TMA Council of NJ Newsletter - Fall 2018
As the leaves begin to fall across New Jersey, TMA's across the state are busy working to improve mobility and sustainability. In this issue, we share with how they are accomplishing these tasks.
Greater Mercer TMA and Keep Middlesex Moving Partner to help Central NJ go
Put down those car keys,
pick-up that bike,
lace up those sneakers,
hop on the bus,
share the ride with a friend or
simply stay home...
and be sure and join us Friday, September 21 as we celebrate Car Free Day!
Car Free Day is an international event celebrated on September 22 (we’re celebrating the 21st!) People around the world take part in the event by adopting -sustainable transportation options such as taking public transit, bike, walk, work from home, carpool and vanpool.
The event was established in 2000 by the World Carfree Network and it coincides with the European Mobility Week, September 18 -22. The common theme is ”multimodality”, rethinking how we move, trying new forms of transportation and mixing up different transportation modes. Changing the way we commute, from single occupancy vehicles to more sustainable choices, not only has a positive effect on the environment, but also helps save money and keep people fitter and happier.
While some European cities are becoming car free throughout the year, many other cities around the world are organizing events and closing the streets to cars for one day.
We are also participating in this year’s event and have organized Car Free Day on Friday, September 21. Greater Mercer TMA and Keep Middlesex Moving are organizing the event jointly and are inviting commuters in Mercer, Middlesex, and Ocean County to go car free. We are also encouraging colleges and employers in the area to promote Car Free Day.
Be part of a worldwide event - JOIN US and take the pledge. Everyone that takes the pledge will be entered to win a host of great prizes.
Gloucester Township, in partnership with Camden County, and Cross County Connection TMA, is excited to introduce the GTWheels Sustainable Bike Library
GTWheels is an innovative concept in Gloucester Township where volunteers will repair donated or recovered bicycles and offer them to the public for no cost. Residents will be able to borrow a refurbished bike from their municipal distribution center located at the Lakeland Complex, and then return it when they are done using it if they’d like. This program will provide residents with a fun, healthy, free and green form of recreation and transportation.
“The health and wellbeing of our residents is a huge priority in Gloucester Township. Last summer, we brought you GT Bike Share, a free bike kiosk service located alongside our health and fitness trail. This service was such a success, that we decided to partner with the County and take on this new bike initiative in order to get even more people out of their house and riding. Today, we bring you GTWheels Sustainable Bike Library which operates on donated bikes which residents can use. The difference between the two is that with GTWheels, all of the bikes are recycled or refurbished and you actually get to bring the bikes home!
This volunteer-run program is completely free for residents and will operate at no cost to the Township,” said Mayor David R. Mayer.
In order to obtain a bicycle from the GTWheels Sustainable Bike Library, Gloucester Township residents will simply fill out an on-line membership form, visit the distribution center with identification and proof of residency, sign two documents:
a liability waiver and a policy and procedures form, and then pick out a bike that best suits them! (Bikes range in size to accommodate both children and adults, helmets are also available upon request) Borrowing can be for a short or an extended period of time—as long as the participant continues to ride.
“GTWheels will be the fourth and largest local Bike Library program established through the County. We wish them success and hope that the model established here in Gloucester Township will inspire other communities in the County to create similar programs of their own,” says Camden County Freeholder, Jeff Nash.
“Cross County Connection TMA is proud to have partnered with Camden County and Gloucester Township to open the GTWheels Sustainable Bike Library. As an organization dedicated to reducing congestion and improving air quality, we applaud Gloucester Township’s effort to expand residents access to bicycles, an environmentally friendly mode of transportation. We hope to assist Camden County’s BikeShare program with establishing additional Sustainable BikeShare libraries in the future,” said Executive Director of Cross County Connection TMA, Bill Ragozine.
Street Smart New Providence:
Final Report Released Speeding reduced on
a busy pedestrian roadway
The final report on our Street Smart pedestrian safety campaign in New Providence has been released and the results are positive. Union County proved that motorists do pay attention to road signage, as the Street Smart New Providence campaign led to safer behaviors in the borough.
