Communities across South Jersey are discovering that trails offer more than simply recreation – they attract visitors who spend money at local businesses, they attract residents who have a choice in where to live, they give communities places to engage in safe, healthy activities – in short they are an investment in our communities, an investment in South Jersey.
Counties and municipalities across South Jersey have been working for years to bring trails to their communities. South Jersey Trails is about raising the profile of these efforts and thinking about these assets in a regional context. SJTPO hopes to strengthen existing local efforts by organizing them, raising their profile, and expanding the options available to fund these community assets.
South Jersey Trails Design Guide
The first step of this effort was to brand the effort and organize the way we communicate about South Jersey Trails. To this end, SJTPO brought in a team of experts in planning, branding, and bicycle and pedestrian advocacy to assess our existing conditions, get feedback from bicycle and pedestrian stakeholders, and use that to develop a brand and series of recommendations for taking South Jersey Trails to the next level.
Next Steps for South Jersey Trails
To advance South Jersey Trails, actionable steps must be identified and carried out. SJTPO and the project team have identified a number of next steps to ensure that South Jersey Trails continues to develop and reap benefits to South Jersey. These actions may be conducted in any order, based on opportunities or funding that becomes available.
- Conduct an assessment of Right-of-Way in South Jersey that may be conducive to expanding the South Jersey Trails network (currently funded through FY 2020 UPWP: Regional Trail Network – Feasibility Survey (2-year) anticipated for 2020-2021).
- Advance critical gaps in existing trail network.
- Establish a South Jersey Trails Coalition and Steering Committee to guide the effort in a way that reflects the region’s needs and values.
- Identify and advance opportunities to connect with The Circuit Trails in the Philadelphia region.
- Establish a South Jersey Trails counting program to assess existing and future growth in utilization.
- Identify funding sources and partners that can enable a planning process that keeps a regular stream of projects to advance for construction.
- Develop a South Jersey Trails Master Plan.
- Implement the South Jersey Trails Master Plan.