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14 Things People Want To See Happen in Middletown

Some commented they want to see shuttered businesses along the highway business districts revitalized.
Some commented they want to see shuttered businesses along the highway business districts revitalized.
On Tuesday we asked Middletown-NJ Patch Facebook readers to comment on "It's a new year, and a chance for improvements. What changes do you want to see in town?" 

Here are their wishes for 2014: 
  • How about new Christmas decorations. The display at the jug-handle on Rt. 35 across from township building is so embarrassing. How about actually picking up the leaves on time this year. How about actually inspecting the storm damaged homes, specifically those homes that are rented out. 
  • How about reopening Bray Ave bridge!
  • I want to see the return of Steak n' Ale or at least something decent in its place.
  • Picking up the leaves!!! Downright dangerous on our street - especially as a cut thru from the highway to Middletown High School North.  
  • Start cracking down on commercial landlords that let property sit taking the tax write-offs instead of making property more attractive 
  • Highway 35 is starting to look like the stretch of Highway 36 of empty commercial property.
  • Go after cars speeding in residential areas. We live on a 25 mph road with lots of walkers and strollers. Cars consistently fly by at 40 mph or more.
  • Focus on the schools that appear to have drug and bullying issues. We pay a lot of taxes in the town for good schools... and yet some schools seem to have a lot of problems. Community starts young.
  • Quicker turn around wait for permits to knock down and rebuild..thank you!
  • Brighter street lights! It's way too dark on the side streets.
  • Quicker leaf pick up. Still have leaves in front of our house.
  • Weekly recycling and twice yearly brush and leaf pickup!
  • How about going to other towns and giving our road crew lessons on how to clean the streets after it snows. It is an embarrassment that other towns half or even less then half our size can get the roads cleaned after snow but Middletown is a mess.
  • a WalMart!
  • For East Keansburg, Port Monmouth, Belford and Leonardo to secede and become Bayshore Township. Although we are part of Middletown, they sure don't treat us like it!
What's on your 2014 wishlist for Middletown? Post in the Comment box below. 
Jaime MacDonald January 09, 2014 at 09:47 AM
Ew no Walmart...omg this is Middletown!
michaelbetzjr January 09, 2014 at 10:04 AM
I would like to stickers for garbage limited to the number of residence in the household. Extra stickers should be available at a charge
Jim Kirk January 09, 2014 at 10:07 AM
I agree with the Steak & Ale lot. It's been empty for too long. As for the Bray Ave. bridge, that's in the counties hands. As per what I was told in Dec. of 2012 when it was closed. I live on Bray and really like it now that is not a road for people to run 50 mph down (OK, a little to high on the speed but you catch my drift). One thing I would like to see finally happen is the flood control system we were promised 20 or so years ago in this area. Pallone blames the Bush administration for not signing the bill for funding, haven't we blamed enough on President Bush already. One last thing to add to the list. Let's read the posted signs by Thorne and Harmony. It says no parking during the day. There is plenty of room to put a full size parking lot on the property. I understand that parents need to pick up their children, but that doesn't mean that they have to turn the street into a narrow almost one way street. Add in those ridiculous crosswalk signs and you really have a mess at that time of day.
Jesse January 09, 2014 at 10:23 AM
I don't know how that misconception about Wegman's being expensive ever got started. My spouse and I are bargain shoppers and we've found Wegman's to be very reasonable, especially their store brands. The stores are large, clean and have a lot of different departments, plus a great buffet and deli department for ready to eat entrees. IMO it's the best supermarket out there. We drive to either the Ocean or Manalapan Wegman's with a cooler to transport our refrigerated foods. We still shop local when we need something quick, but the stores around here can't compare. A trip to Wegman's is a real treat. The problem with one going into Pathmark is it isn't large enough to do a Wegman's justice.
Kate January 09, 2014 at 10:51 AM
Redistricting of schools or allowance for Bayshore students to choose which high school to attend provide buses from the Middle school for those who choose alternate placement. I know a dozen students who wanted to go to North and a dozen that wanted to go to South. It is unfair that these students get divided but Thorne and Thompson do not. Maybe there wouldn't be a 20 point differential in HS School report cards if schools weren't districted by "income" and were actually in districts according to location. As well, we received "big bucks" of Federal money, how about getting the kids at Navesink out of the campers???
