Urban developed a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian safety action plan to address high-risk vulnerable road user locations throughout the County.
With 91% of bicycle and pedestrian crashes concentrated in Cumberland County’s three urban centers, improving roadway safety in this section of New Jersey is a pressing issue for large segments of the population, including those that are disabled, do not own vehicles, or are living in poverty. Urban developed a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian safety action plan to address high-risk vulnerable road user locations throughout the county. By employing a strategic, data-driven, and community-driven approach to project identification and advancement, this plan will serve as a model for improving bicycle and pedestrian safety in the South Jersey region.
Project tasks included a county-wide network screening to identify the highest crash intersections and corridors; Pedestrian Road Safety Audits for the highest priority locations; evaluation and selection of proven safety countermeasures; and Highway Safety Manual (HSM) analysis to advance bicycle and pedestrian projects using federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funds. Obtaining local consensus on locations and countermeasures was also a critical component of the plan. The planning team engaged stakeholders and community members through multiple rounds of public meetings, pop-up events, a toolbox of bicycle and pedestrian safety countermeasures, social media, digital ads, surveys, and a series of educational videos developed specifically for this plan.
Through census data analysis, it was found that all project corridors were located within areas with below-average access to internet and a high Limited English Proficiency (LEP) population. The public outreach approach was revised to provide innovative strategies to equitably address these concerns to the maximum extent possible. All public outreach materials – including mailers, digital ads, surveys, presentations, voiceovers, and website content – and meetings were conducted in both English and Spanish moving forward.
Urban has further advanced the concepts developed as part of this effort through coordination with local stakeholders and presentation on behalf of SJTPO to local elected officials on the benefits of the conceptual designs in order to solicit resolutions of support to advance projects for HSIP funds and align projects to the eligibility criteria of the newly created Safe Streets for All Program (SS4A). This effort resulted in the award of a $20 million Implementation Grant for the Chestnut Avenue Safety Improvements and Rehabilitation project by the FHWA in FY2022.