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WRT and the City of Asbury Park led a public meeting and listening session to get initial comments from residents about the West Side neighborhood. After a brief presentation, attendees broke into six groups to give input about the neighborhood. The feedback received will be used as a jumping off point for the working groups. Three core questions were asked:

  • What do you like about your neighborhood?
  • What do you not like about your neighborhood?
  • What is the best way to communicate with residents?

Many residents also offered comments on a fourth category about things that would improve the neighborhood.

What do you like about your neighborhood?

  • Friendly neighbors
  • Small-town feel of Asbury Park
  • A rich history and sense of community
  • Affordable
  • Easy access to train station, post office, hospital
  • Good public infrastructure (new roads, lighting, plantings)
  • Improving relationship with law enforcement
  • Good class sizes in schools
  • A lot of people live here for a long time
  • Springwood Park
  • Large number of churches and other faith-based community assets

What do you not like about your neighborhood?

  • Absentee landlords
  • Crime and drug activity
  • Lack of activities for youth
  • Central business district and waterfront are not family-friendly
  • Empty lots
  • Lack of code enforcement
  • Lack of jobs and local economic growth
  • Littering
  • Neighborhood has a bad reputation
  • Lack of trust between generations
  • Spirit of exclusion or isolation from the rest of the city
  • Poor relationship and lack of communication with City Hall
  • Lack of opportunity to be heard
  • Lack of health services and grief counseling

What are the best ways to communicate with residents?

  • Door-to-door or in person
  • Letters
  • Texts or phone calls
  • Open mic events
  • Churches and other organizations
  • Schools
  • Email
  • Website
  • Facebook
  • APTV

What would improve your neighborhood?

  • Low-income and workforce housing
  • More homeownership opportunities
  • Housing that is more modern and in better condition
  • More input and involvement from residents
  • Basic amenities along Springwood Ave like a drug store and grocery store
  • Walkable local shopping experiences
  • A revitalized West Side Community Center
  • Better bus service
  • A local job training and placement agency
  • Support for smaller improvements and renovations to existing homes
  • Community Benefit Agreements
  • Theater/entertainment
  • A return to the mindset of the West Side as a “village” and a tightknit community
  • More homeless shelters and long-term assistance for struggling people
  • Support for minority- and locally-owned businesses along Springwood Ave