Introduction | NJTOD.org | Handbook | Pilot Program | Planning Assistance | Transit Village Initiative | Transit Oriented Development
New Jersey is on the forefront of Transit - Friendly Land Use. In recent years there has been a growing recognition that transportation plays a key role in the creation and maintenance of livable and sustainable communities. With that in mind, NJ TRANSIT has pledged a strong commitment to working with New Jersey communities to implement transit-oriented development.
NJ TRANSIT's Transit-Friendly Planning, Land Use and Development Program (TFPLUD) encourages growth and development where public transportation already exists. Not only is community revitalization a benefit to the state, but transit-oriented development also reduces the growth of traffic congestion and improves air quality. In addition, communities benefit as their train stations and surrounding areas are revitalized, making them attractive places for people to live, work and socialize.
Transit stations are situated in a wide variety of settings throughout New Jersey, ranging from older downtowns to established suburban commuter towns and villages. Many of these municipalities are experiencing pressure to chase "rateables," resulting in disconnected sprawl development rather than integrated, sustainable growth that respects the existing community fabric and takes strategic advantage of the presence of established transit. To balance competing priorities and multiple objectives, municipalities can create and implement sensitive, community-based plans to guide growth in a comprehensive manner, especially in areas where transit can stimulate new development opportunities.
Transit-Friendly Development Newsletter (NJTOD.org)
For the most up to date information on Transit-Friendly Land Use please visit our quarterly newsletter, which is designed in part with Rutgers University's Voorhees Transportation Center, to keep municipal officials, planners and advocates up to date on the potential for development and redevelopment around transit stations.
For more information on Transit Friendly Land Use and Transit Villages, please contact:
Vivian E. Baker, Assistant Director
Transit Friendly Land Use & Development
1 Penn Plaza East, 8th Floor
Newark, NJ 07105-2246
Planning for Transit-Friendly Land Use: A Handbook for New Jersey Communities
In 1994, NJ TRANSIT created a handbook specifically designed to assist elected and appointed planning officials, members of planning and zoning boards, technical planning staff members and consultants, community representatives and individual citizens interested in improving the relationship between land use planning and transit. The handbook (available on CD-ROM) is a tool communities can use to create and implement transit-friendly land use plans around their transit stations, along their major transit corridors and for proposed new areas of development. Transit-friendly planning is smart growth at its best because it can be used to create an environment around a transit station that supports pedestrian and transit use by providing for a mix of land uses in a safe, clean, vibrant and active place.
Transit-Friendly Communities for New Jersey (TFC) Pilot Program 1999-2002
The TFC is NJ TRANSIT's award-winning pilot community planning assistance program, which was created in 1999 with funding from the Federal Highway Administration. NJ TRANSIT partnered with a consortium of not-for-profit consultant partners (Regional Plan Association, Project for Public Spaces, New Jersey Future, Downtown New Jersey, Rutgers University and the New Jersey Office of State Planning, now known as the Office of Smart Growth) specializing in urban design, transportation planning, downtown revitalization, community outreach and "smart growth" advocacy, to assist competitively selected municipalities with developing community-based visions for transit-friendly development (compact, mixed-use development with a strong residential component) at and surrounding rail stations. Eleven municipalities participated in this program, including Bayonne, Hackensack, Hillsdale, Hoboken, Matawan, Palmyra, Plainfield, Red Bank, Riverton, Rutherford and Trenton.' In March 2002, NJ TRANSIT hosted its first statewide conference focusing on transit-friendly land use visioning, planning and development (Building Better Communities with Transit: Smart Growth Designs & Planning Strategies). Over 100 municipal, county and state officials, developers, consultants, community activists and interested private citizens were presented with the highlights of the TFC program and the importance of planning for transit-friendly "smart growth." In June 2003, NJ TRANSIT released the TFC program summary report entitled "Building Better Communities with Transit" (available on CD-ROM) that identifies universally applicable, transit-friendly land use best practices and "lessons learned" from the eleven community pilot projects.
Transit-Friendly Planning, Land Use & Development Program
NJ TRANSIT is committed to assisting communities with planning for transit supportive land use and transit-oriented development at and surrounding our passenger transportation facilities. Since 1999, NJ TRANSIT's "Transit-Friendly Planning, Land Use & Development (TFPLUD) Program has provided planning assistance to interested communities through on-call consultants with expertise in transportation planning, urban design, market analysis, economic development, downtown revitalization, parking and community engagement. The result has been the creation of countless consensus-based, transit supportive land use "vision plans" that communities are using to guide development and redevelopment at and surrounding existing or proposed transit facilities. By creating local "transit-friendly vision plans," NJ TRANSIT has successfully demonstrated how statewide transportation investments can enhance the environment, create strong community centers, encourage private reinvestment in the local economy and improve the quality of life.
Municipalities that have received TFPLUD program assistance include: South Orange, Rutherford, Morristown, Trenton, Matawan, Hamilton, Secaucus (in conjunction with the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission), Netcong, Cherry Hill, Dover, Galloway, Jersey City, Newark, Camden, Asbury Park, West Windsor, Somerville, the 13 River LINE light rail station communities, Orange, East Orange, Toms River, Woodbridge, Springfield, Perth Amboy, Bloomfield, Montclair, Glen Ridge, Verona, Kingwood, Maplewood, Passaic, Paterson, Neptune, Bradley Beach, Hoboken, Branchburg, Bridgewater, Raritan, Readington, Flemington and Fair Lawn.
New Jersey's Transit Village Initiative http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/community/village/
New Jersey's Transit Village Initiative was created by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and NJ TRANSIT to acknowledge the existence of transit-friendly, smart growth land use practices in designated municipalities that allow for mixed-use development (with a strong residential component) to occur within a quarter-mile to half-mile radius around rail or bus passenger facilities. A municipality is designated a Transit Village only after much of the visioning, planning and background work have already been completed on the municipal level, and only when it is poised for redevelopment to begin. The Transit Village initiative brings together key state agencies (e.g., New Jersey Department of Transportation, NJ TRANSIT, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Office of Planning Advocacy in the NJ Business Action Center, Council on Affordable Housing, Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, Main Street New Jersey, New Jersey Economic Development Authority, New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, etc.) in support of local efforts to "grow smart" and reinforces the principals of the State Development & Redevelopment Plan. Designated "New Jersey Transit Villages" include Belmar, Bloomfield, Bound Brook, Burlington, Collingswood, Cranford, Elizabeth, Jersey City (Journal Square), Linden, Matawan, Metuchen, Montclair, Morristown, Netcong, New Brunswick, Orange, Pleasantville, Rahway, Riverside, Rutherford, South Amboy, Somerville, South Orange, West Windsor, East Orange, Dunellen, Summit, Plainfield, Park Ridge and Irvington.
Transit Oriented Development
Transit Oriented Development is an ongoing endeavor (spearheaded by NJ TRANSIT's Real Estate & Economic Development unit) to competitively solicit mixed-use, transit-supportive development on targeted, NJ TRANSIT-owned properties proximate to rail, light rail, bus or ferry passenger facilities. Goals include creating a non-farebox revenue stream to NJ TRANSIT, expanding commuter parking (where needed or appropriate), creating an economic return to the host municipality (tax ratable) and enhancing the vibrancy and "sense of place" of the transportation facility, particularly as it relates to the host community. Pending projects include mixed-use development at Bound Brook, Netcong, Somerville, and Wood-Ridge.