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The New Jersey Department of Transportation and the New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center are proud to announce this year’s awardees…
Awarded to municipalities, counties, and projects for exemplary Complete Streets implementation
Ciclovias, first introduced in Bogotá, Colombia in 1974 and expanded in 1982, temporarily close a set of streets and open them up to pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders, and more. New Brunswick held its very first Ciclovia, the largest in New Jersey, on Sunday, October 6, 2013, since then the community celebration has grown in size and is now held several times throughout the year. With streets closed to vehicular traffic and opened to the public, the city encourages residents and visitors to walk, skate, bike, dance and use the streets in a creative and active way. The New Brunswick Ciclovia is a family-friendly initiative that promotes healthy living by inviting participants to experience and appreciate the city’s vitality, livability, and diversity. The New Brunswick Ciclovia route changes from event to event in order to incorporate as many neighborhoods as possible. Activity zones featuring local artists, fitness programs, health and wellness initiatives, cultural experiences, and safety are set up along the vibrant route.
Jersey City is a densely populated city, home to a diverse transportation system including PATH and light rail stations, a robust bus network, and Citi Bike bicycle share. With a deep understanding of the need to promote safety for all road users, Jersey City passed a Complete Streets policy in 2011. The city has also adopted a Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate roadway deaths by 2026. Tactical urbanism has been deployed throughout the city to enhance pedestrian safety and the city is currently in the process of installing approximately nine miles of protected bicycle lanes.
The Middlesex Greenway is a three-mile trail that runs along a railroad line from Metuchen to Woodbridge. The rail line once brought coal from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, but now provides a scenic and safe connection for active transportation and recreation. Along the route, signs are strategically placed to call attention to the history of the railroad and the region. The Greenway’s 12 access points allow for connections to various neighborhoods, schools, shops and office buildings. The 10-foot wide paved trail is part of the East Coast Greenway, a trail system that connects 15 states from Maine to Florida.
The Circuit Trail is a regional trail network that provides hundreds of miles of trails that connect communities throughout Greater Philadelphia and western New Jersey. The Circuit Trail provides connections across four New Jersey counties: Mercer, Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester. The largely off-road network provides safe commuting options for residents and attracts visitors from surrounding areas. Once completed, the Circuit will provide more than 800 miles of multi-use paths throughout the region, which will not only provide safe active transportation options, but will also improve health and promote economic development.
Union Township is receiving and Excellence Award for their streetscape improvements to Stuyvesant Avenue. The area, known as Union Center, is an active pedestrian area. It is home to long-time Union businesses and is included along the route of several annual parades and festivals. The streetscaping improvements included a raised cross-walk to slow traffic and improve visibility and curb bumpouts with plantings that create a shorter crossing for pedestrians and provide visual appeal. The project also incorporated the area’s history by installing engraved granite bands that reflect the founding of Union as a colonial village.
The Benjamin Franklin Bridge is an essential connection between Camden and Philadelphia that supports motor vehicle, train, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic. At the time it was constructed in 1926, it was the largest single-span suspension bridge in the world. The bridge carries more than 100,000 vehicles per day and an additional 40,000 PATCO passengers. Construction began in early 2018 to improve the bridge’s southern walkway and incorporate a ramp at the foot of the bridge near the Rutgers campus in Camden. With the completion of the ramp, there is a seamless route between the Philadelphia and New Jersey, which completes and important connection in the Circuit Trail. The community-inspired project is fully ADA-compliant and provides a truly multimodal connection for the many visitors and commuters who travers the Benjamin Franklin Bridge each day.
Awarded to champions for leadership and perseverance in working towards Complete Streets and Safe Routes to School goals
Cyndi Steiner, former Executive Director of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, has been an invaluable voice in the world of bicycle and pedestrian advocacy in New Jersey. Some of the advocacy wins under her direction at the NJBWC include the Complete Streets implementation policy for Monmouth County, creation of the state’s Regional TAP Program, creation and launch of the Bike Depot Program in New Jersey, and many more. Cyndi has also served as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Bike New York, member of the Advisory Board of the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance, member of the National Bike Walk Action Advisory Committee, and a member of the Executive Committee of the New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Council of NJDOT. Cyndi is also a certified League Cycling Instructor with the League of American Bicyclists and championed the addition of bicycle safety to the New Jersey Driver’s Education Manual.
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is works to improve conditions for bicyclists through advocacy and education. Their tireless efforts and leadership have influenced the completion of numerous major improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians in southern New Jersey. Since the 1970’s the Coalition has championed bicycle and pedestrian issues in the greater Camden area. In 1973, the Coalition successfully advocated to open the Ben Franklin Bridge to pedestrian and bicycle access, creating an important active transportation link between Camden and Philadelphia. More recently, the Coalition advocated for the Ben Franklin Bridge pedestrian access ramp for more than a decade. They were also crucial players in the development of the Circuit Trail. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia stands by the vision of providing everyone a safe and fun biking environment with a network of connected Circuit Trails, bike lanes, and low-stress streets.
In the spring of 2018, a graduate planning studio class at the Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy explored ways to improve the walking and bicycling environment in Bound Brook and South Bound Brook, New Jersey. Led by instructors Leigh Ann Von Hagen and Sean Meehan at the Bloustein School’s Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, the Rutgers master degree students evaluated ways to improve health, safety, access, and connectivity by creating a Pedestrian and Bicycle Travel Plan focusing on at-risk populations including children, seniors, and those living in poverty.
An ambitious group of Student Ambassadors, part of 4-H and Middle Earth, spent nine months researching to improve quality of life in town. The studio team wanted to gather feedback about priority areas to include in the walkability/ bike ability assessments. Through their research and consultation with graduate students at the Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, decided to focus on safe streets in the town. The students decided on a parklet, murals and crosswalk improvements to help with street safety.