Beginning this Thursday, you will be able to walk down Cookman Ave. and dine/shop/stroll without any cars getting in your way!

This new plan will allow restaurants and shops to expand into the street, parking lots, sidewalks and private property to provide outdoor tables, all, of course, socially distanced.

So which streets will be closed down, and when?  The plan includes a good chunk of Cookman Ave. and more (see below.)  The last round of table reservations will be for seating at 8:30 pm and all tables must be cleared by 10 pm. The street closures will run from Thursday at 3 pm until Sunday at 7 pm, with tables/umbrellas, etc. being brought back inside overnight.

Cookman Ave. will be closed (during those days and times noted) from Main Street to Bangs Avenue. Mattison Ave. will be closed from the Asbury Park State Office building to Cookman Avenue. Emory Street will be closed from Cookman to Summerfield Avenue. Bangs Ave. will remain open to vehicles.

And, yes, you'll be able to be served drinks at your table only. (You can't just get drinks and stroll around with them, though.)

This is wonderful because many of the restaurants don't have the room for enough outdoor dining just on the small sidewalks out front, and wouldn't stand a chance at making enough money unless they could at least provide more seating possibilities.

Rooftop dining, for those who already offer it, will continue now that outdoor dining is legal.

Some shops will be able to sell their wares at tables set up outside, too, and public art is encouraged but must be removed at the end of each night. But no music of any kind is permitted :(

This pilot program will be evaluated once it begins and could change based on results, but, if all works out, could remain in effect through November 30th.

You are strongly encouraged to use the Bangs Ave. Garage for parking.

There is also a plan to close a part of Prospect Ave., Comstock St. and some other 'slow' streets to vehicular traffic so that residents can walk, bike, and skate in the street, and also includes Third Ave. between Ridge Ave. and Langford St., and Fifth Ave. between Bridge St. and Langford St.

Support local business and Asbury Park! We want to see our local communities thrive despite Covid-19!

Thanks to Sylvia Sylvia from the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce and Asbury Park Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn for providing details and confirming this story.

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