The South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO) has a vision of a transportation system in its jurisdiction (Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and Salem Counties) based on regional collaboration that moves people and goods in a safe and efficient manner, inclusive of all modes and users. However, a study in Cumberland County found that in a five-year period, cyclists and pedestrians were involved in 2.9 percent of crashes, but 21.6 percent of all fatal and serious injury crashes in the county.
The Cumberland County Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Action Plan aimed to confront this troubling statistic. This plan is aligned with the vision of eliminating traffic-related deaths and serious injuries and is supported by SJTPO, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Funding for the project was obtained through the FHWA Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) administered by NJDOT.
The plan follows a strategic and data-driven approach to prioritize locations with the greatest safety needs for cyclists and pedestrians. GIS analysis was used to identify intersections and corridors in the county with the worst crash performance. An initial screening process ranked these locations according to the number and severity of bicycle and pedestrian crashes.
Top candidate locations were selected for further review by county and municipal officials, local stakeholders, and the public. Feedback from elected officials and the community played a crucial role in determining the final corridor locations. The public’s input was gathered through a dedicated website, public events, and meetings with local groups. Several innovative, non-virtual public outreach options were provided to address the communities with the project locations within Low Internet Accessibility areas.
A detailed analysis was conducted for the selected locations, which involved reviewing crash reports, conducting pedestrian road safety audits, and analyzing roadway characteristics. Countermeasure options were identified, and public support for these measures was assessed through extensive outreach efforts, including bilingual mailers, social media campaigns, videos, virtual meetings, door-to-door canvassing, and surveys.
The plan received resolutions of support from the cities and county, indicating their commitment to advancing safety projects in these locations. Application materials were assembled for HSIP projects and a Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) application. Within eight months of plan completion, funding has been awarded for all projects included within the plan. Chestnut Avenue in the City of Vineland was awarded an SS4A Implementation Grant. This comprehensive approach aims to make significant progress in improving bicycle and pedestrian safety in the county.
Jennifer Marandino, PE, Executive Director of the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization, accepted the Award at a Capitol Hill ceremony on November 29th and was joined by colleagues.