NJTPA Update Blog

April 2018

Multi-state Planning Forum Focuses on Improving Freight

Posted: 4/10/2018 12:00:00 AM

The Metropolitan Planning Area (MAP) Forum’s Multi-State Freight Working Group, a consortium of nine metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) in the urbanized area spanning New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, met on April 3, 2018 in Newark to discuss common freight issues and concerns and proposed projects affecting the region.

NJTPA Deputy Executive Director Mary D. Ameen and NJTPA Director of Freight Planning Anne Strauss-Wieder welcomed the 30 attendees to the working group’s second meeting. Strauss-Wieder highlighted the growing importance of freight management for the New Jersey region as a result of growing ecommerce and increasing demand for properties for warehousing and distribution operations, including smaller “last mile” facilities closer to consumers.

Featured presentations at the forum were by Marygrace M. Parker, Dirctor of Freight & Innovation in Transportation at the I-95 Corridor Coalition and Becky A Bradley, Executive Director of the Leigh Valley Planning Commission.

Parker focused on supply chain fluidity, which describes efforts to improve the end-to-end performance of freight supply chains, as goods flow across public and private infrastructure, various modes and many jurisdictions. The objective of the I-95 Corridor Coalition Freight Fluidity Program is to improve measurement of freight transportation performance in terms of time, reliability and cost. It is preparing to issue regular reports on supply chain performance focusing on a “market basket” of goods representing key freight sectors.

Bradley discussed trends and issues related to freight in the Leigh Valley Planning Commission’s region, noting that warehousing activity and truck commodity flows have increased tremendously. Tonnage of goods moved could double by 2040, she said. In response, the region is undertaking major infrastructure projects such as widening of Route 22 over the coming decade. The private sector has helped finance key projects and is underwriting a “Point of Access Study” in one key freight and warehousing location with resident input.

After the presentations, updates of freight planning activities was provided by members and attendees including from the Departments of Transportation, Metropolitan Planning Organizations and federal agencies. Further information about the MAP Forum is available on the NJTPA website. The next meeting is being planned for September 2018.
[April 10, 2018]

NJTPA, Rutgers Voorhees Transportation Center Receive National Award for Public Outreach

Posted: 4/3/2018 12:00:00 AM

The American Planning Association (APA) has honored the NJTPA and the Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University with a Silver National Planning Achievement Award for Public Outreach for our innovate public outreach effort for our long-range plan, Plan 2045: Connecting North Jersey.

Each year APA recognizes outstanding planning efforts and planning leadership with its National Planning Excellence and Achievements Awards.

“The award recipients this year demonstrate the importance of engaging all community members and improving access and opportunity for all,” W. Shedrick Coleman, AIA, 2018 Awards Jury chair, said in a news release. “These recipients serve as national models for other communities.”

The NJTPA worked with the Voorhees Transportation Center to research outreach activities at planning organizations around the world and develop best practices. More than 400 public engagement activities have been compiled into a database tool, Engage! A Public Involvement Resource, which is available to the public.
The NJTPA used some of the more innovative engagement activities to gather public input for Plan 2045, a federally-mandated long-range transportation plan that sets a vision for development of the transportation system and guides investments over the next 25 years.

This specialized outreach included Set the Table, a dinner party program that engaged millennials; NJTPA On Air, a pop-up radio booth that allowed children to share their vision for the future of transportation (shown above); and workshops at ESL classes and with low-income residents.

These specialized outreach efforts, coupled with traditional public meetings, an online survey and tabling at community events, allowed nearly 3,000 people to provide input as part of the Plan 2045 outreach.
[April 3, 2018]