Christie Administration announces
and Irvington as the
29th and 30th State Transit Villages
Program promotes mixed-use development and
Complete Streets accommodations near transit facilities
(Trenton) - The Christie Administration today announced that Park Ridge and Irvington have been accepted for inclusion in the state’s Transit Village Initiative, which partners the cities with several state agencies to help implement mixed-use development and Complete Streets accommodations near transit facilities.
With the designation, Park Ridge (Bergen County) and Irvington (Essex County) become the 29th and 30th municipalities respectively to become Transit Villages statewide. Ten state agencies make up the Transit Village Task Force, which has been working with the towns since their efforts to earn the designation began.
“Mass transit is a critical piece of New Jersey’s transportation system and creative opportunities to develop Transit Villages are important,” NJDOT Commissioner Jamie Fox said. “I applaud Park Ridge and Irvington for their careful planning efforts and the proactive approaches in their exciting current and future developments. Park Ridge and Irvington can expect priority consideration in funding and technical assistance from many of the participating agencies.”
Park Ridge is served by the NJ Transit Pascack Valley Line. The borough owns and operates two park-and-ride facilities with an additional 30 on-street parking spaces reserved for commuters.
In 2008, Park Ridge engaged in the Regional Plan Association to organize a community-wide visioning process focusing on the downtown. By 2010 the borough adopted the Neighborhood Business Ordinance to encourage redevelopment of properties. Park Ridge has been planning, designing, and constructing pedestrian/bicycle pathways that connect the surrounding residential areas to the recreation facilities and commercial uses in the Central Business District, creating walkable options to the transit facility. The borough also has documented 15 transit-supportive projects of various sizes in the ready-to-go stages for the Transit Village District.
Irvington’s central business district terminal serves as a major bus transit hub. With the bus facility at the center of the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), the Transit Village designation allows the township to take advantage of the anticipated growth in ridership by guiding the different modes of transit users through the Transit Village area.
Irvington plans a variety of initiatives and zoning changes that will lead to new development in the Transit Village area. One current improvement, the Springfield Avenue Streetscape, is being funded by federal dollars, which is administered by NJDOT. The Irvington Chamber of Commerce and the UEZ provide leadership for the development of new businesses in the township. Local officials are working with various community organizations to provide arts and cultural events throughout the year.
The NJDOT-administered Transit Village Initiative provides participating towns with planning expertise and grant opportunities to redevelop land near train or other transit facilities in a way that promotes economic activity and the use of public transportation.
Transit Village designation provides:
- State of New Jersey commitment to the municipality’s redevelopment vision
- Coordination among ten State agencies that comprise the Transit Village Task Force and technical assistance from state agencies
- Priority consideration for certain funding opportunities
New Jersey’s first Transit Village was designated in 1999. The roster now includes Pleasantville, Morristown, Rutherford, South Amboy, South Orange, Riverside, Rahway, Metuchen, Belmar, Collingswood, Bloomfield, Bound Brook, Cranford, Matawan, New Brunswick, Journal Square/Jersey City, Netcong, Elizabeth, Burlington City, Orange, Somerville, Montclair, Linden, West Windsor, East Orange, Dunellen, Summit, Plainfield, and now Park Ridge and Irvington.
The Department has programmed $1 million in the Fiscal Year 2016 Capital Program to provide funding to local governments that are part the state Transit Village Initiative. Applications for Transit Village designation are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by the Transit Village Task Force. The task force reviews applications and makes recommendations to the NJDOT Commissioner, who has final approval of Transit Village designations. In Fiscal Year 2015, five Transit Village municipalities shared $1 million for improvement projects.