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."

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.


Unknown 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:

Andrew J. Besold 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! :)

Emily Wonder said...

My daughter (Annabel) suffered from schizophrenia for 5 years. I had no idea what was happening and didn’t know where to turn for help. It was hard then because I really didn’t understand the symptoms earlier until she was diagnosed. There was a time she decided to get away from everyone, I was not excluded. I had to sit and cry almost every day because I felt helpless as a single mother (she is all I have got). The anguish I went through taking care of her alone is beyond explanation because there was no support whatsoever from the dad or family members. I fought for proper medical care and humane treatment; I did everything within my reach to get her cured but all to no avail. Countless different medications was prescribed (Zyprexa, fluphenazine, Risperdal, quetiapine, etc.) that she was taking but all we could get was myriad of side effects such as rigidity, drowsiness, dizziness, tremors and restlessness which tends to worsen the already damaged situation. Frustration was the order of the day. I wrote a couple of messages to Ontario Mental Health Foundation for help because watching my daughter go through such was devastating. It was at this foundation someone shared a testimony about DR James herba mix medicine, how effective it is and how she went through the most difficult times of her life trying to help her mom fight Schizophrenia. Being that I was already at the verge of giving up because I just couldn't imagine waking up every morning to fight the same demons that left me so tired the night before. I had to contact the doctor,on his email  (  from our conversations; I was relieved and convinced that the result is going to be positive because I was made to contact people with worse cases. Today, the awful situation of my daughter has gone by. Her happy life is back. She is now a schizophrenia survivor and I am glad because my daily routine activities can now kick off without obstructions. Don't let Schizophrenia hinder you from living a desired life and also, never allow anyone to decide for you especially when they don't know what you have to go through to get to where you are. I was almost discouraged by the doctor but then, I remembered that: I have to shield my daughter’s destiny with courage, faith and perseverance because she is not in her right state of mind and that the bravery and freedom from fear is found in the ‘doing’. Her life is now a testimony. After my daughter got cured,from the herbal mix medicine Dr James prepared and sent to me, she said, Mom “I just thought, ‘Well, I’m a weirdo, I’ll never be normal, then I said, my daughter, life itself is a misery and we get stronger in the places we have been broken. Thanks to you Dr. James  for your excellent counseling, no more psychotic symptoms for the past 3 years and 4 months now. To know more about Dr.James and the effectiveness of his Herbs and roots extracts and he said he got cures for diseases like Bipolar,DIABETES, HPV,SHINGLES,CANCER, ALS, HEPATITIS B, KIDNEY DISEASE, HERPES, Ovarian Cancer,Pancreatic cancers, Bladder cancer,Skin cancer, Prostate cancer, Glaucoma., Cataracts,Macular degeneration,Cardiovascular disease,Autism,Lung disease.Enlarged prostate,Osteoporosis.Alzheimer's disease,psoriasis ,Tach Diseases,Lupus,Dementia.kidney cancer, lung cancer,. You can reach him on his Email at ...  I believe you will testify just like me.