Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces


Filling in the Gaps

Assessing the implementation of NJDOT’s Complete Streets Policy

Drive down most roads in New Jersey and you’ll likely see them: sidewalks that stop and start intermittently, strung together by worn-out grass. It’s a common sight across the state, and the result of road design policies geared solely towards cars, with little or no consideration for other users, even though an estimated one-third of New Jersey residents don’t drive. The resulting landscape is inhospitable and dangerous for non-drivers; between 2000 and 2009, there were 1,514 pedestrian fatalities in New Jersey.

Route 47 in Pitman
Route 70 Marlton
Route 130 Circle Cinnaminson
Maple Ave Cherry Hill
Ocean City bike-walk
Holly Avenue Pitman

Intermittent, doglegged sidewalk in Pitman, N.J. Photo by Peter W. Casellini

Abrupt end to a sidewalk on Route 70 in Marlton, N.J. Photo by Peter W. Casellini

As it should be: Full pedestrian accommodation in Cinnaminson. Photo by Peter W. Casellini

No sidewalk, but cars must share the road on Maple Avenue in Cherry Hill, N.J. Photo by Peter W. Casellini

Shared sidewalk in Ocean City, N.J. Photo by Peter W. Casellini

Cross but don't walk along Holly Avenue in Pitman, N.J. Photo by Peter W. Casellini

47 Pitman thumbnail
70 Marlton thumbnail
130-Cinnaminson thumbnail
Maple Ave Cherry Hill thumbnail
Ocean City bike-walk thumbnail
Holly Pitman thumbnail

In an attempt to address pedestrian safety and make roads more accommodating, the NJDOT adopted a Complete Streets policy in 2009, which states that the department will design new roads and retrofit old ones to accommodate all users, not just drivers. Now, some 20 months later, New Jersey Future has taken a look at how the department has implemented the policy. Given the multi-year design process for roadways, it is too early to judge the agency’s effort in full. Still, the analysis, which involved interviewing NJDOT officials and inspecting a number of recently completed projects across the state, found that the department has taken a number of positive steps towards implementing Complete Streets. It also found some significant missed opportunities.  

Download report:
Filling in the Gaps (PDF) 

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