Morristown Getting $270K in State Aid

$185,000 going toward South Street streetscape project; $85,000 awarded for Lafayette Avenue pedestrian safety and accessibility improvements.

Morristown has been awarded a pair of grants from the New Jersey Department of Transportation, totalling $270,000, which will be used for the third phase in streetscape improvements on South Street, and for pedestrian safety and accessibility improvements on Lafayette Avenue.

$185,000 has been awarded for the streetscape improvement project, while $85,000 has been earmarked for Lafayette Avenue. The funds are part of a $78.4 million local aid grant package announced this week, providing monies for 376 municipalities statewide.

The majority of grants were awarded under the Municipal Aid program, with 374 grants totaling $76,126,200. Ten Local Aid Infrastructure Fund (LAIF) grants worth $1,810,000 were awarded. Morristown was one of three municipalities in the state to receive the Safe Streets to Transit grants, totalling $500,000

The 374 grants awarded were from a pool of 661 applicants, or 57 percent, according to the NJDOT press release.

"We're grateful to the governor for awarding us the money," Mayor Tim Dougherty said.

While the mayor said the town was pleased to receive the funds to continue the South Street streetscape improvements––"we're very, very happy to get the money for Safe Routes to Transit."

Councilman Stefan Armington said the Safe Routes to Transit grant would be used for a reconfiguration of traffic lanes on Lafayette Avenue, from Ridgedale to Morris avenues, to try and make that area more pedestrian friendly. , which reduced the number of lanes on Morris Avenue from three to two, he said.

An avid cyclist and vocal proponent of greater accessibility for those utilizing means of transportation other than automobiles, Armington said he was thrilled the town was getting the $85,000 grant.

"It's an extremely difficult road to cross and travel along," he said, noting its proximity to both the , as well as the Highlands at Morristown Station transit village, "which is technically supposed to be pedestrian and bike friendly, but it's really not at this point."

Dougherty said, while no time has been set to begin either project, "now that it's official, we'll get together with our engineers and planners and set dates to get moving."

Rebecca P. Feldman March 29, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Mother Morristown, when the County of Morris recently paved and re-striped Morris Avenue, a thorough study was done and a number of improvements made - including re-locating the King Street crosswalk. With all the car volume and many turning movements, there was no way to add another traffic light, nor a pedestrain crosswalk from Wilmot Walk to the Midtown Shopping Center. Please contribute your ideas to the Mobility Plan when that process gets started this year. You can email me at r-feldman@townofmorristown.org if you'd like to know more.
Rebecca P. Feldman March 29, 2012 at 12:03 AM
Kendra, please let readers know how they can get volunteer with BikeWalkMorristown - and thank you for all you are doing to promote "complete streets" in our town! - Rebecca
Kendra Arnold March 29, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Bike and Walk Morristown meets at Zebu Forno on the second Monday of every month, at 7 pm. We welcome and anyone and everybody with an interest in walking and biking to show up, and we need all the help we can get. We are working on putting together a mid-day walking group for downtown Morristown, following up on the Morristown Pedestrian Project, May's Bike Month events, this summer's bike-in movie nights and other friendly walks and rides around town. You can email bikemorristown@gmail.com and asked to be added to our mailing list, and follow us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/BikeMorristown
Richard Babcock March 30, 2012 at 12:01 AM
We pay far too much attention to the needs of bicycles riders in this town. 99% of the people that work and live in Morristown walk or drive, yet we spend so much time catering to the small but vocal bike lobby that seems to exist. In additon to properly focusing on our time and money on the roads and sidewalks, we really need to be doing a much better job of sychronizing the lights around the green to achieve a better traffic flow and marking the lanes around the green so people will properly navigate their way around it, instead of changing lanes from left to right, and right to left, blocking traffic and cutting-off other drivers.
Chris Jansen May 02, 2012 at 07:58 PM
It's time to make biking safer in Morristown. You take your life in your hands when you ride from Morristown to the Morris County Mall on Ridgedale Avenue. As far as I can tell bicyclists are not welcome. Ridgedale should become 2 lanes with sufficient bike lanes instead of a 4-lane monstrosity. 4-lane roads like this are not only dangerous but they are ugly. For comparison, traveling by car or bike on Madison Avenue between Friendly's and the town of Madison is a pleasant experience. Traveling on Ridgedale to the Mall is a vicious road rally with cars constantly jockeying for position, and road rage always just a cut-off away. Both of these roads are similar in volume, one is pleasurable and one is not.


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