With a focus on improving and enhancing walking in northern and central New Jersey, the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) since 2006 has conducted a series of half-day “Walkable Community” workshops. The workshops are held in the 13 counties within the NJTPA region, plus the cities of Newark and Jersey City. Workshop reports are available at right.
The workshops train participants to identify barriers to walking and ways to improve pedestrian safety in each workshop community. Participants also learned how to inform and instruct residents, transportation professionals, and others about improving walkability.
The workshops consist of four parts
* an initial briefing by local stakeholders
* a presentation on “best practices” of walkable communities in other locations
* a guided walking audit of a study area identified by the local host community
* a small group session to generate recommendations for improvements
Each workshop produces a prioritized list of specific improvements aimed at increasing safety and accessibility for pedestrians. These lists can be used by local and county governments as a catalyst for implementing the improvements and to develop “problem statements” for project funding consideration and advancement.
Workshop locations are selected by NJTPA staff in consultation with county and city officials throughout the region. Staff from each participating workshop location coordinates with local officials to invite stakeholders including local elected leaders, planners and engineers, interested business owners, and residents.
For further information, contact Elizabeth Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other relevant links:
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) conducts Walkable Community Workshops, which the NJTPA analyzed in developing its own program. For information, visit www.nymtc.org, click the Programs and Projects icon, then scroll down to the Walkable Communities link.
The National Center for Bicycling and Walking, which was a sub-consultant on the NJTPA's Walkable Community Workshop project, includes workshop information and success stories.
FHWA Accommodating Bicycle Environmental Issues
NHTSA Walkability Checklist
Partnership for a Walkable America