New Jersey is a national leader in the campaign to complete the streets. Since 2009, municipalities and counties throughout the state have started changing their approach to planning, designing, and maintaining their roadways. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) leads this movement and has received national recognition for its award-winning Complete Streets initiative. The National Complete Streets Coalition, the American Planning Association (APA), the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, New Jersey Planning Officials (NJPO), New Jersey Future, and others have recognized NJDOT for its outstanding efforts.
The New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center (NJBPRC) has also been instrumental in advancing Complete Streets policy adoption throughout the state through the New Jersey Ambassadors in Motion (NJAIM) program. To date, the ambassadors have helped 10 municipalities pass Complete Streets resolutions by providing technical assistance to local government officials. While we often hear about communities implementing Complete Streets, trends in policy adoption throughout New Jersey have yet to be examined. Below is a list of 15 fun facts about New Jersey’s Complete Streets.
- As of May 2013, New Jersey ranked 2nd nationally in terms of policy adoption with 58 policies, which can be seen in Table 1. Only Michigan, a larger state both in terms of population and total municipalities, has adopted more policies.
- The number of policies adopted in New Jersey has steadily increased every year. In 2012, 30 policies were adopted, marking the best year yet!
- New Jersey Department of Transportation was among the first state DOTs to adopt an internal Complete Streets policy.
- In 2010, the National Complete Streets Coalition ranked NJDOT’s Complete Streets policy #1 out of over 210 state, regional, county, and municipal policies.
- 1,734,974 New Jersey residents (19.73% of the state’s population) live in municipalities with a Complete Streets policy.
- 3,224,986 New Jersey residents (36.68% of the state’s population) live in counties with a Complete Streets policy.
- New Jersey’s two largest cities, Newark and Jersey City, have both adopted Complete Streets policies.
- Harvey Cedars is the smallest municipality in the state with a Complete Streets policy (population 337).
- Essex County contains more municipalities with Complete Streets policies than any other county in the state (6 localities currently have policies).
- Middlesex County is the largest county with a Complete Streets policy.
- Mercer County is the smallest county with a Complete Streets policy.
- Although 42 Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) nationwide have adopted Complete Streets policies, none of New Jersey’s three MPO’s has adopted a policy…yet.
- Not a single municipality in Camden, Passaic, or Salem Counties has adopted a Complete Streets policy…yet.
- Six Complete Streets policies were adopted in March 2012, the most in any month so far.
- In 2010, the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center and NJDOT hosted a Complete Streets Summit, which more than 200 planners, engineers, and elected officials attended. A Complete Streets Summit will be held again on October 21 at the Rutgers Student Center. More information about this invitation-only event will follow shortly.
Local communities have been living up to the high standard set by NJDOT’s award-winning policy; however, the map below shows that there is still much to be done. While collaborating to complete the remaining streets, we can use these fun facts to get New Jersey residents and government officials excited about all that has already been accomplished.