April 2018 CAC Meeting: Review of Technical Studies

At the April 30, 2018 Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting, SJTPO staff presented on current and upcoming technical studies, as well as internal efforts. One of the six current technical studies mentioned was the Ocean Drive (CR 621) Upgrades and Bridge Improvements Local Concept Development Study. Jennifer Marandino, the project manager, indicated that the study was initiated by Cape May County for three main bridges located along the Ocean Drive (CR 621) Causeway. Ms. Marandino went on to explain that the study was a significant undertaking for SJTPO, as it is one of the most expensive studies ever managed by SJTPO, costing over $1,000,000. To learn more about the study, please visit the project’s website.

After discussion on current studies, SJTPO staff offered an overview of seven upcoming technical studies. One of the studies noted was the Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail Network – Communications and Marketing Plan. Alan Huff, the project manager, stated that SJTPO is eager to begin the study, as it aligns with the goal established in the 2016 regional transportation plan, Transportation Matters, “to develop and implement a vision for a regional trail network to connect major attractions within the region and neighboring regions.” The consultant for the study, TransPro Consulting, LLC., in partnership with the New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition and Kayla Creative are anticipated to begin the project in June 2018.

The last topic on the agenda was to discuss internal efforts to be completed by staff members. One noteworthy effort is an update to the 2010 Pubic Involvement Plan (PIP). Melissa Melora, the Public Outreach Planner will manage this task. At the July 30, 2018 CAC meeting, SJTPO will present on public involvement, requirements, current practices, and hear from CAC members and the public on what they hope to see in the updated plan.

To stay informed on SJTPO technical studies, please visit our RFP webpage. You can also get more information about the Citizens Advisory Committee, as well as meeting agendas and approved minutes, here.

Submissions for Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and Safe Routes to School Funding Being Accepted Through September 18th.

Does your community have important bicycle and pedestrian project needs? The Safe Routes to Schools program and Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) may be able to provide funding. Applications for the 2018 Program are now being accepted through September 18, 2018. Similar to the 2016 Program, applications must be submitted via Sage. County and municipal governments among others are eligible to apply.

To avoid common mistakes, review “How to Maximize Your Chances of Success” as well as other useful resources on our TAP and Safe Routes pages.

Attend a Free Workshop for Applicants of Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and Safe Routes to School Funding

If you are considering submitting an application for the 2018 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) or Safe Routes to School program you should attend one of the free workshops being held by the Safe Routes to School Resource Center. These workshops will provide very useful information on how to submit a successful application and how to avoid common mistakes that can disqualify an application.

You can join SJTPO and others at a workshop at Cumberland County College on Wednesday, May 23rd from 10 am to Noon. To register to attend, click here.

More information about the workshops, including additional locations outside of the region, as well as the two programs are available on our TAP page and Safe Routes pages.

Over $13 Million in Local Safety Projects Advance for Funding

Through the Local Safety Program, SJTPO works with state and local agencies to address roadway safety issues by funding targeted safety improvements in the four-county SJTPO region. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, $13,009,250 in projects were funded through the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), which aims to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries (F&SI) on public roads through a data-driven, strategic approach to improving highway safety.

A total of sixteen project applications were submitted throughout the region to the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). Once submitted, the applications went through a rigorous, multi-step review process by a Technical Review Committee (TRC), comprised of SJTPO staff and NJDOT Staff including Local Aid, the Bureau of Environmental Program Resources, and the Bureau of Traffic Data and Safety. Together, the Committee determined if the proposed improvement would be a good use of local safety dollars by assessing the safety need, that the need was being addressed by the proposed improvements, and that the benefit of the project outweighed the cost. The Committee also assured that the projects aligned with the investment goals jointly established by the FHWA, NJDOT, and the three New Jersey MPOs. The investment goals established by these entities targeted intersection, pedestrian, and lane departure crashes, as these represented the largest number of fatal and serious injury crashes occurring throughout the state.

On March 5, 2018, with only minor modifications, the Committee approved each of the project applications submitted by the SJTPO. Of the applications, one project will take place in Atlantic County, one in Cape May County, twelve in Cumberland County, and two in Salem County. In Atlantic County, safety improvements will focus on lane departure prevention in Egg Harbor Township through the installation of centerline rumble strips at a number of locations. The funding for this improvement project totals $618,195. Safety improvements in Cape May County will also focus on lane departure prevention through the installation of centerline rumble strips on various roadways throughout the County, totaling $736,351. In Cumberland County, ten projects will focus on intersection improvements through the installation of an all-way stop at various locations, primarily in rural areas, totaling $1,104,400. Two additional safety improvement projects in Cumberland County will focus on lane departure improvements at curves through the installation of a high friction surface treatment to the roadway, as well as regulatory and warning signage upgrades. The total funding for these improvements is $4,084,500. In Salem County, a total of $6,465,804 in funds will be allocated for pedestrian and intersection safety improvements in the City of Salem, on Walnut Street at the intersections of Smith Street, Wesley Street, and Church/Belden Street, where pedestrian crashes have occurred. And lastly, in Salem County, crashes at the Six Points intersection, at Garden Road, Parvin Mill Road, and Alvine Road in Pittsgrove Township, will be addressed through the construction of a modern roundabout.

The SJTPO is pleased to report that each of the projects selected by the Technical Review Committee satisfy, and even exceed the annual funding goal of $3,500,000 for the three investment strategies. The SJTPO is also hopeful that these projects, along with its safety educational outreach will help to reduce the number of crashes and fatalities that occur on the region’s roadways each year.