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Two More Communities Adopt Complete Streets Policies, More Likely

August 25, 2010

A common sight across NJ. Source: blogs.indystar.com

The adoption of a statewide complete streets policy by the New Jersey Department of Transportation was a major milestone for those who believe New Jersey’s streets should be designed for all users, not just drivers. But because only a small percentage of roads in the state are actually controlled by the DOT, the hope was that the real impact of the policy would be to encourage counties and municipalities, which control the vast majority of the state’s roads, to follow suit by adopting their own complete streets policies. Indeed, the DOT addresses this dynamic in its policy: “The Department strongly encourages the adoption of similar policies by regional and local jurisdictions who apply for funding through Local Aid programs.”

Since the DOT adopted its policy in fall 2009, few jurisdictions have heeded the call to adopt their own complete streets policies to govern local roads. That is starting to change, however. In July, we noted that Monmouth had become the first county, and West Windsor Township the second municipality, to adopt a complete streets policy. Now, the Boroughs of Red Bank and Netcong have joined the ranks of municipalities with their own complete streets policies.  And they likely won’t be the last. Sustainable Jersey, a program that provides certification and funding to “green” municipalities, awards points toward certification to municipalities that adopt their own complete streets policies (guidelines here). In addition, the NJDOT and the Voorhees Transportation Center will be hosting a “Complete Streets Summit” on October 22 at Rutgers University. The summit is designed to “educate engineers, planners and elected officials about Complete Streets, its benefits and costs, and how to overcome barriers to implementing a Complete Streets policy.”

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