State funded projects will help East Orange make local quality of life improvements

TRENTON — The Murphy Administration today announced Local Aid grants totaling $3 million to help 13 municipalities advance Transit Village, Safe Streets to Transit, and Bikeway projects that will improve the quality of life for New Jersey residents without burdening local property tax payers. 

“In a state as densely populated as New Jersey, it is important that we encourage the use of alternate forms of transportation, such as biking or public transportation,” said Governor Murphy. “These grants support biking, walking, and mass transit programs designed to help drive better health and environmental outcomes that make New Jersey a more livable state.”

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The three programs — Bikeway, Safe Streets to Transit and Transit Villages — each provide $1 million in grants annually as part of NJDOT’s Local Aid program funded through the State Transportation Trust Fund (TTF). Projects for each program are awarded on a competitive basis.

“The Department of Transportation does much more than just maintain roads and bridges,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti.  “Our Local Aid grants, including the Bikeways, Safe Streets to Transit, and Transit Village programs, provide funding to communities that develop projects to improve the quality of life for our residents and visitors to our state.” 

Bikeway Program

The Bikeway Grant Program provides $1 million in grants annually to counties and municipalities in order to promote bikeways as an alternate mode of transportation that support the State’s goal of achieving 1,000 new miles of dedicated bikeways in New Jersey. 

Each municipality may submit one application, and each county may submit one countywide project application as well. Projects are awarded on a competitive basis taking into consideration new bike miles created, safety, connectivity, service to public, Complete Streets Policy and applicant’s past performance using other Local Aid funds. The following three municipalities received grants totaling $1 million available in FY 2020 Bikeway grant program:

East Windsor, Mercer County:                  $450,000

Lakewood, Ocean County:                       $375,000

Pennsville, Salem County:                       $175,000 

Safe Streets to Transit

The Safe Streets to Transit (SSTT) program is one of several pedestrian safety initiatives funded through the State Transportation Trust Fund (TTF). The SSTT program provides funding to counties and municipalities to improve the overall safety and accessibility for mass transit riders walking to transit facilities. The program encourages transit users to walk to transit stations, and facilitates the implementation of projects and activities that will improve pedestrian conditions within a 1-mile radius from a transit facility or station. 

Projects are awarded on a competitive basis taking into consideration proximity to a transit facility, safety, accessibility, project need and applicant’s past performance using other Local Aid funds. The following four municipalities received grants totaling $1 million available in the FY 2020 Safe Streets to Transit grant program:

Jersey City, Hudson County:                    $400,000

Milleville, Cumberland County:                 $210,000

Somers Point, Atlantic County:                $200,000

Trenton, Mercer County:                        $190,000

Transit Village Program

The Transit Village program is a multi-agency smart growth initiative, in which municipalities that have transit facilities within their borders can seek to be designated as a Transit Village by developing plans for dense, mixed-use redevelopment that includes housing near their transit facility. The facility can service commuter rail, bus, ferry, or light rail.  The initiative creates incentives to revitalize areas around transit stations to create attractive, vibrant, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods where people can live, shop, work and play without relying on automobiles.

Today, there are 33 municipalities in the transit village program. Among the benefits of the transit village designation are coordination among the state agencies that make up the Transit Village Task Force, priority funding and technical assistance from some state agencies, and enhanced eligibility for grants. 

Each municipality with a Transit Village designation may submit one application for funding. Applications must be for projects located within one-half mile of the transit facility and the projects are awarded on a competitive basis taking into consideration proximity to a transit facility, walkability, bicycling, project need and applicant’s past performance using other Local Aid funds. The following six municipalities received grants totaling $1 million available in the FY 2020 Transit Village grant program:

Long Branch, Monmouth County:             $475,000

Rutherford, Bergen County:                     $210,000

Plainfield, Union County:                         $150,000

Irvington, Essex County:                        $100,000

West Windsor, Mercer County:                 $40,000

East Orange, Essex County:                    $25,000

The Transit Village Program, Safe Streets to Transit program and Bikeway Program, as well as other Local Aid state-funded grant programs, benefit residents by enabling local governments to significantly reduce or eliminate reliance on local property tax dollars to support their projects.