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NJDOT’s Safe Streets to Transit Program Is Improving Communities Across the State – Yours Can Be Next

March 19th, 2024 by

Simple, small-scale transportation features make a community a safer, healthier, and more affordable place to get around. In a community that values street safety, crosswalks are clearly marked and strategically placed to ensure easy and safe passage for pedestrians. Streets are lined with wide sidewalks, benches, and trees to encourage walking. Dedicated and protected bike lanes provide safe access for cyclists and scooter riders. In safe streets communities, commuters seamlessly walk to the bus stop or train station to get to work, children safely ride their bikes to school, and people of all ages and abilities confidently enjoy a stroll to the park. Through the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s (NJDOT) Safe Streets to Transit (SSTT) program, this type of community can become a reality. 

The SSTT program funds municipalities and counties to improve safety and accessibility for public transit riders walking to transit facilities. To do so, NJDOT awards municipal and county grants based on the following criteria:

  • Proximity to public transit facilities
  • Improved safety 
  • Increased accessibility 
  • Access to schools
  • Pedestrian incidents 
  • Complete streets

This year’s 22 grants represent the largest amount of funds provided in a single year by the SSTT program, $13,629,000. They will fund projects in communities ranging from towns to suburbs to cities. It’s imperative that municipalities have the proper funding to realize even simple infrastructure improvements. Every piece counts as we weave a statewide network of multimodal transportation infrastructure. With NJDOT’s next round of funding opening up in April 2024, this is a good opportunity to review examples of successfully funded projects across the state.

Longport Borough, located on Absecon Island in Atlantic County with a population of around 8001, received an SSTT grant of $1,000,000. The Longport project will make traffic-claiming improvements on Amherst, Sunset, and Winshecter avenues in the East Bayfront neighborhood. These three streets feed onto the JFK Memorial Bridge; therefore, the East Bayfront experiences high levels of fast-moving traffic2. By implementing traffic calming measures like raised sidewalks and speed tables, Longport will make the neighborhood safer for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. This will better enable East Bayfront residents to safely walk or bike to and from the NJ Transit bus stops along Ventnor Avenue in the center of Longport.

North Bergen Township, located across the river from Manhattan in northern Hudson County with a population of around 62,000, also received an SSTT grant totaling $948,000. The North Bergen project will implement safety upgrades for sidewalks and crosswalks near bus and rail stations along Bergenline Avenue from 70th Street through James J. Braddock North Hudson Park3. Bergenline Avenue is home to numerous NJ Transit bus stops; thus, the safety improvements are designed to promote the use of public transit and encourage riders to walk to their bus stops. 

The Town of Princeton in Mercer County was awarded $1,000,000 to improve pedestrian access and safety between two NJ Transit bus stops and new housing developments. With this grant, Princeton will reduce reliance on car-travel by promoting the use of public transportation through pedestrian infrastructure improvements. Princeton’s SSTT grant will enhance pedestrian safety on Terhune Road and North Harrison Street. Specifically, the project will finish the construction of an existing sidewalk network in this corridor and add new sidewalks and traffic calming measures that will make Terhune Road safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. This initiative will provide safe and equitable access to the bus stop on Terhune Road and the bus stop in the Princeton Shopping Center off North Harrison Street.


Princeton residents walking and biking to and from the NJ Transit bus stop.


Although the project’s active transportation infrastructure improvements are noteworthy, it’s not the only reason to highlight its importance. Princeton is combining the SSTT project’s safety improvements with developer-funded bicycle and pedestrian improvements between North Harrison Street and Grover Avenue. These enhancements will include new sidewalks, raised crosswalks, and a bike lane on the south side of Terhune Road. The municipality will complement the developer-funded improvements by replacing the sidewalks between North Harrison and Thanet Circle, raising an intersection, and creating a bike lane on the north side of Terhune Road. This collaboration demonstrates the potential that public-private partnerships have for making the most out of every grant opportunity for the better of the community.


The Princeton Shopping Center with the new housing development in the background.


The new nearby housing developments include affordable homes for people of low- and moderate incomes. The pedestrian improvements from the SSTT grant will help connect affordable housing to public transportation opportunities. Residents of the new housing will be able to walk to multiple NJ Transit bus stops and the shops in the Princeton Shopping Center.


New housing development near the Princeton Shopping Center.


From Princeton to Longport to North Bergen, all types of communities, big or small, urban or suburban, can benefit from NJDOT’s SSTT program, and your community can be next. NJDOT will open a new round for the SSTT in April, and applications will be accepted until July. If you are an individual who cares about street safety, now is the time to inform your municipal leaders to begin preparing an application. New Jersey Future encourages municipalities large and small to seize this opportunity and apply to NJDOT’s SSTT program when it opens in April.




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