Michele McGrath January 09, 2014 at 10:57 AM
After living on my small side street for over 10 years, I'd like to see a STREET SWEEPER literally and honestly come more than 2x's in 10 years !! LITE UP SIDE STREETS; very dangerous especially when your home is off of the Henry Hudson Trail !
Jacqueline Bernal Mueller January 09, 2014 at 11:30 AM
totally agree with Olga; I use to walk to the train station along Kings Hwy and had to stop for fear of getting hit. NO yielding to pedestrians, no police surveillance, and definitely NO complete sidewalk. Hope the mayor gets a copy of these comments, maybe he would then have a clue as to what our residents have on their mind.
Christine DeLibero Papaleo January 09, 2014 at 11:44 AM
I agree with Katie. The schools should be redistricted based on location. As it stands now, kids are zoned to certain schools that are too far from their homes. Please look into this. It will save Middletown money on its transportation costs if the buses dont have to go out of their way to transport the students. Also, a light at the T intersection of church street and kings highway is desperately needed. Everyone is in a rush to get to the trains and never lets drivers make left turn on to Kings Highway.
marylou January 09, 2014 at 01:46 PM
Christine and Kate,I think that the reason kids Leonardo and Navesink are sent to South for high school is that there are more students who live closer to North.In other words,there are more students than there is room for them.
Matthew Viaud January 09, 2014 at 01:59 PM
Bray ave bridge needs to be reopen. It's ridiculous that it's still closed. I agree with everything else. Steak n ale, pathmark, enforce speeders driving on new Monmouth, harmony, etc... 25-30 mph.
MY town January 09, 2014 at 03:41 PM
Kate students from Thompson also get split up between North and south . Thorne is the only Middle school that doesn't get divided
Kate January 09, 2014 at 03:46 PM
Marylou, What I was trying to explain is that a total redistricting should be considered. Most students from Fairview Elem. are much closer to Middletown HS South then Navesink students. Yet students from Navesink ride past Fairview to go to South. Why? Redistricting has not been considered in years. The landscape of Middletown has changed considerably since this has occurred. I am not just suggesting we send Navesink or Leonardo students to North I am saying that redistricting should be looked at from the elementary level on up.
marylou January 09, 2014 at 05:29 PM
Kate,I don't think there is room for the kids from Leonardo and Navesink to attend North.Yeah,I guess the so-called landscape has changed.
Raymond Joseph Baker January 09, 2014 at 05:56 PM
how about best market in the old pathmark
Michael Simons January 09, 2014 at 06:54 PM
Speeding on New Monmouth Rd is ridiculous Even the School buses are flying past the library
Linda Vanetti January 09, 2014 at 08:49 PM
Before Christmas I posted that the Middletown Christmas decorations on Route 35 are pretty pathetic. There is enough property there to do something much nicer and more interesting. I also am not happy about so many empty buildings. It does not make the town look good at all. The Pathmark shopping center is so vacated that it has an eerie ghost town feeling. I agree that it would be a great place for a Christmas Tree Shoppe and I have sent e-mails to them suggesting that. They would certainly do well here. I love the store but don't go that often because it is in Freehold, which is a ride. The old tool rental place on Leonardville Road (across from Carvel) is an absolute eyesore and I can't believe the town has let it stay that way for so long. I also agree that some streets are too dark and need more or brighter street lights. I have lived here for 36 years and was never able to say that Middletown does a great job plowing. They plow the main roads but not the side streets. I actually had to call once to ask them to plow Swartzel Drive and Park Avenue, two streets that teenagers drive on to get to High School North. It's bad enough that some teenagers are careless drivers but we let them drive on icy streets! As far as the leaves go, I've had to drive in the middle of the street to get around them, which is pretty dangerous.
