The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority’s Board of Trustees approved funding for 27 transportation alternative projects totaling $19.46 million, including pedestrian and bicycle facilities, trails, improved access to transit and environmental and historic preservation.
“These are important projects that will improve safety and enhance the quality of life in communities across our region,” said Somerset County Freeholder Peter S. Palmer, Chairman of the NJTPA Board of Trustees. “This funding will pay for trail work along the Morris Canal, improve access to train stations and make our sidewalks and streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.”
The Board voted to accept the projects at its July 11, 2017 meeting. The projects, which have already been approved by New Jersey Commissioner of Transportation Richard Hammer, are in 26 municipalities in 10 different counties in the NJTPA region.
The Transportation Alternatives Program is funded by the Federal Highway Administration. The program is administered by the New Jersey Department of Transportation in partnership with the NJTPA and the state’s other two Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs).
Projects must meet at least one of the following seven criteria to be considered for funding:
- Design and construction of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorized forms of transportation
- Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorized transportation users.
- Construction of scenic turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas.
- Historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities both land and water such as building structures and canals.
- Community improvement activities, specifically: streetscaping and corridor landscaping.
- Environmental mitigation to address stormwater management, control, and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff.
- Reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality or to restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats.
Park Ridge Borough was awarded $357,000.00 for the Park Avenue Streetscape. This grant combined with a $220,000.00 Safe Streets grant, which was awarded to Park Ridge in 2016, will be used traffic calming elements and pedestrian improvements along Park Avenue.