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Issue: 7                                       Government Services                           September 2014

 


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Welcome to Cross County Connection's Newsletter for Municipal and County Leaders! These newsletters will provide updates on recent transportation-related projects and accomplishments, regional transportation news, and major construction activity in southern New Jersey. Feel free to share with your staff, residents and local businesses. We hope you enjoy!

 

 

Policy Update: U.S. DOT Launches New Initiative to Address Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety

   

Last week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced a new initiative to address the growing number of pedestrians and bicyclists killed on U.S roadways every year. Fatalities among bicyclists and pedestrians have risen 15% since 2009. U.S. DOT has recognized that this is a primary concern for the agency as more and more states, cities and towns throughout the nation have taken measures to encourage the use of non-motorized forms of transportation.

This new safety initiative will take a comprehensive approach addressing infrastructure safety, education and data collection. Highlights from the initiative include:

  • Walk and Bike Assessments - on the ground safety assessments in selected corridors that will focus on the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians;
  • The Road Diet Guide - A publication highlighting best practices in the use of "road diets" to balance street space between all road users to improve safety, mobility and quality of life;
  • Guidelines on Separated Bike Lane Planning and Design - a document that will cover the planning and design consideration of separated bike lanes (aka protected bike lanes) that are physically separated from motor vehicle traffic to improve safety and comfort.

Stay posted for updates on U.S. DOT's progress on carrying out these initiatives. Cross County Connection TMA also provides similar services through our Walking and Bicycle Safety Audits, Safe Routes to School Travel Plans and will soon be releasing our own publication, "The Bicycle Facilities Design Toolkit," which will cover the basics of bikeway and bicycle supportive infrastructure design, including road diets and separated bike lanes.

 

If you have any questions regarding the U.S. DOT initiatives or Cross County Connection's Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, feel free to contact Patrick Farley, Land Use and Transportation Specialist, at (856) 596-8228 or Farley@driveless.com.

 

 

EcoChallenge: October 15th - 29th

       

Interested in organizing a municipal Green Challenge for Sustainable Jersey certification but not sure where to start? You don't have to develop a program from scratch - your community can earn points by participating in an established national challenge! October 15th - 29th is the annual EcoChallenge, hosted by the Northwest Earth Institute.

   

The EcoChallenge is an annual event that engages and challenges residents to change a habit for two weeks to reduce their environmental impact. On www.ecochallenge.org anyone can register, pick a challenge category (water, trash, energy, food, transportation, or civic engagement) set goals, and monitor progress. Participants earn points for setting and achieving targets and can form teams to engage in friendly competition. To earn Sustainable Jersey points for the Green Challenges and Community Programs action, 2.5% of residents or households must participant in the EcoChallenge. Cross County Connection had the pleasure of speaking with Ila Vassallo, member of Evesham's Environmental Commission and EcoChallenge Team Captain for Evesham's Green Team, to learn about her experience with the program.

 

Ila learned about the EcoChallenge during the 2013 Sustainable Jersey webinar about Green Challenges and helped organize the challenge in her community last year. She is also taking the lead with coordinating the EcoChallenge again this year. Public outreach was a crucial component to organizing a successful program and Evesham was very innovative in this respect. While traditional outreach methods were employed, such as distributing flyers to schools and posting a notice on the township's website, live registration on a tablet was also offered at Harvest Fest. This enabled interested residents to learn about the challenge and join on the spot. The Evesham Green Team did not pick a specific category for residents to participate in but rather invited interested individuals to join their EcoChallenge Team and select a challenge category of their choice. 

 

Ila explained that the EcoChallenge is a great tool to involve the community and quantify your impact, especially since the framework for organizing the challenge is already there. The activity attracted many participants last year, including a third grade class from Marlton Elementary. The class switched to reusable water bottles and bags, turned off lights and other electronics when not in use, picked up trash, increased recycling, and biked and walked whenever possible. This third grade class even received a Mayoral Proclamation for their efforts!

