Union County – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders recently announced that the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) Board of Trustees has approved $396,000 to replace antiquated traffic signal equipment and other safety improvements at three intersections on Vauxhall Road (CR 630) in Union Township.
“This stretch of Vauxhall Road carries a steady flow of commuter traffic through a residential neighborhood, where it mixes with pedestrians waiting to pick up the bus and walking to school,” said Union County Freeholder and NJTPA Board member Angel Estrada.
The project will target existing signalized intersections at Vauxhall Road and Caldwell Avenue, Glenn Avenue and Barbara Avenue/Pine Avenue where crash rates exceed state averages. Long-time Vauxhall resident and Union County Freeholder Vernell Wright acknowledged the existing dangers here and said, “these upgrades will help protect the road’s most vulnerable users – pedestrians and bicycle riders – while providing clearer guidance to motorists.”
The project was one of 11 in the region approved for a grant through the NJTPA’s Fiscal Year 2014 Local Safety Program, which provides federal funds to counties and cities for high-impact safety improvements that are relatively “quick-fix” in nature and ready for construction.
The improvements for Vauxhall Rd., which were determined as a result of the a 2008 safety study presented to the NJTPA, will include new traffic lights, signs, high visibility crosswalks, push button-activated pedestrian countdown signals, restriping and new pavement markings and the replacement of non-Americans with Disabilities Act compliant sidewalk ramps.
“We feel blessed to have been approved for a Safety Grant this fiscal year. This project will contribute much needed improvements and modernizations to our community, and for that we are extremely grateful,” said Union Mayor Clifton People Jr.
In total, the NJTPA action allocated approximately $9.7 million for Local Safety Program projects in FY 2014, which represents the largest investment since the program’s inception in 2004. The NTJPA Board approved the funding at its regular meeting on Tuesday.
Committeewoman Suzette Cavadas commented on the grant saying, “Nothing makes us happier than knowing that our community is being taken care of and that the township is continuing to evolve and progress. This grant is another positive step in the right direction for Union.”
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.
More information on these programs is available on the agency’s website, www.njtpa.org.