Pedestrians of Maplewood, rejoice!
The traffic light at S. Pierson Road and Valley Street will soon be a reality. Essex County announced this week that the Maplewood traffic light was among a list of projects being funded through a $14.8 million federal grant from the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority.
“We have been negotiating with Essex County to improve pedestrian safety and slow down traffic on county roads,” said Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca last year.
From the Essex County Executive’s Office:
Several Essex County townships, including Maplewood, will benefit from a $14.8 million federal grant from the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA). Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced the funds from the NJTPA will be used to make safety improvements at 31 intersections in Montclair, Orange, East Orange, Newark, Belleville, Irvington, Bloomfield and Maplewood.
The intersection of Valley Street and South Pierson Road in Maplewood will be improved.
“We want everyone to feel safe on our roads whether they’re walking, driving, visiting our local businesses or using public transit,” said DiVincenzo, who serves as the Secretary of the NJTPA Board of Trustees. “These grants will help us improve safety at some of our most heavily trafficked intersections for pedestrians,” he added.
The improvements will be completed as part of two separate projects:
— Traffic signal upgrades, pedestrian countdown signals, high visibility crosswalks, and left-turn lanes will be installed, where feasible, at 11 intersections along Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair and nine intersections along Park Avenue in Orange, East Orange and Newark. New traffic signals will be installed on Bloomfield Avenue at Midland Avenue and Seymore Street, and on Park Avenue at Cleveland Street and Mt. Prospect Street. The grant for this project is $9,685,049.
— Traffic signal upgrades, pedestrian countdown signals, high visibility crosswalks, and left-turn lanes will be installed, where feasible, at 11 intersections on five county roads: Franklin Avenue in Belleville, Springfield Avenue in Irvington, Bloomfield Avenue in Bloomfield, Broadway in Newark and Valley Street and South Pierson in Maplewood. New traffic signals will be installed on Springfield Avenue at Smith and Orange streets, on Broadway at Kearny and Carteret streets, and on Valley Street at Pierson Road. The grant for this project is $5,089,005.
The projects are among 14 throughout the region that the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) Board of Trustees approved at its Jan. 22 meeting. The Essex County projects are part of the NJTPA’s Local Safety Program, which provides federal funds for cost-effective solutions that can make an immediate impact on their target areas.
The NJTPA Board approved $50.8 million in Local Safety Program and High Risk Rural Roads grants for projects that will proceed in fiscal years 2017 and 2018. More information on the program is available online at www.njtpa.org/LocalSafety.
The NJTPA is the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for 13 northern New Jersey counties. Under federal legislation, MPOs provide a forum where local officials, public transportation providers and state agency representatives can come together and cooperatively plan to meet the region’s current and future transportation needs. The agency establishes the region’s eligibility to receive federal tax dollars for transportation projects.
The NJTPA Board consists of one local elected official from each of the counties in the region (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren) and the cities of Newark and Jersey City. The Board also includes a governor’s representative, the New Jersey Department of Transportation commissioner, the NJ TRANSIT executive director, the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and a citizen’s representative appointed by the governor.