The NJTPA is committed to promoting walking and biking in its region. Its goal is to make these two travel modes convenient, safe, efficient, and attractive as viable alternatives to cars for shorter trips.
Much of this commitment is made through direct investment in bicycle and pedestrian facilities. In addition, various transportation projects, such as bridge replacements and intersection improvements, incorporate features to make walking and biking safer and more attractive travel options in the region.
The NJTPA’s Regional Capital Investment Strategy (RCIS) calls for allocating 1.25 percent of available funds to build and redesign facilities for walking and biking.
Beyond its ongoing participation in workshops and other programs designed to improve the effectiveness of bicycle/pedestrian planning, the NJTPA Central Staff also has worked with the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and other agencies in the development of a State Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan which was adopted in 2004.
NJTPA Bike-Ped Recommendations
Highlights of Plan 2035’s promotion of walking and biking in the NJTPA region:
Plan 2035 calls for expenditures of $402 million on bicycle and pedestrian projects over the life of the plan. In addition, projects such as bridge replacements and intersection improvements will incorporate features to make walking and biking safer and more attractive travel options wherever possible.
• Encourages revision of municipal zoning ordinances to permit more mixed-use and infill development, with higher densities while requiring developers to install quality bicycle and pedestrian improvements.
• Promotion of safe biking and walking through information campaigns to school children, law enforcement agencies and community organizations.
• Supports incorporation of sidewalks and bike routes to improve access to existing and new transit stations and stops, residential, retail/commercial centers, recreational centers, schools and parks The NJTPA works with its member subregions to assist municipalities to incorporate “Complete Streets” principles. Actions to support this agenda include:
- Encourage counties and municipalities to develop bicycle and pedestrian plans;
- Continue to provide technical support and funding to subregions for development of bicycle and pedestrian plans and studies;
- Continue to work with subregions to incorporate bicycling and pedestrian projects into the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
One of the key projects included in the Master Plan is the completion of New Jersey’s portion of the East Coast Greenway. This is a 2,600-mile planned route that combines connected on-road and off-road facilities from Maine to Florida. The Greenway’s very first section is located in part of the NJTPA region: the 28-mile trail in the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park in Somerset and Mercer counties. Other planned sections will link through Middlesex, Union, Essex, and Hudson counties totaling 93 miles between Pennsylvania and New York. The region’s other long distance trails include the Capital-to-Coast Trail from Trenton to Manasquan, the Liberty to Water Gap Trail linking Liberty State Park in Jersey City to the Delaware Water Gap, and the Henry Hudson Trail from Atlantic Highlands to Freehold.
In addition, as part of its commitments to the state’s Master Plan, the NJTPA (in the near-term) has scheduled ten specific bicycle and pedestrian projects for the region. These include distinct bicycle and pedestrian trails, pedestrian overpasses, and other improvements to roads with significant bicycle or pedestrian activities. A similar number of projects have been identified for the mid-term time frame, including major waterfront walkways and other projects.
From fall 2006 through 2010, NJTPA has developed more then 20 Walkable Community Workshops to identify measures that will help towns support increased walking trips within the NJTPA region. Workshops are held with planners, engineers, local officials, and pedestrian advocates in each of the NJTPA’s 15 subregions, and is an ongoing program based on interest. Work includes examining assets and safety deficiencies and providing examples of solutions for missing sidewalk links, traffic signals, crosswalks, signage, and traffic calming measures.
The NJTPA supports the NJDOT's Safe Routes to School program and Complete Streets Policy. Complete Streets provides safe access for all roadway users, of all ages and abilities, including bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit riders. "Completing the Streets" incorporates design and operational features that create a comprehensive, integrated, and connected multi-modal network of transportation options. The NJDOT Complete Streets Policy accomplishes this through the planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of new and retrofit transportation facilities within public rights of way that are federally or state funded, including projects administered through the NJDOT’s Capital Program. In October 2010, NJTPA staff and members from all 15 NJTPA subregions attended New Jersey’s first Complete Streets Summit. Several counties and municipalities within the NJTPA region have a Complete Streets Policy and/or taking planning steps to develop a policy.
In addition to the great strides that New Jersey is undertaking in encouraging safe mobility for all users, the state passed a "Stop for a Pedestrian in the Crosswalk" law in April of 2010. A motorist who sees a pedestrian walking in a crosswalk must stop and remain stopped while the pedestrian crosses the street. This law differs from the previous law, which required motorists to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
Additional information on this law can be found at the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety website.
At a national level, the FHWA Pedestrian Safety Program has four new brochures available to aid in the promotion of pedestrian safety.
the proven countermeasures related to pedestrian safety ( Safety Benefits of Raised Medians and Pedestrian Refuge Areas—Tri-Fold Brochure and Safety Benefits of Walkways, Sidewalks, and Paved Shoulders—Tri-Fold Brochure ) that FHWA is encouraging in the Guidance Memorandum on Consideration and Implementation of Proven Safety Countermeasures.
Check out the WalkScore website, which ranks the most walkable cities and neighborhoods in the United States: http://www.walkscore.com/