Freeholder John W. Bartlett Elected 2nd Vice-Chair of NJTPA, Board Approves $50.8 Million in Safety Grants

At the January reorganization meeting of the New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, the Board of Trustees elected Freeholder John W. Bartlett as Second Vice-Chair.

The NJTPA is the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for 13 northern New Jersey counties. Under federal legislation, MPOs provide a forum where local officials, public transportation providers and state agency representatives can come together and cooperatively plan to meet the region’s current and future transportation needs. It establishes the region’s eligibility to receive federal tax dollars for transportation projects.

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The NJTPA is an MPO, or Metropolitan Planning Organization, encompassing 13 counties in northern New Jersey.  The MPOs offer a forum, under federal law, for public transport providers, state agency representatives, and public officials to plan and address the transportation needs of the region.  It further establishes a means for the 13 counties to obtain federal tax funds towards transportation projects.

The NJTPA oversees a wide spectrum of transportation-based responsibilities.  Bartlett said. “Transportation investments are essential to supporting businesses and improving residents’ quality of life in northern New Jersey.  From rural road safety to helping visitors access our urban centers, serving on NJTPA has been a way to accomplish those goals in a way that benefits not just Passaic County but our neighbors across northern New Jersey.”

Freeholder Bartlett begins his fifth year, having been elected in 2012 and joining the Board of Trustees itself in 2013.  Last year, Bartlett began serving as the Vice Chair of the Freight Initiatives Committee.  Back home in Passaic County, Freeholder Bartlett is the chairman of the Public Works Committee and has served several times as the Chairman of the Freeholder Board’s Planning and Economic Development Committee.

Obtaining his bachelor of arts from Brown University in 1995, Bartlett was a Raoul Wallenberg Scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem the following year.  While in Israel, he wrote for the Associated Press.  Bartlett also worked as director of communications for Fight Crime: Invest in Kids in Washington, DC.  He continued his education at Harvard Law School and obtained his J.D. in 2001.  Presently, Bartlett is a partner in Murphy Orlando LLC which deals with estate, commercial, appellate litigation, election finance law, and counseling and litigation for tax exempt organizations.  Rated the highest review possible of AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, he was listed among the NJ Law Journal’s “Forty Under 40” of young top attorneys eight years ago.  In addition, Freeholder Bartlett served as the founding Chairman of the Board of Friends of Passaic County Parks and began a series of concerts and venues for locals to sponsor commemorations for deceased loved ones in the form of plaques, benches, trees, and more.  Bartlett is also the author of “Getting Back on the Road: A Manual for Addressing Driver’s License Suspension in New Jersey” (N.J. Institute for Social Justice, first ed. 2003, second ed. 2008).

Freeholder Director Sandi Lazzara praised Bartlett’s hard work and dedication to the county and to the NJTPA.  “By taking such an active role with NJTPA over the past five years, John has helped bring tens of millions of dollars into Passaic County, improving our roads and mass transit infrastructure while making our county a safer place to drive, bike, and walk.”

The same day, $50.8 million in grants were approved for public safety projects, statewide, including $6.2 million designated to improve pedestrian and traffic safety in Clifton and Paterson.

In total, the NJTPA authorizes over $1 billion in funding each year for federal surface transportation covering 13 counties.  “The Executive Committee provides guidance and leadership to the full Board on a wide range of planning, policy and administrative issues. It meets as needed to review financial, personnel and policy matters. Board membership is an uncompensated position,” according to a statement from the NJTPA.

Bartlett acknowledged there is much to cover in his new position.  “There’s more important work to be done, from continuing to preserve and expand the Morris Canal Greenway to ensuring the future of the northeast rail corridor by prioritizing the Gateway Program…. I look forward to advocating these and other key investments as a member of the Executive Committee over the next two years and beyond.”
The NJTPA defines its board as such: “The NJTPA Board consists of one local elected official from each of the 13 counties in the region (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren), and the cities of Newark and Jersey City. The Board also includes a Governor’s Representative, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the Executive Director of NJ TRANSIT, the Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and a Citizen’s Representative appointed by the Governor.”