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Rutgers Report Praises Somerville as Complete Streets Success Story

Veterans Memorial Drive West in Someville, with the ShopRite on the right prior to the addition of raised pedestrian islands, a project now under way. Credits: NJ BPRC

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The borough of Somerville is singled out by the The New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center at Rutgers University for its efforts to implement a comprehensive Complete Streets project to enhance the safety and mobility of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

It is one of three Complete Streets Case Studies released Monday; the other projects include Cherry Hill Township, and Passaic County. The purpose of these case studies, funded by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, is to understand the process that has led to successful implementation, and understand the challenges faced along the way.

In 2009, the New Jersey Department of Transportation adopted a Complete Streets policy which defined a Complete Street as one designed to provide safe access for all users by implementing a comprehensive integrated multi-modal network of transportation options.

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The benefits include increased safety for all users, connections between origins and destinations, and the promotion of healthier and more livable communities. Since the policy’s adoption, Complete Streets has built momentum throughout the state. As of April, 2016, 8 counties and 135 municipalities have followed the lead and adopted their own local Complete Streets policy.

The Borough of Somerville is quickly becoming a destination for new residents and businesses, and Complete Streets are an integral part of their economic development formula, according to the case study.

Complete Streets are being used to encourage new growth by appealing to millennials and boomers looking for a safe, walkable community. Complete Streets help to strengthen the small town character of the municipality, and enhance what existing residents love about their borough. Success stories include Division Street, a new pedestrian mall; new sidewalks and a reduction of lanes on Veterans Memorial Drive; redevelopment projects providing new walking destinations; and a trail network creating regional connections.

The report is based on findings provided in interviews with Colin Driver, Somerville Director of Economic Development; former Councilman Kenneth Utter; Mike Kerwin, president of the Somerset County Business Partnership; Linda Rapacki, marketing manager for the Ridewise TMA; and Andras Holzmann, senior planner at Somerset County.

For the Borough of Somerville, action came before policy. Although the borough did not pass a Complete Streets policy until September of 2015 – being the 119th municipality in New Jersey to do so – they already had a decade of accomplishments to point to.

These accomplishments have included a highly successful pedestrianized street, a road diet, and a revitalized downtown that has encouraged living, working, shopping and recreating in a compact walkable environment. Somerville understands that safe walking and bicycling are key to economic development, and Complete Streets are one way for the municipality to grow and prosper in the future.

The report begins with a summary of key findings followed by background information on historical, demographic and land use data collected from Census documents. This information is essential in understanding the context of Complete Streets in Somerville.

The report then explores the history of the municipal Complete Streets policy, including how the policy was developed. Successes and challenges are then highlighted for the benefit of other communities looking to implement Complete Streets and a number of next steps provide readers with insight into the policy’s future. This report will serve as a valuable tool for engineers, planners, elected officials, and advocates who want to move forward with Complete Streets in their communities.

Passaic County has land uses ranging from densely populated urban centers to rural protected lands, and county planners and engineers have worked together to provide context-appropriate, yet flexible, planning and engineering guidelines which have created new links for bicyclists and pedestrians. Success stories include “road-diets,” bicycle lanes, and shared lane markings on rural county roadways; the Passaic County Courthouse Plaza, which transformed a street into a beautiful pedestrian plaza; and the Morris Canal Greenway, which connects a variety of municipalities with multi-use trails.

Cherry Hill Township, which is an iconic suburban town with oversized roadways designed for auto-dependent lifestyles, has shown ways to retrofit these road networks to accommodate all users. Success stories include the Springdale road diet, which incorporates traffic calming, new sidewalks, and bicycle lanes, and linking an established network of county multi-use trails with on-road shared-use bicycle markings.

A copy of the full reports can be downloaded through these links:


Passaic County:

Cherry Hill:

The New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center (BPRC) assists public officials, transportation and health professionals, and the public in creating a safer and more accessible walking and bicycling environment through primary research, education, and dissemination of information about best practices in policy and design. The Center is supported by the New Jersey Department of Transportation through funds provided by the Federal Highway Administration.


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UPDATE: Four’Easter May Bring Another Foot of Snow, Be Prepared for School Closures and Power Outages in Warren Township and Surrounding Area

March 20, 2018

WARREN, NJ - Happy Spring. Get the milk, bread and eggs. Get the generator, gas and chainsaw and be prepared to lose another day of spring break if Wednesday is called a snow day. Heavy mixed precipitation is expected with snow accumulations of 8 to 14 inches in our area by Wednesday evening when the fourth Nor’easter of the year hits. #foureaster is trending, and Winter does ...

Warren Township to Collect Winter Storm Quinn Tree Debris

WARREN, NJ - The Department of Public Works of Warren Township will be collecting tree and brush debris from all Warren Township residents in the aftermath of Winter Storm Quinn.

Due to the intense effects of Storm Quinn that impacted Warren Township on March 7, the Township Committee has authorized and directed the DPW to. begin the collection process ...

Somerset County Opens Emergency Shelter for Storm Victims at RVCC

BRANCHBURG, NJ – Due to the extended power outages in Somerset County as a result of Winter Storm Quinn and the expected cold temperatures over the next few days, the Somerset County Office of Emergency Management has partnered with the American Red Cross to open a shelter for county residents at Raritan Valley Community College.

