Thursday, December 01, 2011

Why are South Jersey towns passing up on possible Bike/Ped monies?

Word is coming in that South Jersey towns are passing up on monies from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) that could be used to plan and design "non-motorized" transportation projects.  The DVRPC which serves Mercer, Burlington, Camden and Glouster Counties in New Jersey (as well as Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania) has a program call Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI) which helps fund the planning and design of local projects that are consistent with regional and state planning objectives.  And according to the DVRPC:
The TCDI program is intended to reverse the trends of disinvestment and decline in many of the region's core cities and older suburbs by:
  • Supporting local planning projects that will lead to more residential, employment or retail opportunities;
  • Improving the overall character and quality of life within these communities to retain and attract business and residents, which will help to reduce the pressure for further sprawl and expansion into areas without infrastructure in place or planned;
  • Enhancing and utilizing the existing transportation infrastructure capacity in these areas to reduce the demands on the region's transportation network; and
  • Reducing congestion and improving the transportation system's efficiency.
Unfortunately, the DVRPC had not received enough applicants from New Jersey communities by the original September 1st deadline so the DVRPC has extended the deadline to December 28th.  Hopefully more eligible towns have already heeded the call because there was a mandatory pre-application meeting yesterday.

It's somewhat remarkable that there was a lack of interested municipalities because "planning and design" grants are often harder to come by.  Most grants available to towns are often only available for the construction of projects that are ready to go.

For more information about the TCDI Program see this guide from the DVRPC.

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