Analysis of data produced from TransOptions’ Speed Sentry device showed a 12.3 percent increase in compliant speeds from drivers traveling in the area of study. Evaluations showed that the Street Smart campaign in New Providence resulted in an increase in the public’s understanding of New Jersey’s pedestrian safety laws as well as an increased awareness of the campaign’s presence in the community. The campaign also resulted in a 14 percent increase in public awareness of the New Providence Police Department’s pedestrian safety law enforcement efforts, a 22 percent increase in the community’s awareness of pedestrian safety-related advertising messages, and a 38 percent increase in awareness of the Street Smart campaign’s presence in the borough. Street Smart’s “check your vital signs” slogan emphasizes safe travel roles and responsibilities to both pedestrians and motorists alike. The “vital signs” are displayed on tip cards, posters, banners and street signs throughout the community and in local businesses during the campaign as a visual reminder for drivers and pedestrians. From 2014 to 2016, there were 13 pedestrian-related crashes in New Providence. Pedestrian safety is an ongoing challenge in New Jersey. In 2017, 187 pedestrians died as a result of pedestrian-vehicle crashes, according to the most recent data available from the New Jersey State Police. From 2013 through 2017, 828 pedestrians were killed on New Jersey’s roads and more than 17,000 were injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That equates to one death every 2.4 days and 11 injuries daily.
Click here to read the complete report on our Street Smart efforts in New Providence. For more information on our Street Smart campaigns, please contact Project Manager, Laura Cerutti at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 973.267.7600.
Bike Share Sponsorship Opportunity
Are you a local business or organization looking for a fun, new, and innovative way to give back to the community - and get your name out there? Well, look no further! Starting next spring, you’ll start seeing smart bikes zipping around the streets of Morristown, Morris Township and Madison as part of a new bike share program that will provide an affordable, safe, and efficient means of transportation. Not only are bikes an environmentally friendly way to get around and avoid traffic congestion, there are several ways you can sponsor them and promote your business by having your company logo appear on the bikes, for example. Other cities have embraced this trend and couldn’t be happier with their success! To learn more about this exciting opportunity and the different level of sponsorships, please contact TransOptions' Bicycle Programs Coordinator, Emily Casey at email@example.com or call 973.267.7600.
HART TMA Changes Name to
Hunterdon Area Rural Transit, Inc., (HART TMA) the non-profit transportation management association dedicated to promoting sustainable transportation in Hunterdon County, announced today that it is changing its name to “goHunterdon”.
The organization was incorporated more than 20 years ago as “Hunterdon Area Rural Transit, Inc”. Over the years, it has rebranded as “HART”, “HART Commuter Information Services”, and “HART TMA”.
“After many years of struggling with a name that didn’t quite capture all that this organization does, a name change was in order,” said Ron Monaco, President.
“In choosing ‘goHunterdon’ our goal was to better reflect who we are as an organization, what we do, and what we stand for,” Monaco noted. “We needed a name that encompassed our forward thinking approach to mobility and expressed our optimistic outlook for the future of sustainable transportation in Hunterdon County,” he added.
The organization provides a variety of programs and services including a community mobility program, commuter rideshare matching, employer services, traffic alert service, environmental education, sustainability assistance, and pedestrian and bicycle safety programs. “Our core programs and services will remain the same,” says Tara Shepherd, executive director. “The new name will provide greater opportunity for public awareness and the ability to enhance programming in response to local needs.”
The organization is funded, in part, by federal transportation dollars administered through the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, New Jersey Department of Transportation, NJ TRANSIT, New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, and the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board.
For more information, visit www.gohunterdon.org.
RIDES THAT CHANGE LIVES…for children walking and biking to school
New Jersey’s Asbury Park is known for its sandy shore and beachfront boardwalk lined with shops, arcades and cafes. This city of 1.6 square miles is home to about 16,000 residents, 43% of whom are black, 30% are Latino and 25% are white. Estimated median household income in the city is $36,512, about half the statewide median income.
