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Coalition Calls on Governor to Enact ‘Complete Streets’ Policy

33% Increase in Pedestrian Fatalities Cited

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 13, 2009

CONTACT:
Contact: Jay Corbalis, New Jersey Future 609-393-0008 ext 110; 
Zoe Baldwin, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, 609-271-0778

Today a coalition of planning, environment, transportation and health groups called on Gov. Corzine to adopt a “Complete Streets” policy in New Jersey as a means of improving safety on roadways and creating viable transportation choices.

The coalition included Tri-State Transportation Campaign, New Jersey Future, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the New Jersey Chapter of the AARP, Disability Rights New Jersey, and Environment NJ.

This call was made in response to a Tri-State Transportation Campaign analysis of state data, which showed a 33% rise in pedestrian fatalities to date in 2009. Through September 30, 2009, New Jersey saw 121 pedestrian fatalities, compared to 91 through the first three quarters of 2008.

“New Jersey has made strides in recent years towards a more balanced transportation policy, but these numbers prove that the state still has a long way to go before our roads are safe for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers,” said Kate Slevin, Executive Director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “A Complete Streets policy will ensure our roads are designed for all users.”

“For a variety of reasons, a lot of people are walking, biking, and taking mass transportation in New Jersey, yet we are still building and upgrading streets with no sidewalks, no crosswalks and no bike lanes. This has to stop,” said Pete Kasabach, Executive Director of New Jersey Future.

“Older people deal with the effects of incomplete streets every day, and make up a disproportionate share of pedestrians killed by cars in New Jersey. The needs of seniors and other pedestrians must be taken into account when streets and highways are built and repaired,” said Janine Bauer, a volunteer transportation advocate for AARP in New Jersey.

“The Bicycle Coalition supports Complete Streets because it encourages people to get out of their cars and make green transportation choices. But in many places in New Jersey, walking to the corner store or biking to the bank just isn’t safe,” said John Boyle, Advocacy Director for the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

A Complete Streets policy would require that engineers design roads to accommodate the needs of all users any time a new road is built or an existing road is retrofitted, except where infeasible. According to the National Complete Streets Coalition, 107 jurisdictions nationwide have adopted Complete Streets policies, including the States of Connecticut, Delaware, Oregon, and Illinois. The enactment of a Complete Streets policy is one of a number of actions municipalities can complete to be certified under the Sustainable Jersey Program. Those actions were vetted and approved by a broad coalition of municipal officials and experts led by the League of Municipalities’ Mayors’ Committee for a Green Future, and the New Jersey Sustainable State Institute at Rutgers.

© New Jersey Future, 16 W. Lafayette St. • Trenton, NJ 08608 • Phone: 609-393-0008 • Fax: 609-360-8478