SUMMIT – State officials today announced that the City of Summit has been accepted into the Transit Village program which promotes mixed-use development and “Complete Streets” accommodations near transit facilities. With the designation, Summit becomes the 27th municipality to be accepted into the Transit Village program statewide.
The City of Summit is advancing a detailed planning process that aims to revitalize its central retail business district through a master plan promoting mixed-use development and full access to their public transportation facilities.
“The Transit Village initiative creates safe, walkable and enjoyable communities by accentuating and improving on existing transportation assets,” said state Department of Transportation Commissioner James Simpson. “I commend the City of Summit for applying the ideals of smart growth and Complete Streets to their future development.”
The New Jersey Department of Transportation-administered Transit Village program provides participating towns with planning expertise and grant opportunities to redevelop land near train or other transit facilities in a way that promotes economic activity and the use of public transportation. All Transit Village proposals must include residential components.
“We are extremely excited about the Transit Village designation,” said Summit Mayor Ellen Dickson. “It will identify the city as a well-planned transit- and pedestrian-friendly community where smart development is encouraged, creating a livelier downtown and bringing many new residents into the surrounding area.”
The entire downtown area in Summit was recently designated a historic district. In addition to mixed-use development, the Summit proposal includes plans to promote all modes of transportation – including the use of bicycles – consistent with Complete Streets principles that encourage the safe accommodation of all users of streets and roads. The city is planning to add bicycle racks in the transit village area and bicycle lockers at the train station and is planning improvements to the Village Green, which will redirect paths and enhance lighting to improve access for pedestrians. The city is also planning bump-outs, signage, on-street parking, and striping to calm traffic.
The goals of the zoning and development regulations within Summit’s master plan encourage an urban form that has pedestrian friendly goals and supports transit-oriented development in the existing central business district, near the NJ TRANSIT Morristown/Gladstone train station. Two regional bus lines connect Summit with the Irvington Bus Terminal and Newark Penn Station.
Transit Village designation provides:
- State of New Jersey commitment to the municipality’s redevelopment vision
- Coordination among ten State agencies that comprise the Transit Village Task Force and technical assistance from state agencies
- Priority consideration for certain funding opportunities
New Jersey’s first Transit Village was designated in 1999. The roster now includes Pleasantville, Morristown, Rutherford, South Amboy, South Orange, Riverside, Rahway, Metuchen, Belmar, Collingswood, Bloomfield, Bound Brook, Cranford, Matawan, New Brunswick, Journal Square/Jersey City, Netcong, Elizabeth City, Burlington City, Orange, Somerville, Montclair, Linden, West Windsor, East Orange, Dunellen and now Summit.
The department has allocated a $1 million line item in the Fiscal Year 2014 Capital Program provide dedicated funding to local governments that have been selected for inclusion in the state Transit Village Program. Applications are now being accepted by NJDOT through Sept. 20 for FY 14 grants. Last year, five Transit Village municipalities shared $1 million for improvement projects.
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