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Executive Summary
     Section 2
     Section 3
     Section 4
     Section 5
     Section 6
     Section 7
Strategy Profiles
1 Land use
     2 Bicycle/Pedestrian
     3 Bicycle/Pedestrian
     4 Bicycle/Pedestrian
     5 Travel Demand
     6 Travel Demand
     7 Transit
     8 Transit
     9 Transit
     10 Transit
     11 Roadway
     12 Roadway
     13 Goods Movement
     14 Roadway
     15 Roadway
     16 Roadway

updated 11/05/99

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Study Tasks

TASK 1 - Define Committee Structure, Interaction and Project Management

To ensure that study guidance, direction, communication and processes would be logical and efficient, the Collaborative, working with the consultant team and using the consensus-building process described previously, used the organizational structure to specifically define the interactions of the committees, subcommittees and consultant team.

TASK 2 - Design and Implement a Public Participation Program

To facilitate consensus-building and gain community acceptance of any resultant transportation and land use strategies, the Collaborative’s Public Involvement subcommittee worked with the consultant team to develop a comprehensive public participation program. This program was designed to achieve maximum community outreach and information services to ensure that the needs, interests and concerns of members of the Collaborative, as well as the diverse constituencies of the Route 1 study corridor, were met.

TASK 3 - Refine the Study Area

For the purposes of data collection, problem identification and traffic modeling, set geographical boundaries needed to be established to identify the Collaborative study area.

The Transportation and Land Use subcommittees, working with the consultant team, investigated the various transportation elements (highway, transit, freight, bicycle/pedestrian, regional land uses and major traffic generators) within the pre-described areas to "fine-tune" the study corridor and area boundaries to its final form.

TASK 4 - Collect and Inventory Transportation and Land Use Data

Because of the all-encompassing nature of the study and the extent of the study area, there was a need for a tremendous amount of transportation and land use data.

Fortunately, the Collaborative’s diverse membership of both public and private agencies and groups made it possible to meet most of the data needs with existing information, with only limited new data collection necessary. The most arduous parts of this task were collecting all the data, verifying the information (by cross-checking, field investigations, etc.) then assembling it in a logical way that could be easily referenced. The latter was accomplished two ways: 1) a large indexed binder was used to hold all various maps, tables and charts that summarized the data; and 2) a self-installing software package was developed (named Data Retrieval System or DRS) that included all of the datasets, maps and charts on disk for much easier access and use.

Once assembled, these data provided the factual basis for: understanding the nature, magnitude and underlying causes of transportation and land use problems in the corridor; developing strategies and actions to address these problems; and eventually, evaluating the effectiveness of those strategies and actions.

TASK 5 - Identify and Narrow the Scope of Problems to be Resolved

Using the base information developed under Task 4 as background, the Collaborative initiated the Public Participation Program to solicit input from key corridor stakeholders and the general public as to the perceived problems (and causes) that exist in the corridor.

TASK 6 - Establish Overall Goals & Objectives

In order to achieve its vision of creating a sustainable transportation system, the Collaborative established goals & objectives early on in the study process, then refined them to be in harmony with planning polices set forth in existing municipal, county and state plans.

TASK 7 - Establish Performance Measures

To help the Collaborative eventually choose between alternative strategies, a set of quantitative and qualitative performance measures were developed as a means for determining how successful the strategies under consideration were in achieving the goals and objectives. The Collaborative agreed to three levels of performance measures: outcome measures; input measures and output measures.

TASK 8 - Develop a Baseline for Current and Future Trends

The consultant team made a secondary review of the data gathered under Task 4, to establish the current relationships between land use and different transportation elements (transit, parking, etc.). These trends were then extrapolated to the future analysis year for an estimation of a future baseline (i.e., without strategies) to become a benchmark for changes in transportation system performance.

TASK 9 - Identify, Analyze and Evaluate Strategies

The identification, analysis and evaluation of numerous transportation and land use strategies was the most complicated and time-consuming effort of the entire study. Using all of the information and work done to date, the Steering Committee, Transportation, Land Use and Public Involvement subcommittees and the consultant team embarked on a strategy selection process unprecedented in New Jersey. Not only was a complete and comprehensive "regional master plan" achieved, but the resultant effort acted to "raise the bar" for all future transportation/land use planning studies.

TASK 10 - Develop a Promotional Plan

All of the above effort would be for naught if it could not be "sold" to area stakeholders and the general public. The Collaborative knew that in order to be successful, strategies needed to be: first, fully supported by Collaborative members themselves; then, "aggressively marketed to" various corridor decision-makers and the general public. The promotional plan provides the framework to do this.

