Hey Veggie.....I'm working just south of you in Long Branch.
The pics you posted look somewhat like what I've dealt with in a previous job. Widening the sidewalks really doesn't seem like an option given the already narrow streets that abound here in NJ. Basically a spiffy up is needed. Weeding, sidewalk and repaving repairs, installing some hardy landscaping, new lamp posts that accommodate banners or hanging baskets, some benches in places where the sidewalks are wide enough, planters as well. As far as the cross walks are concerned I've been involved in a project where we did stamped, stained, concrete that looked like brick but very low maintenance and ADA compliant, new pedestrian signals help as well. Does the community have a facade improvement grant program for local businesses to tap into? Oftentimes there is state DOT money available for pedestrian improvements as well if funding is an issue.