Department of Transportation

A community-based approach to transportation

Image - Nassau Street in Princeton, NJContext Sensitive Design (CSD) is an approach to planning and designing transportation projects based on active and early partnerships with communities.

While CSD is not a new concept for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, it was formally incorporated into its procedures in 1999. CSD involves a commitment to a process that encourages transportation officials to collaborate with community stakeholders so the design of the project reflects the goals of the people who live, work and travel in the area. Such collaboration results in creative and safe transportation solutions.

The Congestion Relief and Transportation Trust Fund Renewal Act signed into law in July 2000, requires the New Jersey Department of Transportation to have a CSD program.

NJDOT engineers, planners, project managers and community relations representatives, as well as consultants and community leaders have been trained in its techniques: flexible design, respectful communication, consensus-building and community participation, negotiation and conflict resolution.

What does CSD mean for my town?

Image - George Street, New Brunswick, NJ Because of our high traffic volumes, population density and aging transportation infrastructure, New Jersey residents stand to benefit more from this community-based approach than many other states in the nation.

Our town centers, villages and cities grew around our highways. As a result, we have an urgent need to safely and efficiently move motor vehicles through residential and commercial areas while at the same time protecting the equal rights and safety of pedestrians, bicyclists and local users of business and public facilities.

Be ready.

Image - Route 18 Community Meeting When NJDOT or NJ TRANSIT announces a new study or project inyour community, gather your ideas, your concerns and your fellow residents. Come to the meetings and share them with us. Together we will find common ground and innovative ways to solve the transportation problem while enhancing the community.

Have a vision.

Image - Coopers Bridge, Redbank, NJ Residents must develop a formal concept of what they want their towns to look like in five, ten and twenty years. NJDOT can then be a partner in fulfilling that vision and also explain any limits on our delivery of the project so local expectations can be realized.

The signature Route 35 Coopers Bridge over the Navesink River between Red Bank and Middletown was dedicated in 2000 after five years of planning and redesign by a partnership between the communities and NJDOT.

Last updated date: January 2, 2020 10:50 AM