TRENTON – New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti on July 26, 2018 announced applications are now being accepted for several of NJDOT’s Fiscal Year 2019 State Aid programs, with increased assistance and information sharing as part of the Department’s Commitment to Communities Initiative. The initiative is designed to ensure local governments succeed in delivering transportation projects that improve the quality of life for those traveling in and through New Jersey.
The most significant grant program taking applications is the $151 million Municipal Aid program. In addition, grant applications are being accepted for Bikeways, Safe Routes To School, and Transit Villages. Each of those three program has $1 million available in funding. Municipalities may submit grant applications for any of these four programs beginning on July 24 through Oct. 8, 2018.
The Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) reauthorization in 2016 increased funding for Local Aid programs to counties and municipalities from $190 million per year to $430 million. The steep increase is because the majority of New Jersey’s roadway mileage—about 90 percent—is under local government jurisdiction and is in as much need of repair as the state roadway network.
Commissioner Scaccetti recently announced NJDOT’s Commitment to Communities initiative that creates new programs and combines existing Departmental efforts to assist local governments spend the significantly increased level of aid that the reauthorized Trust Fund law affords them. The Commitment to Communities initiative provides one-stop shopping for local government managers by providing hands-on resources for the application process, raising awareness of grant cycles and proactively communicating pertinent information.
“As Commissioner of Transportation, I am committed to maintaining and improving New Jersey’s local transportation infrastructure by providing financial assistance, technical expertise and training in the application process for local transportation initiatives as part of NJDOT’s Commitment to Communities Initiative,” Commissioner Scaccetti said. “These programs allow our counties and municipalities to be well positioned to design and construct important local projects without the need to impact property taxes. The success of local governments in building projects and spending the additional funding will improve the quality of life not only for local residents, but for the entire state.”
The following is a brief description of each grant program:
• Municipal Aid - This $151 million program has been a significant resource in funding local transportation projects. All municipalities are eligible. The Department continues to encourage municipalities to consider using the Municipal Aid Program to fund projects that support walking and biking in their communities especially now that additional funds are available. NJDOT has set a goal to award up to 10 percent of the Municipal Aid Program funds to projects such as pedestrian safety improvements, bikeways and streetscapes.
• Bikeways - This $1 million program is intended to fund bicycle projects which create new Bike Path Mileage. It is available to all counties and municipalities. The Department continues to work toward the goal of achieving 1,000 miles of dedicated bikeways in New Jersey. Special consideration will be given to bikeways that are physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic by an open space or barrier, but on-road bike lanes and other bike routes and facilities are also eligible for funding.
• Safe Streets to Transit - The intent of this $1 million program is to encourage counties and municipalities to construct safe and accessible pedestrian linkages to transit facilities, in order to promote increased usage of transit by all segments of the population.
• Transit Village – This $1 million program will award grants or traditional and non-traditional transportation projects that enhance walking, biking and/or transit ridership within a half mile of the transit facility. Only New Jersey municipalities that have been designated as Transit Villages by the Commissioner of Transportation and the inter-agency Transit Village Task Force are eligible to apply. The eligible town list can be found at: http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/business/localaid/transitvillagef.shtm
Municipalities are encouraged to submit applications for these Local Aid programs. Each of these four programs are evaluated independently, affording local governments the opportunity to receive funding from more than one grant program. For NJDOT news follow us on Twitter @NJDOT_info and on the NJDOT Facebook page.