Building of the Route 1 Collaborative Background
New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation, located in the heart of the New York - Washington corridor of the Northeastern United States. Because its location and resources have made it a hub of commerce, the Garden State experiences some of the highest levels of travel activity in the country, resulting in many of its roadways being severely congested for extended periods of time. This condition leads to significant time and energy losses, as well as increased air pollution, diminishing the overall quality of life of its residents.
The social and environmental consequences of traffic congestion are moving transportation to the forefront of urban and environmental agendas. The Tri-State Transportation Campaign (T-STC), a consortium of 14 environmental, planning and bicycle advocacy groups covering the Tri-state region of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, was founded to generate a broad-based change in sentiment and attitude about transportation policy and practices among critical constituencies of civic leaders, business interests, and other decision-makers, especially in light of new opportunities and mandates to address the economic, environmental and social inefficiencies and harms of our regions present transportation system.
In September 1994 the T-STC met with the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and top staff in a meeting convened by the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection. The group discussed the states growing traffic problems and the fact that NJDOT cant build its way out of congestion through wider and extended roads (largely due to land use constraints, environmental constraints, and lack of funding). In an effort to create new transportation and land use policies and practices, representatives from NJDOT, T-STC, Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic (RELC) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) formed the core working group to initiate a collaborative study for one of New Jerseys most congested travel corridors.
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