Essex County Transportation Plan 2045 Comes to Lackawanna Coalition

On October 24, David Antonio, Director of Planning for Essex County, came to the Lackawanna Coalition meeting to present Essex County’s “Essex 2045” transportation project. The project is to create a plan for all aspects of transportation in Essex County and to have a vision for what Essex Country transportation will be like in the next 20 years. A grant for this project came from North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority. The previous plan was the Essex County Comprehensive Plan of June 2013.

Input on improving public transportation was, of course, the reason for Mr. Antonio’s invitation. Gathering of public input comes through a web-based application via survey questions and a mapping tool. A major point of the presentation was pedestrian safety. Bloomfield Avenue is one of the busiest and most dangerous streets in New Jersey. Although upgraded infrastructure has been installed on Bloomfield Avenue in recent years, more work needs to be done to ensure pedestrian safety.

After the presentation, Lackawanna Coalition members gave comments. Some highlights: improving bus service on Bloomfield Avenue; pedestrian crossings working properly, including audio and visual countdown clocks; more weekend service on Montclair-Boonton line, Newark light rail, and various New Jersey Transit bus routes.

Essex County can be a leader in improving public transportation in New Jersey. Essex County is second densest and third most populated county in New Jersey. Multiple rail lines run through the county. Newark is a hub for multiple transportation modes, and two-fifths of residents do not own an automobile.

Submit your input on Essex 2045 by the end of the year. To do so, you can send e-mail messages to essex2045@gmail.com. Also, all are welcome to use the county’s survey and mapping tool: https://bit.ly/Essex- Survey

For more information on the program, go to the Essex County Department of Public Works site: http://www.ecdpw.org/essex-2045.php.

Essex County Conducts Transportation Planning Study; Seeks Public Input

Essex County has announced that it is developing a transportation plan for 2045. An announcement from the county said, “To support this effort, we want to understand the needs of our transportation system users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders so we can address emerging issues in mobility, access, safety, economic opportunity, social equity, and post-COVID-19 needs.”

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Report from the Chair: Sept./Oct. 2022

In addition to my role as Lackawanna Coalition chairperson, I am a member of SCDRTAC, the Senior Citizens and Disabled Residents Transportation Advisory Committee of NJ Transit, and I find more and more common concerns. At the last SCDRTAC meeting, member Sara Thompson gave a presentation on issues that affect riders with hearing limitations, and they are some of the same issues that have been discussed recently on our informal e-mail list: quality of PA announcements on trains and in stations; use of the visual station announcement system on railcars, and even the translucency, rather than transparency, of train windows, especially on the newer dual-level cars.

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Remembering Tom McBride (1938–2022)

West Orange resident and Lackawanna Coalition member Thomas G. McBride left usonJanuary28,attheageof83. He was a Coalition member for many years, but he was best-known locally for his long and outstanding service to Essex County residents, especially its transit riders, as longtime chair of the Essex County Transportation Advisory Board (ECTAB).

The TAB was founded in 1980 by the County Freeholder Board, now known as the Board of County Commissioners. Tom was a charter member and, as it turned out, the last-surviving original member. When I joined the Board in 1985, it was still new (one year younger than the Lackawanna Coalition, actually) and was deciding which aspects of transportation policy to emphasize within the county. Although the TAB seldom interacted with elected officials, its primary point of contact with county government was (and still is) the Essex County Planning Division.

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