During her two years as Chair of the NJTPA Board of Trustees, Morris County Freeholder Kathryn DeFillippo plans to focus on safety, reliability and accessibility.
Chair DeFillippo shared her priorities at the Board’s March 9 meeting and thanked her fellow Board members for always working in a bipartisan manner to get things done for northern and central New Jersey.
Our region depends on a reliable and efficient transportation system. It’s critical to attracting employers to our state and enhancing quality of life by providing safe transportation to all travelers, regardless of their age, income, ability, or mode of choice,” she said.
She said its important that older populations and people with disabilities have transportation options regardless of where they live. In addition, the transportation system must connect workers with their places of employment. This is particularly important at businesses that have round-the-clock operations, Chair DeFillippo said.
She said safety will continue to be a top priority for the agency, and that will be reflected in the next long-range plan, which the NJTPA is beginning to develop this year. The board is set to adopt a plan update in fall 2021. The plan must also consider the role of autonomous vehicles and other emerging technologies, she said.
Chair DeFillippo said the NJTPA will continue to work to expand its Street Smart NJ pedestrian safety program, which has partnered with more than 125 communities. “New Jersey’s pedestrian fatality rate is nearly double the national average, and we must continue to work to reduce this number,” she said.
She also spoke about the need to focus on freight, which plays a critical role in the region’s economy.
“Congestion remains a major concern not only for the freight sector, but also for the travelling public,” she said. “Improving transit and supporting alternative modes, such as cycling and walking, can help address this.”
She said she would continue the NJTPA’s support for federal funding for the Hudson Tunnel Project, which will preserve capacity and improve resiliency on the Northeast Corridor between New York and New Jersey.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I know that we can do great things working together,” she said.