Union County will receive $2.9 million in federal grants to make safety improvements at four intersections on 7th Street and at the intersection of East Front Street and Leland Avenue in the City of Plainfield, including updating traffic signals.
The improvements also include high visibility crosswalks and pedestrian signals. In addition all of the intersections will be evaluated for dedicated left-turn lanes, which will be installed where feasible.
This project is among 14 throughout the region that the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) Board of Trustees approved at its Jan. 22 meeting.
“This funding will allow us to improve safety at five intersections in residential areas near Plainfield’s busy commercial district,” said Union County Freeholder Angel Estrada, who was elected Chair of the NJTPA Board of Trustees at the meeting. “It’s important that we protect our roadways’ most vulnerable users — pedestrians — while also making them safer for motorists to navigate.”
This grant is part of the NJTPA’s Local Safety Program, which provides federal funds for cost-effective solutions that can make an immediate impact on their target areas. The NJTPA Board approved $50.8 million in Local Safety Program and High Risk Rural Roads grants for projects that will proceed in fiscal years 2017 and 2018. More information on the program is available online at njtpa.org/LocalSafety
Freeholder Vice Chairman Bette Jane Kowalski, who serves as an alternate to the NJTPA said the projects are critically important. “This is a major win for Plainfield and Union County as a whole,” she said. “These corridors connect major commercial hubs and will improve both the flow of commuter traffic and commercial traffic, while making them safer for pedestrians.”
Freeholder Linda Carter, a resident of Plainfield, noted the important role these transportation facilities play in the everyday life of the city’s residents. “These intersections and roadways service important institutions, numerous businesses, churches and residences and are among the busiest in Plainfield,” Carter said. “The improvements will benefit pedestrians and motorists alike.”
Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp said: “In light of our numerous redevelopment projects and the resurgence in our business district, this could not have happened at a more opportune time. We are seeing increased activity in and around our City and the safety of our residents and visitors is of the utmost importance. Additionally, the 7th street corridor is a major connecting hub between municipalities and is a direct link from our West to East end. I am grateful to the NJTPA and the Union County Board of Freeholders and I look forward to even more collaboration in 2018 as we work to improve not just Plainfield but all of Union County.”
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.