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New Jersey Future In Transportation

New Jersey FIT: Future In Transportation


Partnerships and Programs

NJFIT is helping to build a better New Jersey through partnerships that advance strategic state objectives, support regional and local safety and travel and quality of life objectives. Public-private partnerships help businesses and volunteer service organizations meet travel needs and reduce social and environmental costs. Some of our partners and related programs available under the NJFIT program are listed below.

Partnership opportunities:
Working together to create a healthier New Jersey

Programs:
Grants and planning assistance

NJFIT will maximize community benefits of transportation programs that meet the needs of the traveling public. Several New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) programs support this effort including the Transportation Enhancements Program. This program provides funding for bicycle, pedestrian, rails-to-trails, scenic byways and other community-enhancing transportation projects. The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program (CMAQ) funds transportation projects that improve air quality in areas that don't meet national air quality standards. The Local Bicycle/Pedestrian Planning Assistance helps implement the Statewide Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan.

NJFIT helps improve transportation planning capacity at the local level through its Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP). Through LTAP, the NJDOT Systems Development and Analysis Bureau provides planning assistance to communities, including an on-call team of consultants available to municipalities that are working to improve their transportation planning. NJFIT will help link LTAP programs with local land use planning initiatives to integrate Transportation and Land Use planning at the local and county levels.

Local planning and community development
Transportation influences land use by improving access to adjacent properties and is controlled by new land development that creates new travel demands. NJFIT encourages this transportation/land use connection (T/LU) by becoming involved in partnerships with all levels of government and the private sector to promote cooperative transportation and land use decision-making. NJFIT fully supports the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Office of Smart Growth cross-acceptance program that aims to coordinate state, regional and local land development decisions to reduce the total burden of travel on our transportation network. NJFIT encourages local zoning, master planning and site development and redevelopment planning as a core element of all transportation project planning.

NJDOT also provides significant municipal and county transportation assistance under the Local Aid and Economic Development Program. In addition, the Centers of Place program assists municipalities that participate in implementation of the New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan (SDRP). Grants of $750,000 to $3 million are awarded under this program to encourage development where infrastructure exists to accommodate that growth. A special Park and Ride initiative seeks to promote smart growth by providing more than 20,000 additional parking spaces close to mass-transit facilities in order to relieve congestion and provide new transportation choices to New Jersey communities. Since the inception of this program in January 2002, more than 14,000 commuter parking spaces have been constructed throughout the State.

Local scoping program
NJFIT is about community fitness and health - social, environmental and economic. It is about meeting the travel needs of a community in a manner that promotes community development and quality of life through projects that "fit" into the community. This includes support for initiatives such as Context Sensitive Design (including flexibility in project design), transit-oriented development and main street revitalization projects. However, these projects are successful only through intense community involvement in their conception, scoping and development. NJFIT encourages participation in early project decision-making, either directly or through the social and organizational networks of the community. Get involved through the regional planning agency or Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), which has numerous opportunities for community involvement in transportation decisions that determine the shape and livability for your community.

Mobility management
Reliable employees are crucial to the success of any business. However, sometimes employees will have a situation that requires providing transportation services to a friend or family member during the work day. NJFIT encourages the creation of public-private mobility services, some of which are subsidized through tax breaks or program funding such as employer-provided para-transit vans, carpool and rideshare programs, transportation management associations, guaranteed ride home programs, and the commuter choice program which allows transit trips to be funded from pre-tax income. These mobility services provide transportation choices to employees that improve employee reliability, increase employee job satisfaction and help relieve peak hour traffic demand.

Personal travel and safety
NJFIT will help you meet travel needs safely through walking and cycling, including helping make trip choices that include walking links. On average, a household makes about 12 automobile trips per day (both leaving home and returning), all of which involve at least some walking. If just one of those trips was converted from a car trip to a walking or cycling trip, the total burden on our transportation system would be reduced by almost 10 percent. NJFIT helps expand the range of travel choices through its Pedestrian Safety and Bike Grant Programs and Safe Routes to School Program so that trips to work, shopping and social activities are easy, enjoyable and partly walkable.

