NEWARK – Union County’s 7-mile section of U.S. Highway 1&9 plays a vital economic role in the movement of goods and people through the cities of Elizabeth, Linden and Rahway, and for this reason it was the focus of the Route 1&9 Corridor Study conducted by Union County and funded by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA). The Study explores the changing needs of the region and the local goals of improved safety, better quality of life and emerging redevelopment opportunities.
The study found show congestion during peak hours, relatively high vehicle and pedestrian crash rates, and a lack of wayfinding signage for motorists and riders seeking transit facilities. A list of improvements focuses on corridor-wide improvements as well as upgrades to specific locations. Some examples of recommendations are crosswalk and traffic signal improvements at intersections, more pedestrian safety measures, better roadway drainage and a thorough evaluation and upgrade of deficient lighting and signage.
“The strategies highlighted in the study could greatly improve vehicle and pedestrian safety at crash hot spots and ease congestion throughout the corridor,” said Union County Freeholder and NJTPA Board Member Angel G. Estrada. “These and other quality of life improvements outlined in the report can help attract new development and opportunity to the area.”
A concise summary of the study is available in a new NJTPA publication highlighting study findings around northern New Jersey. Research for the project concluded in 2011, and a final study report was recently released and posted online. Both the publication and final report can be downloaded at NJTPA’s Subregional Studies Program web page.
The NJTPA’s Subregional Studies Program provides federal grants every two years on a competitive basis to the 13 counties and two cities represented by the NJTPA Board. Studies include an analysis of existing and future conditions in a particular area or transportation system, as well as strategies for improvements. Strategies are developed and refined into detailed concepts that can advance to implementation phases involving appropriate agencies (such as counties, municipalities, the Department of Transportation, etc.).
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 Directors of NJ Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and a Citizen’s Representative appointed by the Governor