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Dunellen: High Street to Madison Avenue Walkable Community Workshop (2020)

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The Borough of Dunellen, New Jersey, participated in the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) Complete Streets Technical Assistance (CSTA) Program in 2020. The CSTA Program selected eight municipalities to receive up to $10,000 in technical assistance to advance complete streets projects. This report identifies several recommendations to promote walking as a means of travel and to improve walkability along High Street, Walnut Street, South Madison Avenue, South Avenue, and Madison Avenue in Dunellen. The report also calls for installation and improvement of crosswalks throughout the route that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, the report recommends that narrow sidewalks should be supplemented with on-street facilities that provide additional space for walking and bicycling while addressing overly wide vehicle travel lanes. Long-term recommendations include a road diet, to reduce the width of travel lanes and create space for people walking and biking, and traffic studies to determine appropriate intersection controls.

The most significant obstacles to walkability in the study area are the long distances between crosswalks, narrow or missing sidewalks, and noncompliant driver behavior at crosswalks, such as failing to stop for pedestrians. This report calls for Dunellen to adopt a complete streets policy that ensures future road maintenance and improvements are made with consideration for all users.

The recommendations in this report were developed through a collaborative process with municipal officials and stakeholders. This included a virtual Walkable Community Workshop (WCW) that was held on July 13, 2020. A follow-up virtual presentation was conducted on August 10, 2020 to collect feedback before finalizing the recommendations. Both meetings were conducted virtually due to COVID-19.The study area consists entirely of municipal roads. The John P. Faber Elementary School is located at the southernmost point of the study area. Improvements along these roads are necessary to ensure student safety, particularly for students whose families do not have access to a vehicle. These roads also provide an important connection between the Borough’s southwestern residential neighborhood and the downtown commercial district, which includes the Dunellen Train Station.

The lessons learned by all participants during the half-day workshop can be applied to other municipal- owned roads in Dunellen. The field audit form, information about the NJTPA’s pedestrian safety education program, Street Smart NJ, and a list of potential funding resources can be found in this report’s appendices. The Borough can use these resources to conduct other walkability audits and projects.

  • Dunellen Report WCW Cover