Monday, February 01, 2010

Interesting Statute of the Month - No Highway Off-ramps Near Schools

UPDATE! (2/2/10) - Zoe at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign commented below that this law is referred to as the "Terrell James' Law." I was curious about that and pulled up what I believe is the final bill language that created the statute below.

According to a NJDOT Press Release from February 7, 2006, the "Terrell James' Law" was (would be) named "in memory of an 8-year-old who was killed in a tragic 1997 accident that occurred on a Newark playground located between two highway ramps."
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I was doing some research again and I came across this interesting little tidbit. The law is only a little more than two years old but it is an interesting bit of legislation particularly for you folks concerned about Safe Routes to School issues. Also, if you follow the link below there is a bit more to this legislation than this one statute.
27:7-44.12 New entry or exit ramp, construction within 1,000 feet of school; prohibited; exceptions.

4. a. A new entry or exit ramp shall not be constructed as part of a highway project if a school is located or is being constructed within 1,000 feet of the proposed location of the entry or exit ramp, unless, during the planning and design of the project, the department determines that the construction is required and that there is no feasible or prudent alternative.

b.Prior to making the determination required pursuant to subsection a. of this section, the department shall, as part of its community outreach efforts to identify a preferred alternative design for the highway project, notify the local board of education in whose district the school is located or being constructed, and in the case of a school being constructed by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the authority, or in the case of a nonpublic school, the board thereof, the Department of Education and the members of the Legislature representing the district in which the school is located or being constructed, that the department is considering the construction of an entry or exit ramp within 1,000 feet of the school. The preferred alternative design for the highway project shall not be selected until the members of the Legislature notified pursuant to this subsection have been afforded the opportunity to submit comments to the department. If the department subsequently determines that the construction of the entry or exit ramp is required and that there is no feasible or prudent alternative, pedestrian safety issues shall be included as part of the environmental review undertaken by the department pursuant to State and federal laws, rules and regulations. When the public forum is held as part of the environmental review of the proposed highway project, the department shall present its plan for any entry or exit ramp and the safety measures, consistent with the recommendations of the study required pursuant to section 7 of this act, that are to be included in the highway project.

c.An entry or exit ramp for a highway shall not be reconstructed if a school is located or being constructed within 1,000 feet of the location of the ramp unless the department shall take steps to minimize the public safety hazards of the reconstructed ramp, consistent with the recommendations contained in the study required pursuant to section 7 of this act.

L.2007, c.308, s.4.

2 comments:

Zoe said...

Thanks Andy, these "interesting statues" posts are great! If anyone is interested in why the Terrell James Law is so relevant now, take a look at what's going on at Newark's Speedway elementary:
http://blog.tstc.org/2010/01/08/speedway-elementary-where-kids-learn-to-dodge-cars/

http://blog.tstc.org/2010/02/01/parents-take-a-stand-at-newarks-speedway-elementary/

Andy B from Jersey said...

Oh yeah! I saw your post and on MTR and didn't even think of the connection. I just stumbled upon this statute and found it interesting never even thinking about the issue at Speedway Elementary that I read about only moments earlier.

Duh! :)