Safe Routes Scoop

Bicycle and Pedestrian Considerations in the Development and Design Review Process: New Jersey Municipalities



A resolution is similar to an ordinance in that it is passed by the governingbody and is enforceable by law.  While resolutions generally have the same legal effect as an ordinance, a resolution may be specified as non-binding, meaning it is not enforceable and is intended only to serve as a means of support by the governing body.  A resolution may address the same issues as an ordinance, although the process for passing a resolution is simpler and may be done in one meeting. 


Master Planning
Giving attention to the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians through recognition in Master Plans serves as both a visionary and regulatory tool geared towards planning for a future the community desires.  (See “Plan on It” in the NJ Walks and Bikes Newsletter; Vol. 1, No. 1).  By including specific bicycle and pedestrian elements or a comprehensive circulation element within their master plans, municipalities provide a vision and framework for decision making and policy development as the municipality evolves. This allows decisions and policies as well as improvements to be considered and developed in a manner consistent with the master plan.


Informal policies
Not all municipal policies need to beformally passed by a governing


body.  Many policies may take shape through the internal workings of a municipal agency, such as a planning or engineering department.  A department director may choose to more actively consider bicycle and pedestrian accommodations and can instruct department staff to do so during their daily duties. 


Leadership & Advocacy
Strong leadership is important for instituting any type of change in the community.  In terms of contributing to the development process, it can be critical to successfully negotiating with a developer on the inclusion of bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.  During development or redevelopment, this role can be taken on by the Mayor, township administrator or agent of the municipality, as long as that individual understands the needs of the community.  This may also take the form of a citizen task force or another type of advocacy group that is focused on a particular issue.  Effective leadership and advocacy is aided by supportive policies and planning.


Integrating Tools in Decision Making

The regulatory tools available to municipalities have specific qualities that make each one useful in certain cases but often overlap as well.  The result is that these tools are often used in conjunction with each other and in some cases provide

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