December 2004

Grant Results

SUMMARY

In 2003 and 2004, the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, a nonprofit organization that supports more than 300 environmental commissions in the state, developed and implemented a program to educate New Jersey municipalities about the benefits of biking and walking.

Key Results
The project accomplished the following:

  • The association held three seminars in April and May 2003 in three New Jersey municipalities on the benefits of making communities more bikeable and walkable, and the steps necessary to achieve this.
  • The association published a feature article, "Health-conscious Community Planning," in ANJEC Report, its quarterly publication.
  • The association published Pathways for the Garden State: A Local Government Guide to Planning Walkable, Bikeable Communities, a booklet on creating greenways throughout the state, which is available online.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided $29,942 for this project from December 2002 to January 2004.

 See Grant Detail & Contact Information
 Back to the Table of Contents


THE PROBLEM

The suburban sprawl that New Jersey has experienced over the past 50 years discourages walking and biking, according to the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, a statewide nonprofit organization that supports more than 300 environmental commissions in the state. Sprawl conditions, including distant worksites and shops and roads with heavy traffic and few sidewalks or crosswalks, present barriers to walking or biking.

The New Jersey Land Use Law gives local officials power to regulate land use. Key land use instruments that can be applied to abating sprawl and creating more walkable, bikeable communities include master plan development, zoning, site plan review and greenway and open space planning initiatives.

 Back to the Table of Contents


RWJF STRATEGY

Promoting healthy communities and lifestyles is one of RWJF's goal areas. One of RWJF's strategies to meet this goal has been to find ways to increase physical activity (primarily walking and biking) through community design and redesign. RWJF has supported the creation of walking and biking trails in many communities and has started the Active Living by Design national program to infuse activity-promoting goals and processes into ongoing community planning efforts and to support the development and testing of local community active living projects, with special efforts to reach low-income Americans.

 Back to the Table of Contents


THE PROJECT

The Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions launched a program to explain to state environmental commissioners and other local officials the environmental and health benefits of making their communities more walkable and bikeable, how to accomplish this goal and what they can learn from other communities that have undergone similar efforts.

Through a series of seminars and publications, the association discussed planning initiatives that included creating trails and greenways, zoning that mixes residential and commercial uses, pedestrian links between neighborhoods and measures to reduce heavy and high-speed traffic in communities.

 Back to the Table of Contents


RESULTS

The project accomplished the following:

  • The association held three seminars in April and May 2003 in three New Jersey municipalities on the benefits of making communities more bikeable and walkable and the steps necessary to achieve this.
  • The association published a feature article, "Health-conscious Community Planning," in ANJEC Report, its quarterly publication.
  • The association published Pathways for the Garden State: A Local Government Guide to Planning Walkable, Bikeable Communities, a booklet on creating greenways throughout the state. It is available online. The report includes chapters on:
    • Evaluating your community and identifying needs and concerns.
    • Getting started, using the Environmental Commission as a facilitator, measuring community attitudes and specific needs, getting publicity, sponsoring events, building an alliance and generating support.
    • Developing a plan in both developed areas and areas facing development through reviewing regulatory and planning codes and gathering and mapping the data.
    • Implementing a plan in already developed areas through better facilities for walking and biking, urban design, traffic calming and restrictions on motor vehicle use.
    • Implementing a plan in areas facing development through sidewalks, protecting the land, addressing public access issues and using volunteers for maintenance.
    • Case studies of Byram Township's Village Center; the Township of Brick, a shore community; Evesham Township, providing transportation alternatives; and Montclair, becoming a sustainable community.
    • A bicycle/pedestrian resource list.

Communications

The association held three seminars on the benefits of bikeable and walkable communities in April and May 2003. Sixty-six representatives of municipal governments and nonprofit organizations attended the seminars in Fanwood, Vorhees and Trenton, N.J. A feature article on "Health-conscious Community Planning" ran in the summer 2003 issue of ANJEC Report, which is distributed to 2,400 local government officials and member commissions in the state.

The Pathways for the Garden State: A Local Government Guide to Planning Walkable, Bikeable Communities booklet was sent to 566 mayors and planning board chairs and 350 environmental commissions in New Jersey. The article and booklet are available on the association's Web site. (See the Bibliography.)

 Back to the Table of Contents


AFTER THE GRANT

At its annual conference in October 2004, the association is holding a breakout session in which participants will discuss planning and funding regional greenways, bikeways and pathways.

 Back to the Table of Contents


GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Educating Environmental Planners About Making New Jersey Communities More Walkable and Bikeable

Grantee

Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (Mendham,  NJ)

  • Amount: $ 29,942
    Dates: December 2002 to January 2004
    ID#:  046840

Contact

Sandy Batty
(973) 539-7547
sbatty@anjec.org

Web Site

http://www.anjec.org

 Back to the Table of Contents


BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Articles

Fenyk H. "Health-conscious Community Planning." ANJEC Report, 23(3): 5–7, 2003. Also available online (see page 5).

Reports

Hinkle P and Hinkle D. Pathways for the Garden State: A Local Government Guide to Planning Walkable, Bikeable Communities. Mendham, N.J.: Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, 2004. Also available online.

Sponsored Workshops

"Best Foot Forward: Techniques for Walkable, Bikeable Communities," April 10, 2003, Fanwood, N.J. Attended by 24 people from 13 municipal governments and five nonprofit organizations.

"Best Foot Forward: Techniques for Walkable, Bikeable Communities," April 29, 2003, Vorhees, N.J. Attended by 16 people from 11 municipal governments.

"Best Foot Forward: Techniques for Walkable, Bikeable Communities," May 13, 2003, Trenton, N.J. Attended by 26 people from 12 municipal governments and four nonprofit organizations.

 Back to the Table of Contents


Report prepared by: Scott Edwards
Reviewed by: Janet Heroux
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: M. Katherine Kraft

Most Requested