NJTPA Update Blog

October 2021

Pilot Program Aims to Expand NJTPA’s Public Engagement Efforts 

Posted: 10/6/2021 11:29:38 AM

NJTPA Outreach Liaison Pilot Program logoThe NJTPA has launched a pilot Outreach Liaisons Program, which aims to recruit community members to help advance public involvement in the agency’s projects and programs. 

Ideal candidates are members of grassroots networks who are passionate about community involvement in transportation projects and funding decisions. The liaisons would help facilitate communication between the agency and communities, with an emphasis on reaching groups that have been traditionally under-represented in transportation planning. 

Outreach liaisons would help tailor the NJTPA’s public outreach strategies to the specific needs of a project or study area’s ethnic or cultural groups. Liaisons may offer knowledge about cultural nuances, interface with community members on behalf of the agency, facilitate community meetings or events, and provide translation services, if needed. 

This is a two-year pilot program. The first year will focus on recruiting five outreach liaisons, who would receive training on public engagement techniques and background on NJTPA projects and programs. In the spring, liaisons would work alongside NJTPA staff and consultants on public engagement initiatives, such as attending public meetings. In the second year, liaisons will help plan and facilitate their own outreach events, coordinating with local organizations, and reporting residents’ feedback and concerns to the NJTPA. 

Liaisons will be paid a stipend for their time. Only applicants living in the NJTPA’s 13-county region (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Morris, Monmouth, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Warren and Union counties) will be considered for the program. 

The deadline to apply for the program is November 30. Click here to submit an application
 

 

Warren County Transportation Plan Proposes Infrastructure Improvements, Policy Changes 

Posted: 10/5/2021 3:51:57 PM

Cover of the Warren County Transportation Plan. Cars are showing driving down a main road in a downtown.Warren County recently updated its Transportation Plan, which presents a vision for the future of the county’s transportation network through the year 2045.  

The project team reviewed existing conditions of roads, bridges, pedestrian infrastructure and transit. Computer models were used to explore different scenarios, including the impacts of industrial development and population changes in different parts of the County. For example, one model considered targeting residential development into existing regional centers, which have access to transportation options. This could help maximize active transportation modes (like walking and biking) while mitigating traffic congestion. The models were also used to explore road improvements that might be needed if certain parts of the County were developed for light industrial uses, such as warehouses or distribution centers. 

The County conducted extensive public and stakeholder outreach to gather input for the Transportation Plan. This included a study website, virtual public meetings and focus groups. Presentations were pre-recorded in English and Spanish and shared on the study website so that community members could view them at any time and provide input. 

The plan identifies road and bridge improvements, including addressing weight restrictions that can impede the movement of goods by truck. It also suggests bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements, and policy recommendations, such as adopting a countywide Complete Streets policy. Complete streets are roads designed users of all modes and ability levels. The plan notes that while Warren County is rural, communities with developed centers, such as Phillipsburg, Hackettstown, and Washington Borough could benefit from the policy, which could include installing traffic calming elements to improve pedestrian safety. 

The County can use the data and recommendations in the plan as it considers future land use, transportation and infrastructure decisions. The plan also identifies projects that require further study before implementation, including developing a master plan for walking and biking, which could include the creation of an on- and off-road bicycle network.  

Click here to view the Warren County Transportation Plan

This study was completed through the NJTPA’s Subregional Studies Program, which provides two-year grants on a competitive annual basis to the 13 counties and two cities — known as subregions — represented on the NJTPA Board. 

The program aims to help subregions develop recommendations for transportation improvements that inform and implement the NJTPA’s Long Range Transportation Plan.