State wheels out $175,000 in bike path aid

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GALLOWAY – The township has been awarded a $175,000 Bikeways grant to build a 10-foot path on Wrangleboro Road.

Five Atlantic County towns are to receive a total of $552,096, the Christie Administration announced Wednesday, Aug. 8 – part of $3 million in grants to 59 municipalities to promote safety along designated Safe Corridor highway segments and to advance local projects that promote safety for bicyclists.

A total of 53 municipalities will share $2 million in Safe Corridors grants and six municipalities will share $1 million in Bikeway grants administered by the New Jersey Department of Transportation Division of Local Aid and Economic Development.

Funding included three Safe Corridors grants totaling $107,096 shared by Hamilton and Egg Harbor townships and Pleasantville, and two Bikeway grants including $270,000 for Linwood and the $175,000 for Galloway.

“The Wrangleboro Road Bike Path Project entails the construction of a 10-foot bike asphalt paved path along the western side of Wrangleboro Road for more than 2.2 miles between Great Creek Road and Moss Mill Road,” NJDOT press officer Tim Greely told The Current Wednesday, Aug. 15. “There is currently a 4-foot- to 5-foot-wide paved walking path which has fallen into disrepair and has several low areas subject to ponding of stormwater runoff.”

NJDOT and its consultant Michael Baker Jr. Inc. worked with the township and its engineer, Dixon Associates, to evaluate Wrangleboro Road for bicycle compatibility to Department of Transportation guidelines and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials guidelines for a shared roadway.

“Based on existing  conditions, including traffic volumes; pavement, lane and shoulder widths; and the posted speed limit; the roadway is currently not bicycle compatible,” Greely said. “Due to the proposed reduction in courtesy school busing and projected increase of walking and biking by school-age children on the corridor, the NJDOT study team recommended the existing 5-foot-wide asphalt paved path be widened by 5 feet to provide a 10-foot bi-directional shared use path per minimum AASHTO design guidelines.”

The project serves four schools and their associated athletic facilities, a public park, and a
small community shopping center, as well as several residential developments - some lower income housing developments - as well as two age-restricted communities.

“The project meets the needs of the NJDOT bikeways program, but also furthers the overall goals of the federal Safe Routes to Schools Program, as well as the NJDOT Safe Streets to Transit Program,” Greely said. “The project will provide a critical pathway for hundreds of students to access the four public schools including Absegami High School.”

Safety is key, according to NJDOT.

“Safety is the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s top priority, and these grants support safety through local enforcement and capital improvement projects,” said NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson.  “The funding helps local governments achieve their objectives without burdening local property taxpayers.”

The Bikeways and Safe Streets to Transit competitive grants are available to municipalities and counties.  The Safe Streets to Transit program encourages counties and municipalities to build safe and accessible pedestrian linkages to transit facilities to promote safety and increase use of public transportation.

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