Bayratt January 10, 2014 at 09:00 AM
I agree with Leonardo, Port Monmouth, Belford, North Middletown and East Keansburg seceding from Middletown and becoming its own township. We DO get treated differently here.. And it is clear and apparent that the "wet' side is not as important to the township as the dry side. And it is apparent reading some of these comments.
marylou January 10, 2014 at 10:42 AM
Raymond,I don't think that Best Market will put another store so close to the 1 a couple miles away in Holmdel.And I think Jesse is right about the Pathmark space being too small for a Wegman's.Christmas Tree Shop,perhaps? Linda,I agree with you about the former gas station turned tool rental shop on Leonarville.I drive by it often and try not to look in that direction.The building is probably too old to save.Just tearning it down would be an improvement.
Joey Broomall January 11, 2014 at 08:25 PM
How about Target taking over the Sears site. It's going to be empty soon enough anyway.
Emily Hastings January 12, 2014 at 01:42 PM
I would like to know why it is taking so long to repair the Bray Avenue bridge - this is costing our neighborhood so much wasted time and inconvenience. In addition, there needs to be another supermarket on the 36 - Foodtown has no competition, and the people on this side of Middletown have no convenient alternative.
MY town January 12, 2014 at 03:44 PM
It has taken almost 20 years to have the west front street bridge replaced. So don't be surprised the same for bray ave .
Ally Opie January 28, 2014 at 09:38 AM
How about the township contacting the owner of that eyesore of a house as you turn onto Tindall from Hwy. 35. The first house on the right. Really brings down the neighborhood! Also, getting after the landlords that convert a one family home into a 2 or 3 family home and renting out the apartments in 1 family home neighborhoods. The upstanding homeowners have to put up with rentors who really don't care about the property. How about enforcining the law!!!! Same goes for picking up after your dog. MIDDLETOWN IS GOING DOWN HILL, WHAT A SHAME, IT REALLY USED TO BE A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE!!!!
benhaygood February 02, 2014 at 11:38 AM
I am trying to take one of the currently vacant areas in the Pt M/Belford/Leonardo areas and turn it into a Community Resource Center. Please let me know if you are interested in working on this. Ben Haygood
Janice vee February 02, 2014 at 01:12 PM
I just moved into Middletown and I do not want my section being considered to collaborate with Belford or port Monmouth. I know every neighborhood has it's share of good and bad but those two sections seem to have more of a share and are most talked about in Middletown compared the other sections. However I moved here because of my area.i don't know how it used to be as far as criminal activity and drugs I'm just implying as to what it is now.
Janice vee February 02, 2014 at 01:15 PM
The vacant gas station on 36 by lenordville rd is unappealing for the eyes though and a few other buildings as well. Path mark parking lot I read Five guys is now closed I wonder what will be there now
benhaygood February 02, 2014 at 01:25 PM
I've inquired about the Exxon in Belford if that's what you're talking about? No reply to my calls.
Holly Scarlata February 06, 2014 at 06:03 PM
Yes, I agree, OPEN BRAY AVE BRIDGE!! It didn't even take this long to build the Sandy Hook Bridge! Also a Walmart by the old Bradlees! I didn't know there was an East Keansburg, it's been North Middletown for a long time!! Middletown should just take responsible of ALL of their towns, not just the ones they want. People that get caught speeding, and/or talking on the phone they lose their license and STOP giving out warnings (wrist slaps)!
Jim Kirk February 06, 2014 at 09:16 PM
The Bray Ave bridge might be closed for a while. It had been neglected for years. Sandy didn't help it any. Trust me, I saw the water. I had 5 feet of it in my house. Wonder what will come first. The bridge or The work on the flood control system the we were promised 20 years ago.
Holly Scarlata February 07, 2014 at 09:17 PM
Yeah, Jim, me too! Probably neither, my husband lived in Port Monmouth, and they still haven't fixed the water problem or the bridge, and he's lived here for 58 years, we are only 4 houses away from the "Dike" that is what we've called it for years, I've been here for 30 years!
Harold Sullivan February 09, 2014 at 04:36 PM
I'd like to see Holly Scarlata streaking across Bray Ave bridge.

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