Proposal for Incorporating Public Transit Provisions into a State Highway Access Management Code

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Abstract:

Lutin, J. M., “Proposal for Incorporating Public Transit Provisions into a State Highway Access Management Code,” Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2171 , Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., (2010) pp. 52-56.

      The NJ Transit had reported that in many instances, owners of large commercial properties consistently made decisions that undermined the efforts of NJ Transit. Lutin suggests that, through the permitting process, developers can take specific actions to improve the quality of public transit, which in turn can mitigate traffic congestion on state highways. The work concludes that transit agencies should be included in the access permitting process by (a) providing early guidance to both the Department of Transportation and (b) reviewing access permits for major developments. 

      The New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) staff met to formulate recommendations for the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT).  Major issues focused on pedestrian safety and ability to provide reasonable walking distances to and from bus stops.  Suggestions included that all permit applications identify bus stops and service/routes on adjacent roads to the site, all driveways not hinder bus operation, and that sidewalks be available. Additional requirements were suggested for developments that qualify for the major application and the major application with planning review.  NJ Transit also proposed a new category, super major access permit with planning review.  This category was suggested because of the agency’s experience with restrictions and prohibitions in larger developments.  Super major access permit with planning review developments additionally require bus stops within certain distances from the main entrances, appropriate easements and circulation onto and through the site, and locations for temporary parking.  Governments have had mixed responses to the NJ Transit recommendations; local governments have had a mostly favorable reaction. 

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