TASK 11 - Develop an Implementation Plan

The development and execution of an Implementation Plan is being accomplished through a reshaping of the Collaborative process. With an administrative "glue" role provided by Keep Middlesex Moving (the local TMA) and a restructuring of the Collaborative committees, this final phase will create the path and momentum necessary to help the Collaborative meet its mission of "...getting things done".

TASK 12 - Develop a Guidance Package

The Collaborative knew that documenting the whole experience - good and bad - would be extremely useful in helping others "do the right thing". Thus, the guidance offered in this report is seen as an invaluable source of information towards achieving successful transportation and lands use planning now and into the next millennium.

TASK 13 - Independent Review Process

Although the Collaborative had a broad-based constituency and a consultant team made up of five different consulting firms, there was always the danger of getting "too close to the work", thereby limiting objectivity and/or forward-thinking. To remedy this, the Collaborative developed an independent review process along two fronts: for the study as a whole; and for the modeling work in particular. This "double-check" mechanism allowed for independent review and opinion of the appropriateness (and pitfalls) of the study’s direction and emphasis at key junctures during the study process, ultimately resulting in a much better final product.

Study Phases and Time Frames

For the purposes of tracking the progress of the study work effort in a manner that was more consistent with the actual flow of work, the related and independent tasks (described above) were grouped into phases and time frames. Simply breaking down the effort into logical, manageable "chunks" allowed for better planning and scheduling of joint work assignments, as well as an easier format for reporting status. The breakdown of the work program resulted in four phases:

Phase I: Start-up and Data Collection and Outreach Planning (March to May 1996)

Task 1 - Define Committee Structure, Interaction and Project Management

Task 2 - Design and Implement a Public Participation Program

Task 3 - Refine the Study Area

Task 4 - Collect and Inventory Transportation and Land Use Data

Phase II: Technical Development and Task Integration (June to September 1996)

Task 5 - Identify and Narrow the Scope of Problems to be Resolved

Task 6 - Establish Overall Goals & Objectives

Task 7 - Establish Performance Measures

Task 8 - Develop a Baseline for Current and Future Trends

Task 13 - Independent Review Process (Establish Expert Review Panel)

Phase III: Strategy Selection, Testing and Evaluation (October 1996 to May 1997)

Task 9 - Identify, Analyze and Evaluate Strategies

Phase IV: Preparation for Post-study Marketing and Implementation (February 1996 to June 1997)

Task 10 - Develop a Promotional Plan

Task 11 - Develop an Implementation Plan

Task 12 - Develop a Guidance Package

With the work plan finalized, and study phases and time frames set, the Collaborative and consultant team began "The Journey".


Public Involvement and Outreach

Public outreach was identified as the critical tool for assessing the feasibility and acceptance of proposed strategies. The Public Participation Work Plan for the Route 1 Study was designed to complement the technical work program by providing a coordinated approach for obtaining input and providing information about project activities.

As developed by the Public Involvement subcommittee and consultant team, the Plan called for a proactive public participation process including both public information and interactive activities, helping the Route 1 Collaborative to identify and clarify priority strategies. This outreach process also aimed to involve area stakeholders by providing several different venues for discussing transportation and land use issues. The following section describes the development process, specific techniques and timing of the Public Participation Plan.

Plan Development

Initially, the process began with the kick-off "charrette" that in part helped the Collaborative crystallize the objectives of the Public Involvement Plan. From this foundational work, the P.I. subcommittee worked with the consultant team, and during the next few months developed a comprehensive public outreach package that supported and complemented the technical work program. The final result was a plan that: detailed the mechanisms for public participation as well as for addressing and documenting input; contained procedures for integrating public input into the technical work program; and, described the proactive philosophy that guided the program and supports the mission of the Collaborative.

Outreach Techniques & Timing

In this plan, several different outreach techniques were developed to be employed at different stages of the study: a large-scale telephone survey of area residents to get a general read of transportation and land use perspectives from "the common man"; in-depth interviews with representatives of key organizations located in the corridor, to gain insight into their perceptions of the problems and their priorities for the study; Official’s briefings to engage corridor mayors and key staff into the overall process and the shaping of recommendations; and focus groups to "test the public waters" with acceptance (or rejection) of different strategies and ideas. A speakers’ bureau and media plan helped support these efforts. Specifics of each one of these public involvement techniques is provided below.

