A great and informative blog post today at one of our colleague blogs, the New Jersey Walks & Bikes blog, about the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s “Safe Streets to Transit” program.
The Safe Streets to Transit program provides $5 million as a means to provide funding to counties and municipalities with transit facilities in need of improvement and accessibility upgrades. The program seeks to encourage transit users to walk, thereby leaving their cars at home and reducing the number of short trips (less than one half mile) being made unnecessarily by daily commuters. Current funding for the program has been reduced to $500,000 for fiscal year 2012, but grants will continue to be awarded to counties and municipalities who apply through the System for Administering Grants Electronically (SAGE) on the NJDOT website. The program’s objectives are:
- To improve the overall safety and accessibility for mass transit riders walking to transit facilities.
- To encourage mass transit users to walk to transit stations.
- To facilitate the implementation of projects and activities that will improve safety in the vicinity of transit facilities (approximately one-half mile for pedestrian improvements).
As noted in the NJ Bikes and Walks blog, grants from the program have been distributed over the past 5 years, with initial grants having been awarded to fifteen municipalities in December 2008. Significant pedestrian safety improvements that included traffic calming, sidewalk/curb improvements, or access improvements received awards that varied from approximately $27,000 to $275,000. Specific examples include an award to the City of Camden, of $170,000 to improve pedestrian access to one station that serves both the PATCO High-Speedline and the NJ Transit RiverLINE. Similarly, the City of Hoboken received and award of $80,000 to improve pedestrian safety on Hudson Place, which is located near both NJ Transit and Port Authority of NY/NJ facilities.
Despite a drop in funding for fiscal year 2012, the New Jersey Department of Transportation remains dedicated to the improvement of pedestrian facilities across the state. For more information on how to apply for Local Aid please contact the NJ Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center at firstname.lastname@example.org, and for more information on this program, check out the DOT’s program page.
On the Move readers, what ideas do you have for transit-adjacent areas in the Mercer-Ocean region that could use some improvement of pedestrian facilities? We want to hear your ideas, and hear about where you’ve seen problems on-the-ground. Let us know!