New Jersey seniors: a driving force for health and safety
NJDOT and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) have joined forces in an
interdepartmental effort to improve senior mobility, safety and health. A key element in this initiative is a health and safety pilot program at three locations across New Jersey. The pilot program identifies location-specific 3-E (engineering, education and enforcement) safety improvements. This effort is a prototype to allow for testing the effectiveness and public acceptance of the identified measures for potential replication on a wider basis.
Safety Impact Team photo
Safety Impact Team members brainstorm solutions for engineering, education and enforcement improvements.

Three program locations have been selected:

  • Grand Avenue (Route 93) and West Central Boulevard (County Route 501) in Palisades Park Borough, Bergen County - based on a high rate of pedestrian crashes over the past several years.
  • Route 22 and Washington Avenue in Green Brook Township, Somerset County - based on a high rate of motor vehicle crashes over the past several years.
  • Route 71 Corridor, Asbury Park, Monmouth County - based on a high crash rate along the corridor.

All locations have high concentrations of senior citizen residents and have senior citizen centers in close proximity.

The pilot program at each location featured two events:

  • A Senior Health and Safety Program co-hosted by NJDOT and NJDHSS featuring organizations such as American Automobile Association (AAA), Association of American Retired Persons (AARP) and the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). The program provides an opportunity to distribute educational materials related to senior health and safety to area residents. Seniors in attendance are also asked to provide feedback on health and safety resources, concerns and recommendations.
Engineers, planners, representatives from AAA and AARP and senior citizens photo
Engineers, planners, representatives from AAA and AARP and senior citizens working together to make driving safer for seniors.
  • A safety audit to determine potential engineering and enforcement improvements for the study intersection. This audit is conducted by a multi-disciplinary Safety Impact Team (SIT) of professionals, advocates and citizens which tours the intersection and then brainstorms recommendations based on the field observations. Candidate engineering improvements are primarily low-cost measures, such as enhanced signing and striping, reflectorized curbs, lighting enhancements and pedestrian accommodation improvements. As of May 2009, improvements were constructed at the first two locations; the Asbury Park improvements have yet to be constructed.

Transit
Housing experts predict that up to 70 percent of new housing demand over the next 30 years will be in already urbanized areas. This shift in land settlement patterns will present major opportunities for New Jersey, which is already the most densely populated state in the United States. NJFIT anticipates this shift through its Transit Village Initiative which partners with New Jersey communities to provide more travel choices by helping them develop around transit facilities. Transit Villages are designated by the interagency Transit Village Task Force. In order to be designated a Transit Village, the municipality must document that there are multiple Transit Oriented Development projects planned for the area within the district. Designation provides a municipality with the following benefits:

  • State of New Jersey commitment to the municipality's vision for redevelopment
  • Coordination among the state agencies that make up the Transit Village Task Force.
  • Priority funding from some state agencies.
  • Technical assistance from some state agencies.
  • Eligibility for grants from the NJDOT.

In 2009, 20 designated Transit Villages existed in New Jersey. This program, also supported by the Office of Smart Growth and eight other state agencies, helps reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and promote transit ridership, thus improving both personal health and the fiscal health of transit operations.

NJFIT also works with a new program, the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Program, a tax credit program established to stimulate private capital investment, business development and employment within nine eligible municipalities to encourage redevelopment at locations served by transit. Nine Urban Transit Hubs are presently located within a half mile of a NJ TRANSIT, PATH or PATCO (heavy rail) stations. Three municipalities (Elizabeth, New Brunswick and Jersey City) are designated as both Urban Transit Hubs and Transit Villages.

NJFIT also works through NJ TRANSIT to support the Transit Friendly Program to improve the customer experience in accessing public transit facilities. NJFIT supports the numerous Smart Growth Planning Tools developed by NJ TRANSIT to enhance travel options and reduce auto dependency and congestion. These tools, which include Planning for Transit-Friendly Land Use: A Handbook for New Jersey Communities, planning assistance from on-call technical consultants and the Smart Commute Initiative, among others, provide opportunities for the community to enhance its transit options and focus. Eleven municipalities participated in the Transit-Friendly Communities for New Jersey (TFC) Pilot Program from 1999 - 2002 with great success.

 
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  Last Updated:  January 11, 2011