Telephone Survey

A 400-person telephone survey was conducted in October and November 1996. The purpose of the Route 1 Collaborative Public Opinion Survey was to obtain more information on residents’ transportation mode choices, gauge public perceptions of the road’s convenience, safety, and mobility, and obtain public reaction to specific strategies that could reduce congestion on Route 1.

The survey was conducted randomly among residents within a 10 mile radius of the intersection of Route 1 and I-287 in Edison Township and results were presented to the Collaborative in November.

Stakeholder Interviews

During May and June 1996, 16 interviews were held with key stakeholders in the Route 1 Corridor. In order to reflect the diversity of interests represented by project constituencies, the interviews were conducted with representatives of a broad spectrum of organizations, including public agencies, civic and public interest groups, businesses, and transportation advocacy groups.

Although the interviews were designed to help identify critical concerns, opportunities and barriers, they also helped to achieve several other objectives:

Probe individual perceptions of priorities for the corridor;

Elicit information about current traffic mitigation efforts that are being implemented by stakeholders throughout the corridor;

Obtain data on the residential locations and commuting patterns of approximately 10% of the corridor’s employees;

Identify stakeholders who might provide valuable new perspectives as additional Collaborative Members; and

Identify potential early action projects, based on ideas and insights derived from the interviews.

Officials’ Briefings

Three Officials’ briefings kept local municipalities informed of the study’s progress. These sessions targeted the mayors and key staff of the five corridor communities as well as other interested parties, including elected officials and Chambers of Commerce. The meetings were held in June 1996, and again in January and June of 1997. Each of the three briefings had a different objective:

The first briefing provided mayors and their representatives with a detailed overview of the entire project and a brief status report of the first quarter.

The second briefing provided a detailed review of the study’s progress, to date, and an opportunity for feedback of the Data Retrieval System, a database that could assist with their local transportation planning efforts.

The third briefing provided mayors, their representatives and the Collaborative with a review of the study’s findings and recommendations, and allowed an opportunity for group discussion about issues related to commitment and future implementation.

In conducting the briefings, collaborative members emphasized the need for local and regional cooperation in shaping and directing the process, reviewing potential projects, and providing measures

for assessing the reasonableness of proposed strategies. Collaborative members also discussed the benefits of participating in the Collaborative in terms of improved communications and greater awareness of alternative perspectives and mutual interests essential to developing a comprehensive implementation plan.

Focus Groups

Four focus groups were held in December 1996 and April 1997. The purpose of the focus groups was to obtain feedback on the proposed strategies and potential methods of implementing the strategies. Focus group participants were recruited from among the stakeholder interviewees, survey respondents, and the public-at-large. The focus groups were conducted along two tracks. The first session, in December, was comprised of major employers (private sector and government) located within the study area. The second track, implemented in April, consisted of three sessions geared toward consumers, or the general traveling public. Overall, the focus groups aimed for a mix that was representative of the corridor’s diversity. Discussion guides were developed for each of the four sessions that clearly defined the information being provided to the participants and stated the goals of the discussion.

Speaker’s Bureaus

Several members of the Steering Committee volunteered to participate in a Speakers Bureau, an "on-demand", scripted forum to present a study overview, answer questions and receive input on key issues pertaining to the project. Each volunteer attended an orientation session conducted by the P.I. Subcommittee, so that there would be uniformity in everything from information dissemination ("the message") to documentation of specific concerns - there was even a brainstorming session to anticipate most of the typical questions so that there would always be consistent answers. Two presentations about the study were convened in September 1996 to two targeted audiences: the Middlesex County Transportation Coordinating Council and the local Chambers of Commerce.

Newsletter, Fact Sheets, and Mailing List

Newsletters were developed and mailed to Corridor Officials and others on the project’s mailing list to keep them advised of progress on a monthly basis. Numerous study documents and materials were mailed out to Collaborative members and the broader mailing list to keep interested parties abreast of project activities. The names, addresses and phone numbers of the Steering Committee were circulated in order to provide access. To promote awareness of regional and local transportation issues, fact sheets were also prepared for distribution through the Speakers’ Bureau.

Press Releases

Finally, a series of press releases were developed, beginning with the issuance of a press release announcing the start of the study in July 1996. Subsequent releases at various points during the process announced upcoming events and reported on the outcome of public outreach activities to keep the public apprised of the study’s progress.

Relevant information and opinions derived from the telephone survey, stakeholder interviews and focus groups helped drive strategy formation and are referenced in various sections throughout this report.

Continue on to
Strategy Determination Process