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New Jersey Future In Transportation

New Jersey FIT: Future In Transportation


Route 31 Project

Hunterdon County

Background
Congestion on Route 31 through Raritan Township and Flemington Borough has been a growing concern for area residents, business owners and elected officials for some time. For decades, an interstate-standard highway by-pass, complete with grade separated interchanges, had been planned for the land east of Flemington through mostly vacant, industrial-zoned land. The aim of the proposed Flemington Bypass was two-fold: to relieve congestion on Route 31, which went through the community's commercial district, and to provide access to the industrial land between Route 31, Route 202 and the South Branch River. This project was never completed and the industrial areas around the proposed site remain relatively undeveloped.

Project description
The Route 31 Project was one of the first to be examined under NJFIT principles. The plan for the bypass has been replaced with a more context sensitive parkway to provide an additional routing option to Route 31 while enhancing the area's transportation network and celebrating the natural, historic and cultural resources of the area. The two lane parkway would define an edge between the area's urban/suburban and rural/agricultural development patterns. One of the most important components of this project is the emphasis on a connected street network. As development occurs, a new street network will be built, adding routing options for local traffic and minimizing pressure on Route 31. This new network will include sidewalks and other amenities to encourage pedestrian and bicycle movement throughout the area and increase connectivity. Additionally, more direct routes between areas of housing, employment and retail will be provided.

Following the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT)

conceptual study of Route 31, additional funds were provided by New Jersey Office of Smart Growth. With these funds, Raritan Township completed the Route 31 Land Use and Transportation Plan. Beginning with the integrated street network as a base, the township evaluated several land use alternatives before adopting one that promoted mixed use development, a multi-modal transportation system, sustainable economic and social development and preserved green space. Recognizing that this section of Raritan Township has historically been its industrial and agricultural heart, they made every effort to preserve the unique character of the Route 31 area through Design Guidelines. These design guidelines provide information to appropriate materials, size and massing of buildings, set-backs, parking, access and spatial relationships.
South Branch Parkway concept
To complement the South Branch Parkway, an expanded street network will provide transportation alternatives and increased connectivity for local traffic.

historic character photo historic barn photo
The historic character of the area will be protected through historic design guidelines for new development.

Project status
Raritan Township adopted the Route 31 Land Use and Transportation Plan in November 2008. The NJDOT continues to work with developers and the municipalities to preserve the alignment of the proposed parkway and develop a street network.

NJFITness goals advanced by the Route 31 Project are rated on a scale of one to three stars, with three stars indicating the most strongly pursued:

The NJFIT tools that are most applicable to this project are starred:

 

 
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  Department of Transportation
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  Last Updated:  October 28, 2010