A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Cliffwood Beach CDP

My wife and I have been happily ensconced in the Cliffwood Beach section of Aberdeen Township for thirty years. We're right on Treasure Lake and just down the street from the Bayview Presbyterian Church and the Raritan Bay.

Those of you who have lived here a while might be surprised to learn that the US Census Bureau thinks that Cliffwood Beach ends at the Monmouth County side of Whale Creek (right). The Feds have split Cliffwood Beach into two so-called Census Designated Places (CDP) -- the Cliffwood Beach CDP and the Laurence Harbor CDP. I've always understood that Cliffwood Beach extends into Old Bridge Township, Middlesex County and includes the section of OB that sits on both sides of Route 35 at the 7-11 store. Not so, according to the USG.

Another problem: The Census Bureau thinks Cliffwood Beach in Monmouth County extends all the way to Route 35. They've absorbed part of the Cliffwood section of the township into this census imagined place. To be sure, Cliffwood begins at Lenox Road and includes a considerable area around and beyond the A&P shopping center on the other side of Route 35. Anyone who's lived around here a while knows that, right? Isn't the Cliffwood branch of the US Post Office located in the A&P shopping center? And doesn't Cliffwood have its own zip code (07721)? Cliffwood Beach in Monmouth County uses the Keyport zip code (07735).

So when the census enumerators come to your door next year, ask them where Cliffwood Beach is. They won't have a good answer for you.

This mixup has had a negative effect on my efforts to have an accurate map produced for the Cliffwood Beach Wikipedia article. I've been unable to convince Wiki graphics editors that the Census Bureau is wrong, and the Census seems to be what everyone is relying on for this sort of map. Wikipedians have allowed the text description to stand but it's only a matter of time before they edit it to match the map. As I mentioned in another blog piece, I've spoken to the county officials responsible for coordinating the upcoming census, but it just may be too late to convince all of the required officials to make such a change at this stage of the census process.

Image of Whale Creek from http://www.city-data.com/picfiles/pic1492.php.


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