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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Needs Analysis?

The Route 21 Newark Needs Analysis will study how to improve the safety and operation of Route 21 (McCarter Highway) from Murray Street (milepost 1.10) to Edison Place (milepost 2.15).

(click on photo to enlarge)

route 21 photo
Q. Would there be a new speed limit on a rebuilt Route 21?
A. The speed limit on this section of the highway would most likely be 35 mph as it is through downtown Newark.
Q. Would there be improvements to pedestrian crosswalks and signals?
A. Highway improvements would include using new materials, hardware, fixtures, etc., including the latest crossing signals with added safety features. The pavement materials and/or color could be different at the crosswalks from that in the road.
Q. Why not just widen the road?
A. Widening may or may not be a component of the overall solution to these issues.
Q. Are there locations where most accidents occur?
A. Yes. Each accident location is pinpointed to determine "hot spots", for example, South Street. The design will address these problem areas by identifying the causes of the problem and designing solutions.
Q. What are the other public projects in the area?
A. Improvements to Route 21 to the north along the Passaic River to Clay Street and the Route 21 Viaduct to the south are under construction or have recently been completed. The nearby Newark Arena is being built by the City of Newark.
Q. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has shown a four-lane concept similiar to the existing condition and a six-lane concept significantly wider that includes a sidewalk on the northbound side. Is there an "in-between" concept?
A. Not at this time. As soon as the highway is widened, right of way impacts require property acquisition on the western side. There is no way of widening on the eastern side. As a result NJDOT has maximized the use of the acquired parcels for the six-lane concept.
Q. Will the appearance of the area change?
A. This highway project presents an opportunity to incorporate aesthetic improvements along this one-mile section of Route 21 (McCarter Highway). NJDOT will work with Newark and other local stakeholders to create a southern "gateway" into the city.
Q. Would NJDOT eliminate any traffic signals or cross streets?
A. No. The current plan is to maintain east-west travel on the cross streets as it exists today. The signals allow the traffic to cross Route 21. If some cross streets were eliminated, there would be congestion and backups on those that remain.
Q. What would remain beyond the sidewalk on the southbound side in the six-lane concept?
A. NJDOT would put in the sidewalks. Additional property from the unused portion of the parcels that were taken for right of way would be vacant. These could be landscaped and/or taken over by the city or by another party.
Q. Will access for special needs patrons be addressed?
A. The community outreach process offers opportunities to address issues faced by special needs patrons. This project must consider accessibility enhancements.
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  Last Updated:  August 4, 2006