The shelter opened as of 5:30 p.m. Saturday, ...

Update from Warren Office of Emergency Management on Saturday, Mar. 10

WARREN, NJ - The Warren Township Office of Emergency Management has provided a timeline and Jane Asch at Warren’s Office of Emergency Management has updated storm recovery information as of 1 p.m. Saturday, March 10 with the following:



The most pressing issue is restoration of power. It may be helpful to understand the triage system both JCP&L and ...

Storm Watch: Closings, Cancellations and Postponements

WARREN, NJ - The snow has started to fall. The National Weather Service is forecasting as much as 8 to 12 inches of snow to accumulate across the northern half of New Jersey and Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency.

The Warren Township Municipal Building and the Warren Library are closed today, Wednesday, Mar. 7 due to the storm. Watchung Borough offices and ...

JCP&L Update: Preparing for the Storm

March 21, 2018


With predictions of more than a foot of heavy, wet snow and wind gusts up to 45 mph, JCP&L is prepared for the storm. We have implemented storm and staffing plans and are ready to respond appropriately should this next wave of severe weather cause power outages. 

What we’ve done to prepare: 

Secured mutual assistance ...

Wellness of Warren Holds Open House

WARREN, NJ: - Wellness of Warren is hosting an Open House on Tuesday, March 27 from 6 to 8 pm.  This unique group of offices is located 112 Town Center Drive in Warren, New Jersey.

Come and enjoy the evening with like-minded wellness professionals. Visit the Wellness of Warren office space (fractional offices space available) that provides an array of holistic and natural wellness ...


South Plainfield – Joanne Gallo, 68, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL and Warren, NJ, passed away ...
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AAA Cautions: Daylight Saving Could Affect Daily Commute

March 10, 2018

WARREN, NJ - AAA is reminding drivers that the change to Daylight Saving Time may create distractions on the roadway and challenges for drivers who lost an hour of sleep. Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday at 2 a.m.

“As we spring forward, drivers should be aware that the time change will also mean changes to driving habits,” said Robert Sinclair, Manager of Media ...

School Bus Driver Charged with Sex Assaults Against Students

March 20, 2018

MONTGOMERY, NJ – An 84-year-old township resident has been arrested and charged with sexual assault against an 8-and 12-year-old and as many as seven other children while a bus driver going back to the 1960s, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Edward Atoeff of Cherry Valley Road was the owner and operator of Jastyke Transportation at the time of the alleged ...

Whole Foods Delays Opening Due to Predicted Storm

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — Whole Foods, in the new Chimney Rock Plaza in Bridgewater, is officially opening its doors on Friday, March 23.

It was originally scheduled to open March 21, but the opening was delayed because of the predicted nor'easter.

The Bridgewater location is the first Whole Foods in Somerset County. 

The 49,000-square-foot store is featuring ...

UPDATE: Four’Easter May Bring Another Foot of Snow, Be Prepared for School Closures and Power Outages in Warren Township and Surrounding Area

WARREN, NJ - Happy Spring. Get the milk, bread and eggs. Get the generator, gas and chainsaw and be prepared to lose another day of spring break if Wednesday is called a snow day. Heavy mixed precipitation is expected with snow accumulations of 8 to 14 inches in our area by Wednesday evening when the fourth Nor’easter of the year hits. #foureaster is trending, and Winter does ...

Suspended HS Athletic Director Charged with Theft

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Suspended Hillsborough High School Athletic Director Michael Fanizzi has been arrested and charged with the theft of $10,704 in athletic event receipts over a four-year period from 2013-2017, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Fanizzi, 53, a resident of Conover Way in Hillsborough who had been athletics director for 14 years, had been ...

The Perfect Travel Pack - The Airport Repack Because of a Delayed Flight - What You Really Need

March 21, 2018

If you have traveled a lot, you have had a canceled flight.  Do you know how to do an airport in such cases?

Well, on a recent canceled flight on Norwegian Air from Berlin to New York, we had to do it.  Our experience is now your gain.

The slide show above shows you step by step, how it was accomplished.  Here we will explain it.

For starters, think about your ...

Air Travel Alert - 1,810 Area Flights Canceled for Wednesday - Check Here For Survival Tips in this Fourth Nor’easter

Whenever there is inclement weather, it pays to keep informed. Wednesday, March 21, 780 flights from Newark and 440 from JFK are already canceled.  LaGuardia canceled 590.  In other words, you are probably snowed in today.

Most Airlines now offer APP, text, or email updates to flight delays.  Make sure to sign up for them.  That will ...

Will Your Air Travels Be Impacted by Our Fourth Nor’easter (Fourth? Is it the End?)

After three Nor’easters, you would think we could catch a break. They do say the fourth one is always the best.  This time, we should be very well practiced.

By now, you know the drill. This article has advice on local and airline support services. You may want to bookmark the page for future reference. 

Most Airlines now offer APP, text, or email updates to flight ...

St. Patrick’s Day Sobriety Check in Belmar/Neptune Area on Tap by State Police

March 17, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — Giving no details on location and time, New Jersey State Police plans to conduct a sobriety checkpoint on Saturday, March 17 in the area of Belmar and Neptune Township,

The state police made the announcement on its Facebook page, alerting motorists that state troopers will be pulling over vehicles at this undisclosed location and time  “looking for signs of ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...