Union County, NJ — Union County will receive $1.1 million in federal funding to upgrade technology and improve pedestrian safety at three intersections on East Front Street (County Road 620) in Plainfield.
The project is among 17 throughout the region that the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) Board of Trustees approved at its meeting on Monday, January 11. The intersection improvements are part of the NJTPA’s Local Safety Program, which provides federal funds to counties for high-impact, “quick-fix” and cost-effective safety improvements.
“East Front Street is a bustling business district that draws motorists, pedestrians and cyclists,” said Union County Freeholder Angel Estrada, who represents the County on the NJTPA Board and was elected NJTPA First Vice Chair at the meeting. “This grant will help modernize these crossings and improve pedestrian and motorist safety at three intersections where pedestrian safety has been a serious issue.”
Traffic signal upgrades, audible pedestrian countdown signals and highly visible crosswalks will be installed on Front Street at three cross streets: Watchung Avenue, Roosevelt Avenue and Richmond Street/Norwood Avenue. Left turn lanes will also be installed where feasible.
Union County Freeholder Linda Carter said, “Enhancing pedestrian safety promotes walkable communities, and that is a critical element in the economic revitalization of downtown business districts. This project represents a significant step forward for Plainfield and Union County.” Freeholder Carter is a lifelong resident of Plainfield.
The NJTPA Board approved $32.4 million in Local Safety Program and High Risk Rural Roads grants for projects that will proceed in fiscal years 2016 and 2017. More information on the program is available online at njtpa.org/LocalSafety.
Union County is responsible for 176 miles of key arteries and 371 bridges and culverts within the 21 municipalities. Under the “Move. Connect. Grow.” 20016 initiative of Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen, the County is continuing to step up and expand its transportation mission, including:
- Continuation of the Infrastructure Grants program, which provides Union County grants to municipalities for local projects, with a focus on road repaving
- Completion of the Union County Transportation Master Plan, a key planning tool.
- Creation of new bike paths.
- Continued advocacy for regional transportation improvements, including expansion of “one-seat” rail service to New York City on the Raritan Valley Line, and for the construction of the new Gateway Tunnel rail project.
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. The agency 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 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 New Jersey Department of Transportation commissioner, the NJ TRANSIT executive director, the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and a citizen’s representative appointed by the governor.
For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org or call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234.
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