A recent study reported that 62% of Asbury Park residents are overweight, and 34% of households do not have a car. Among residents, pedestrian and bicycle safety is a concern; in 2016-2017, there were 35 vehicle crashes involving pedestrians. The city’s goal was simple: Implement programs to encourage safe walking and biking and build a culture of health in the City of Asbury Park.
EZ Ride’s bike and pedestrian team partnered with the city in this effort. They helped to restart the mayor’s wellness committee. They worked with local schools to do bike and pedestrian safety presentations, bike rodeos, walk to school days, poster contests, bike to school days and other wellness-focused activities, including education about healthy meals and after-school snacks.
The team participated in the Street Smart NJ campaign to increase awareness about walking safely, and they purchased bike racks to encourage biking. The team conducted walk audits at two schools and made recommendations, which were implemented, to improve safety and promote walking and biking in town. The school district regularly holds walk or bike to school events, and hundreds of bike helmets have been distributed to kids in town. The EZ Ride team helped the school district develop walking and biking policies for students.
The EZ Ride team partnered with five local corner stores and the local pharmacy to stock healthy food options. They helped them increase sales by hosting health-related events, such as preventive health screening in partnership with New Jersey’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program registered dieticians, RWJ Barnabas Monmouth Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian Health.
All these efforts paid off. In 2017, Bradley Elementary School and Thurgood Marshall Elementary School earned New Jersey’s Gold Safe Routes to School award, and in 2018, the City of Asbury Park and Barack Obama Elementary School earned this award, too. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School earned the First Step Safe Routes to School award. Additionally, the school travel plans prepared by the team may help the city apply for federal and state infrastructure and technical assistance grants.
The EZ Ride team also raised $208,000 in grants from various organizations to fund initiatives to build a culture of health in Asbury Park. They launched the Alliance for a Healthier Asbury Park that will host the city’s first open streets event in May 2019.
As Mayor John B. Moor states, “The health and safety of all the city's residents is our highest priority. EZ Ride's efforts to improve health outcomes by promoting healthier corner stores, safe streets for walking and biking, access to health care and transportation and physical activity in our parks is so important and much appreciated.”
Hudson County Park(ing) Day
Each year, on the third Friday in September, Hudson TMA participates in Park(ing) Day. It is an annual international event where metered parking spaces are temporarily transformed into a mini park. The originators of Park(ing) Day conceived the event as a way for people to re-imagine our urban landscape.
In addition to this goal, Hudson TMA also sees it as a fun way to get people to think about how they travel and the impact it makes on our environment. The 'instant' park attracts passers-by, allowing the TMA staff to engage them in a dialogue about using their cars less often.
The term "PARK(ing) Day" is a Registered Servicemark of Rebar Group, Inc., Original concept by Rebar. www.rebargroup.org.
RideWise concludes its annual Drive Less Somerset Challenge
RideWise, the transportation management association serving Somerset County, held its annual Drive Less Somerset Challenge in June.
The goal of the month-long event was to encourage individuals to eliminate vehicle trips and drive-alone miles by trying sustainable ways of traveling for work or recreation while also competing for weekly prizes. Any trip that replaced a drive-alone trip, whether for work or recreation, counted.
Robert Wisniewski won the Drive Less Somerset 2018 Grand Challenge for the second year in a row. Robert logged in 139 trips (an average of 4 per day) to eliminate over 2,500 drive-alone vehicle miles.
Participants also competed in a corporate challenge to earn the title of Drive Less Somerset Corporate Champion. AT&T was this year’s big winner with 7,300 drive alone miles saved. AT&T also took first place for the most telecommuting and walking miles saved. Coming in at second place overall was Brother International Corp at 4,200 miles. Brother took first place for the most ridesharing miles saved at 3,700.
Overall, this year’s event eliminated 1,099 drive alone trips and saved more than 30,000 cubic feet of carbon emissions. Now in its 11th year, Drive Less Somerset has helped eliminate more than 5,000+ vehicle trips and 200,000+ drive alone miles.