Passaic County Freeholder John Bartlett was elected second vice-chair of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) Board of Trustees at the organization’s January 2018 reorganization meeting.
“I want to thank my fellow board members for electing me to the executive committee,” Freeholder 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.”
“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,” said Freeholder Director Sandi Lazzara. “NJTPA is a bipartisan body, and John has worked effectively across party lines as an advocate for transportation investments in our county and our region.”
On the same day Freeholder Bartlett was elected to the NJTPA’s executive committee, the board approved $50.8 million in grants for safety projects, including $6.2 million for two projects in Passaic County. The funds, part of the NJTPA’s Local Safety Program, will be used to make traffic and pedestrian safety improvements in Paterson and Clifton.
Altogether, the NJTPA oversees regional transportation planning and annually authorizes more than $1 billion in federal surface transportation funding for 13 counties in northern and central New Jersey.
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.
“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,” Freeholder Bartlett said. “I look forward to advocating these and other key investments as a member of the Executive Committee over the next two years and beyond.”
Freeholder Bartlett was elected in 2012 and joined the NJTPA Board of Trustees in 2013. He served on the nominating committee in 2013 and has been vice chair of the NJTPA’s Freight Initiatives Committee since 2017. This is Freeholder Bartlett’s first time serving on the executive committee. In Passaic County, he has repeatedly chaired the planning and economic development committee of the Freeholder Board, and currently chairs its public works committee.
In addition to Freeholder Bartlett, the elected members of the 2018-2019 NJTPA Executive Committee are: Union County Freeholder Angel Estrada, chair; Hunterdon County Freeholder Matthew Holt, first vice-chair; and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, secretary. In accordance with the bylaws, Freeholder Estrada appointed Morris County Freeholder Kathryn A. DeFillippo to the position of third 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.
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.