NJDOT ‘Complete Streets’ Policy receives top ranking
Tina Grady Barbaccia | May 24, 2011
The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has been recognized as a national
leader for advancing ‘Complete Streets’ policies which promote safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and other users of New Jersey roadways.
NJDOT’s Policy received the highest ranking among the more than 210 communities and states that have adopted formal Complete Streets policies, according to a new report released by the National Complete Streets Coalition. New Jersey was one of the first ten states in the nation to make Complete Streets an official internal policy.
“Our ‘Complete Streets’ policy enhances safety for all users of our roads by integrating the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists and others into the earliest stages of project planning and design,” said NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson. “This approach is far more cost-effective than retrofitting improvements into a completed project.”
NJDOT finalized a ‘Complete Streets’ policy in December 2009. The policy requires that future roadway improvement projects include safe accommodations for all users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, transit riders and the mobility-impaired.
This policy is implemented through the planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of new or rehabilitated transportation facilities within public rights-of-way that are federally or state funded, including projects processed or administered by the Department.
Some high-profile projects in New Jersey that feature ‘Complete Streets’ elements:
• The new Route 36 Highlands Bridge over the Shrewsbury River, opened to traffic in December 2010, incorporates a complete street design that provides a new pedestrian overpass in Sea Bright.
• Both the on-going Route 52 Causeway replacement project in Somers Point and Ocean City and the proposed Route 72 Manahawkin Bay bridge rehabilitation project in Stafford and Ship Bottom will both fully accommodate all users upon completion.
• A proposed reconfiguration of Route 45 in Woodbury Township will convert the multi-lane roadway into a narrower roadway with new turning movements and multi-use accommodation.
According the complete Streets Coalition report, adoption of Complete Streets policies has been accelerating, with the number of communities adopting policies roughly doubling each of the last three years. More than 200 policies directing transportation professionals to begin transforming their transportation networks into ‘Complete Streets’ were in place by the end of 2010.
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