ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Maplewood and South Orange will share in the $26.4 million in federal grants from the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority that Essex County will receive to make safety improvements at 39 intersections. The projects include extending curbs and installing refuge islands, where feasible, to shorten crossing distances for pedestrians; and the installation of leading pedestrian interval signals, which stop traffic in all directions to allow people to cross more safely.
“This funding supports infrastructure improvements to enhance safety for motorists and particularly pedestrians. The intersections identified for upgrades are along some of our most heavily traveled corridors,” said Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., who is the County’s representative on the NJTPA Board of Trustees. The grants are part of the NJTPA’s Local Safety Program.
The improvements will be completed as part of two separate projects:
The first project received $17 million for traffic and pedestrian signal upgrades at 25 intersections throughout the county, including leading pedestrian intervals, four new traffic signals, and curb-extensions and pedestrian refuge islands where feasible.
South Orange intersections to be upgraded in the first project are:
1. South Orange Avenue and Prospect Avenue
2. South Orange Avenue and Ridgewood Avenue
3. Irvington Avenue and Prospect Avenue
Other intersections in the project are in Belleville, Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, Millburn, Montclair, Nutley, Orange, West Orange, Verona and Newark.
The second project received $9.4 million for similar improvements to 14 intersections along two corridors — Valley Street in Maplewood and South Orange and Springfield Avenue in Irvington. This project also includes the installation of four new traffic signals.
Intersections to be upgraded in the second project include the following:
1. Valley Street and 1st Street, South Orange (New Signal)
2. Valley Street and 3rd Street, South Orange
3. Valley Street and Parker Avenue, Maplewood
4. Valley Street and Oakland Road, Maplewood
5. Valley Street and Oakview Avenue, Maplewood
6. Valley Street and Tuscan Road, Maplewood
7. Valley Street and Baker Street, Maplewood
8. Valley Street and Millburn Avenue, Maplewood
9. Springfield Avenue and Orange Avenue, (New Signal), Irvington
10. Springfield Avenue and Smith Street (New Signal), Irvington
11. Springfield Avenue and 42nd Street (New Signal), Irvington
12. Springfield Avenue and Becker Terrace, Irvington
13. Springfield Avenue and Clinton Avenue/Union Avenue/Myrtle Avenue, Irvington
14. Springfield Avenue and Grove Street, Irvington
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. The agency 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 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 New Jersey Department of Transportation commissioner, the NJ TRANSIT executive director, the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and a citizen’s representative appointed by the governor.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
TAPinto SOMA is a free online newspaper serving the Townships of Maplewood and South Orange Village with no paywall. TAPinto SOMA is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.