Also in February,
a group of mayors, freeholders, and county staff members met to discuss our shared concerns about development and traffic, especially at and near the intersection of Park, Columbia, and Route 24.
Two key outcomes of this meeting:
NJDOT is working on a revised concept design for this intersection. Once complete, NJDOT will schedule a public information forum to explain the plan. Exact timing was not given, but the design should be ready fairly soon (months not years). Unlike the previous plan (“the flyover”), the cost and feasibility of this new plan appear viable.
Agreement that this group would meet on a quarterly basis to discuss shared concerns.
Development and traffic are HUGE concerns to everyone. The issues we face are complex, longstanding, and frustrating. Problems are obvious. Solutions are elusive. This meeting was a positive step in the right direction. But SO much more needs to be done! We GET that and are working hard to be proactive in pressing for progress on many different fronts.
From a municipal perspective, we’re working hard to make improvements in four major areas that impact public involvement in land use and development decisions: information, communication, education, and visioning. Building understanding of and trust in how our land use decision-making processes work is a key goal we are striving to accomplish. More about this in the days ahead . . . .
At the same time, we are among the county’s most passionate advocates of the need for regional collaboration across towns and across levels of government. The agreement that this group of mayors, freeholders, and County staff will meet on a quarterly basis was uplifting - a good beginning, more to follow. Stay tuned!