 

Last year several members of the Evesham EcoChallenge Team also participated in the alternative transportation challenge by chaining trips to reduce the amount they drive. While reducing or eliminating car usage can certainly be challenging, it can have a significant impact on reducing green house gas emissions and improving the environment. Don't hesitate to contact Cross County Connection to assist your team with organizing carpools or identifying car-free transportation options in your area.

 

 

Complete Streets in South Jersey

       

Communities demonstrate their commitment to creating roadways that are designed for everyone by adopting and implementing Complete Streets policies. Cross County Connection is in the process of meeting with representatives from the twenty-two Complete Streets communities in South Jersey to discuss the motivations for adopting the policy and learn about progress that has been made with implementing Complete Streets in the region. The findings from this process will be compiled into a report, entitled Complete Streets in South Jersey: Lessons Learned.

 

Medford Township and Woodbine Borough are examples of communities that have executed innovative pilot projects that showcase the benefits of having a Complete Streets policy. On Fairview Road in Medford, the township reduced the size of travel lanes to incorporate a wide shoulder when repaving the roadway. While this segment has not been marked as a bike route and a large portion of Fairview Road still has yet to be repaved, this kind of forward-thinking is at the heart of the concept of Complete Streets. Woodbine Borough has continued to build upon their already expansive bicycle and pedestrian network by improving targeted areas throughout the municipality, such as the intersection of Dehirsch Avenue and Madison Avenue. Woodbine installed a high-visibility brick crosswalk, a flashing LED pedestrian crossing sign, and ADA-compliant curb ramps at this intersection (shown above) to enhance safety and alert motorists to the presence of pedestrians.  

 

Has your community adopted a Complete Streets policy? If so, call us at (856) 596-8228 to share your story and be featured in next month's government services newsletter.

 

 

Camden County Freeholders Award Recreation Grants

 

On Friday, August 22nd, the Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders awarded more than two dozen grants to municipalities for enhancement projects at recreational facilities. The grants are funded through the Camden County Open Space Preservation Trust Fund.

Twenty-one towns received $25,000 each, while Cherry Hill and Gibbsboro received $50,000 and Voorhees Township received $72,600. Examples of projects include:

  • Camden City: Installation of an outdoor basketball court and play area at the city's Neighborhood Center
  • Cherry Hill Township: Upgrades to the HVAC at the Croft Farms Arts Center and for improvements at Kenilworth Park
  • Gibbsboro: Replacement of playground equipment at Laner Park and the expansion of the multi-use trail system along the Berlin Road Bikeway
  • Voorhees: Installation of exercise equipment at Connolly Park, improvements at the Sandpiper and Green Ridge Playgrounds and the installation of rock gabions and a wildflower meadow at the site of the Voorhees Environmental Park on Centennial Boulevard.

Other communities that received grants include Audubon Park, Bellmawr Borough, Berlin Township, Brooklawn, Chesilhurst, Collingswood, Gloucester City, Gloucester Township, Haddon Heights, Haddon Township, Laurel Springs, Lawnside, Lindenwold, Magnolia, Mount Ephraim, Oaklyn, Pennsauken, Pine Hill, Runnemede, Winslow, and Woodlynne.  

 

 

South Jersey News Flash


Wildwood seeks county money for beachfront bikeway
The Wildwood Leader | August 25, 2014

PATCO testing newly refurbished transit cars
Courier-Post | September 3, 2014

Vineland to redo Landis Avenue
The Daily Journal | September 8, 2014

NJ Transit plans to replace trains, buses and add seats
Asbury Park Press | September 10, 2014

NJ Transit expands mobile tickets to South Jersey
The Associated Press | September 11, 2014

Woodbine Municipal Airport receives FFA funding
Press of Atlantic City | September 11, 2014

 

Cross County Connection's Mission: To improve the quality of life in southern New Jersey through transportation solutions.

 

About Us: Cross County Connection, a nonprofit organization, partners with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), NJ TRANSIT, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO), member organizations and the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, to provide solutions to complex transportation problems for counties, municipalities and employers in the southern New Jersey region encompassing Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties. 

 

 

This Cross County Connection Transportation Management Association publication is funded by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. The U.S. Government and NJTPA assume no liability for the contents.  

 

 

                      

 

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