began to lobby public officials to affect change to make it safe for bicyclists to ride, and for pedestrians to cross the street. Katie and Ken are also part of the Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition.
Recently, Ken teamed up with filmmaker Sarah Galloway of Wanamassa, NJ to make the documentary “Bike Riddim.” Bike Riddim features the band String Bean and The Boardwalk Social Club as they commuted to their gigs on bicycle last summer. From Memorial to Labor Day, 6 days a week, Ken and his band mates loaded their guitars, snare drum and small equipment onto their bikes and cycled to gigs. Amplifiers and other large equipment were stashed in club basements and closets. Bike Riddim takes you along for the ride. You viscerally experience what it’s like to bicycle in the Asbury Park area, while listening to interviews with band members about the challenges of riding a bike in Monmouth County, NJ. The music of String Bean and The Boardwalk Social Club is delightful and helps to make this documentary fun to watch.
Sarah Galloway bicycled to the locations and filmed the movie on foot and on her bike using a GoPro camera. Sarah produced, directed, filmed and edited the movie. She has worked as the senior media producer at The American Museum of Natural History in NYC and coedited the film, “Hoop Dreams.”
Bike Riddim will make it’s debut on April 28, 2018 at the Asbury Park Film Festival and is the winner of the Asbury Park Press Award.
Recently, Friends of Fourth Avenue met with Neptune City police officials and Monmouth County Road engineers to explore changes needed to make Memorial Drive to make it safe for everyone.
What would it take to make Memorial Drive safe for pedestrians and bicyclists? For starters, the addition of a bike lane, the reduction of automobile speed limits and strict enforcement of the speed limit could make a huge impact on pedestrian and bicyclist safety. Additionally, the New Jersey law already states that automobiles must come to a full stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and yield to pedestrians who cross at the corner without crosswalks. It’s time for a change. It’s time to enforce these important laws!