Safe Routes Scoop

NJ Complete Streets Summit a Success


during a roundtable Q and A. The overall message of the session was that while liability is an important consideration, there is no need to be paralyzed by fear. Towns are not liable for encouraging uses if they are compliant with a plan or the intended use of that plan.


The Design/Safety Session focused on alternative street design features that could be used when creating a complete street. Michael Ronkin; Dana Hecht, NJDOT; Keith Skilton, FHWA; and Jim Rutala, Ocean City, NJ provided examples from their own communities and agencies while grounding their presentations in current design manuals and regulations, and focusing on the safety benefits of alternative designs. According to Ronkin,

Safety must be paramount to everything we do. Many Complete Streets policies do not include safe crossings; but these are extremely important, since intersections account for a large portion of crashes…. The top three goals for streets are to promote: Safety, Health, and Economic Development…. Transportation is not about mobility or speed, it is about access.

A Successful Summit

By participating in the Summit and taking back to their respective communities what they learned about Complete Streets policies and how to implement them, those in attendance will further NJDOT’s mission of spreading the word about Complete Streets and encouraging the adoption and implementation of local Complete Streets policies. With over 200 participants and a significant waiting list, the high attendance at the Summit was truly something to be celebrated. The level of interest and enthusiasm directed toward Complete Streets was truly inspiring, laying the groundwork for a future where Complete Streets are no longer just a desired goal, but rather an accepted component of community life throughout the state.

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