FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEWARK – A study funded by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) will assist Sussex County in establishing its first complete streets policy. The Sussex County Complete Streets Study is one of 11 county- and city-led studies slated for funding in the NJTPA’s next work program.
The NJTPA Board of Trustees endorsed the study as part of its Unified Planning Work Program at its May meeting. Funding for the project will begin on July 1.
Complete streets policies promote the concept that as new roads are built or old ones are improved, they should be designed to be accessible for all users, whether they’re motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists or public transportation riders. The study will help develop a complete streets policy for Sussex County based on a thorough evaluation of the county’s system of state highways, county roads and key municipal streets, taking into consideration Sussex County's more rural character. Objectives of the study include:
- Improve safety for all users by determining areas that could benefit from enhancements such as sidewalks, bike lanes, wider shoulders, improved crosswalks, bus stops, pedestrian signals and other upgrades.
- Encourage increased walking and biking in the county.
- Develop recommendations for short-term, medium-term and long-term projects that accomplish complete streets goals.
"A complete streets policy can help make our roads safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, encourage healthier lifestyles, cut down on driving and boost economic development," said Sussex County Freeholder Susan M. Zellman, a member of the NJTPA Board who has long advocated for complete streets policies. "This study will provide an important foundation for making Sussex County more walkable and livable in the years to come."
The study is projected to cost $200,000, which will be paid for primarily with federal funds.
The effort is part of the NJTPA’s Subregional Studies Program, which provides two-year grants on a competitive basis to the 13 counties and two cities represented by the NJTPA Board. The program is designed to help counties and cities develop transportation improvement strategies rooted in the NJTPA’s Regional Transportation Plan. Ultimately, the program aims to generate project concepts ready for further development or implementation consistent with regional planning goals.
The NJTPA is the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for 13 northern New Jersey Counties. Under federal legislation, MPOs provide a forum where local officials, public transportation providers and state agency representatives can come together and cooperatively plan to meet the region’s current and future transportation needs. It establishes the region’s eligibility to receive federal tax dollars for transportation projects.
The NJTPA Board consists of one local elected official from each of the 13 counties in the region (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren), and the cities of Newark and Jersey City. The Board also includes a Governor’s Representative, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the Executive Directors of NJ Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and a Citizen’s Representative appointed by the Governor.
David Behrend, NJTPA