The Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center announces the recipients of the 2017 Complete Streets Excellence and Complete Streets Champion awards.
The Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University, in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Transportation, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Complete Streets Excellence Awards and the 2017 Complete Streets Champion Awards. The awards will be presented during a luncheon at the 2017 Complete Streets Summit on October 24, 2017 in New Brunswick, NJ.
The 2017 Complete Streets Excellence Awards will go to six to municipalities/counties/projects that have demonstrated excellence in Complete Streets implementation. This year’s recipients are Millburn Township, The Borough of Somerville, Cape May County, The Ironbound Neighborhood in the City of Newark, Kings Highway Trail, and the City of Morristown.
The 2017 Complete Street Champion Awards will go to four individuals/groups/teams that have demonstrated commitment to advancing Complete Streets in their communities. This year’s recipients are the Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition; Burlington City High School; The Honorable William Pickolycky, Mayor of Woodbine; and The Honorable Bill Curtis, Mayor of Bay Head and GO Bay Head.
According to Smart Growth America, “Complete Streets” are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work. There is no singular design prescription for Complete Streets; each one is unique and responds to the context of the community.
“We were incredibly pleased with the quality of nominations we received for the 2017 awards,” said Charles Brown, Senior Research Manager at the Voorhees Transportation Center. “In total, New Jersey has 135 municipalities and eight counties that are advancing Complete Streets policies, which shows a real state-wide commitment to improving safety for ALL who use the roadways. The 2017 award recipients have gone above and beyond in implementing Complete Streets programs that have affected real change in their communities. We are proud to be honoring them.”
The award winners were decided by the 2017 Complete Streets Summit Planning Committee, chaired by Mr. Brown. The committee also included representatives from The Office of Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs at the New Jersey Department of Transportation, The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Authority, The South Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, The New Jersey Bike&Walk Coalition, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Sustainable Jersey, The Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University, NJ TRANSIT, and other experts on Complete Streets policy and implementation.
Brief summaries of each award recipient are listed below. Additional information about the 2017 Complete Street Summit can be found at http://njbikeped.org/2017-new-jersey-complete-streets-summit/
Excellence Awards (6)
- Millburn Township: In July 2014, Millburn Township adopted a Complete Streets Policy outlining a series of goals and objectives to make the streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists, improve traffic flow, calm traffic where appropriate, and enhance the vibrancy of Millburn’s streets. Since that time, the Township has made tremendous and, in some cases, unprecedented strides in the development and implementation of Complete Streets. Most notably, the township committed nearly $8.5 million to improve pedestrian safety and economic vitality in the downtown.
- Somerville: Complete Streets ideals have been part of the planning process in Somerville since before the term became well-known. An innovative pedestrian mall anchors the center of the municipality and serves as a regional gathering place, while a nearby road diet calms traffic and enhances access to the train station. Somerville is a testament that even a small municipality can implement Complete Streets projects and enjoy the rewards.
- Cape May County: Cape May County’s dedicated funding source for Complete Streets projects sets it apart from other counties in the state. It has allowed them to aggressively promote Complete Streets projects throughout the county, including a county-wide bicycle and pedestrian wayfinding system and trails connecting various attractions throughout the county including the Cape May Zoo and Cape May–Lewes Ferry.
- Ironbound, Newark: Over the last two years the City of Newark, with support from NJDOT, completed Bike Ironbound, a bicycle master plan for the City’s Ironbound neighborhood. The forward-thinking plan identified opportunities to create a low-stress bicycle network throughout the neighborhood and better link the neighborhood to Newark Penn Station and the riverfront, including a concept to transform Raymond Boulevard into a Complete Street. Throughout the Ironbound, evidence of the plan is clear with dedicated facilities for bicyclists and traffic calming and safety benefits for all street users.
- King’s Highway Trail: This segment of trail fills in an essential gap in the Lawrence Hopewell Trail, provides sorely needed local pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and addresses existing drainage deficiencies in the adjacent neighborhood. First proposed 12 years ago, the 6/10-mile trail overcame a number of challenges and now provides crosswalk striping and signals, a separated multi-use trail, and permeable pavement in an unlikely setting in suburban New Jersey.
- Morristown: Morristown was the first municipality in New Jersey to implement a Complete Streets checklist to guide all new development projects. In addition to a bevy of off-road, multi-use trails such as Patriot’s Path, Morristown has provided right-of-way access to bicyclists by means of sharrows and signage declaring “Bicycle May Use Full Lane.” Additionally, Morristown’s Complete Streets projects offer wide sidewalks for pedestrians, ADA compliant ramps, parallel parking in both directions as a means of slowing traffic and providing a buffer for pedestrians, and transit access.
Champion Awards (4)
- Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition: The coalition’s successful advocacy from October 2015 to May 2017 resurrected the Complete Streets road diet of Main Street (Rote 71) in Asbury Park. This project will transform Main Street from a dangerous, high speed arterial roadway to a safe, economically viable corridor that will also serve to unite the city’s east and west sides, bringing underserved communities closer to the downtown, the waterfront, and to their jobs, with safer access to all. The APCSC worked very closely with the New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition throughout their campaign and have become a model for local advocates around the state.
- Burlington City High School: After the tragic death of Burlington High School student and pedestrian, Antwan L. Timbers, Jr., the staff and students of Burlington City High School mobilized to advance changes to the Route 130 corridor near the school. Following the students’ “25 Saves Lives” campaign, a Senate bill was drafted to address speeding in school zones throughout the state and NJDOT implemented a road diet to reduce vehicle speeds and calm traffic on Route 130 in Burlington City, a segment of road that has been identified as the most dangerous in the state for pedestrians by Tri-State Transportation Campaign.
- The Honorable William Pickolycky, Mayor of Woodbine: After passing a Complete Streets policy in late 2012, the Borough of Woodbine proactively secured funds to support Complete Streets improvements throughout the town. Some of the improvements have included rail trails, bicycle trail connections to the Belleplain State Forest, and an active Safe Routes to School program.
- The Honorable Bill Curtis, Mayor of Bay Head and GO Bay Head: Mayor Curtis along with GO Bay Head, a citizen campaign under the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, has worked tirelessly to promote Complete Streets ideals throughout the community. Programming such as Walking Wednesdays at Bay Head’s public schools, Bike Safety Week, and a gold level Safe Routes to School Program, are just a few examples of the township’s commitment to active transportation and safer streets for all.