100603transportation future

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Published on March 15, 2008

Author: Bianca

Source: authorstream.com

We’ll get started soon:  Photo courtesy of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy We’ll get started soon Slide2:  Planning Hunterdon County’s Transportation Future October 6, 2003 Land Use and Natural Resources Committee Why we’re gathered.:  Why we’re gathered. The purpose of tonight’s gathering is to discuss how we can apply the concept of smart growth to our county’s transportation system. Why we’re gathered.:  Why we’re gathered. First, can we agree on the following smart growth axiom: The county’s transportation system should accommodate, not encourage, traffic? Why we’re gathered:  Why we’re gathered In order to wrap ourselves around this axiom we should understand the make up of Hunterdon County’s physical Transportation System. Hunterdon County’s Transportation System:  Hunterdon County’s Transportation System Airports – There are three general aviation airports in Hunterdon County. General aviation airports are those facilities that do not serve regularly scheduled commercial or military aircraft. Hunterdon County’s three airports::  Hunterdon County’s three airports: Alexandria Field – Built almost sixty years ago, it sits on about 70 acres with the longest runway being 2,550 feet in length. A flight school is operated from this facility. Sky Manor Airport – Also in Alexandria Township, covers about 60 acres with a single runway of 2,438 feet. This facility hosts a branch of the Seaplane Pilots Association. Helicopter training is also offered. Solberg Airport – Encompasses about 731 acres in Readington Township. It contains four runways with the longest being about 3,735 feet. Solberg is also designated a ‘reliever’ airport, a distinction the others do not have. A reliever airport allows smaller aircraft to operate within hub airport space without straining runway capacity elsewhere. County Airports :  County Airports County airports do provide a viable economic function, but by and large, flying is more of a recreational pursuit than a means of transportation. Hunterdon County’s Transportation System:  Hunterdon County’s Transportation System Now let’s shift to Transit. That means talking about buses and trains. Hunterdon County’s Transportation System:  Hunterdon County’s Transportation System Let’s start with buses. When thinking about bus travel within the County – it’s the LINK for intra-county travel, and TransBridge Bus Lines, Inc., for inter-county travel. First, the LINK. The LINK:  The LINK Great web site about the service www.ridethelink.com The LINK is really Hunterdon County’s Consolidated Transportation System. It consolidates all social service transportation funding sources into a single entity. The LINK offers 2 Shuffle routes, 4 bus Loop routes, and 13 Curb-to-Curb/Collector routes. TransBridge, Inc.:  TransBridge, Inc. www.transbridgebus.com for information and schedule of stops and timetables. Service to Newark Airport, Wall Street, and Port Authority Bus Terminal, NYC. Pick up points include Frenchtown, Liberty Village, Lambertville, Annandale Square, and Clinton Point. NJTransit also operates one route between Lambertville and Trenton. Hunterdon County’s Transportation System:  Hunterdon County’s Transportation System Trains – Hunterdon County is served by New Jersey Transit via the Raritan Valley Line (RVL). The RVL stretches from High Bridge to Penn Station-Newark. There are four stops in the County – High Bridge, Annandale, Whitehouse, and Lebanon. Hunterdon County’s Transportation System:  Hunterdon County’s Transportation System Average daily boardings at the four stops is about 200. That jumps to about 600 at the Raritan stop (Somerset County) and another 700 at the Somerville station. Greater frequency of service is why. Also, there is no weekend service at the county stations. Hunterdon County’s Transportation System:  Hunterdon County’s Transportation System The notion of a region-wide transportation center within the county is under serious investigation by the NJDOT and NJTransit. The center would combine park-and-ride, vanpool, bus, and train services. The purpose of the center is to replace automobile trips with transit trips. Hunterdon County’s Transportation System:  Hunterdon County’s Transportation System Another benefit of the Transportation Center would be an increase in service frequency allowing more Hunterdon County residents shorter access to rail service for business and pleasure. Stay tuned for more information when it becomes available. Hunterdon County’s Transportation System:  Hunterdon County’s Transportation System Roads – There are about 1,460 center line miles of road within the county. Roads are used by bicyclists, automobiles, buses, and trucks. This is an obvious fact, but bears repeating. Hunterdon County’s Transportation System:  Hunterdon County’s Transportation System A brief commercial message - The meeting scheduled for October 20th, at 7:00 p.m., here, will be devoted to County Roads and Bridges. Center Line Road Mileage in Hunterdon County:  Center Line Road Mileage in Hunterdon County 24 miles I-78 or 2 % 103 miles State Hwy or 7 % 240 miles County or 17 % 1,092 miles Local or 74 % Roads continued:  Roads continued This is an interesting fact, but in terms of volume of traffic accommodated, the reverse is almost true – Interstate and State Highways carry far more traffic than local roads. County roads are designed to collect traffic from local roads and distribute it to arterials. How does it all relate?:  How does it all relate? It’s all about the commute trip! How does it all relate? :  How does it all relate? Or is it? How does it all relate?:  How does it all relate? Here’s a loaded question: How many of us drove to work alone today? Show of hands. How does it all relate?:  How does it all relate? Don’t worry, we’re not alone (no pun intended). In Hunterdon County 82.5 percent of us drive to work alone, according to the 2000 Census. Statewide, that number is 73.0 percent. How does it all relate?:  How does it all relate? But usually, only two automobile trips per day are associated with driving to or from work. The mode we choose for the other eight, or less trips, per day can be just as important (a single family home generates an average of ten trips per day). How does it all relate?:  How does it all relate? Percentages are one thing, but as percentages stay the same, the total increases. How does it all relate?:  How does it all relate? Traffic volume is what we can most easily associate with. Fact: Traffic increases between 2 to 5 percent per year along county roads. What does that mean? Here’s how it relates?:  Here’s how it relates? Say you just purchased a home with a 30 year mortgage along County Route 123. The traffic volume along 123 is 5,000 AADT, a low number for a typical county road. You went to the County Planning Board office before you bought and asked about traffic and was told it is increasing about 2% per year. Again, a relatively low number. Here’s how it relates?:  Here’s how it relates? After about 10 years you begin to notice traffic increasing. It has, it went from 5,000 AADT to 6,095, an increase of about 1,100 vehicles. Here’s how it relates?:  Here’s how it relates? After twenty years you notice you have to wait longer and longer to get out of your driveway. You do because the traffic passing in front of your house is up to 7,324 per average day, that’s 2,324 more. Here’s how it relates?:  Here’s how it relates? At your mortgage burning party you’re standing on the front porch explaining to a friend how you love the area, but traffic has just gotten out of hand. It has, traffic passing your house is now 8,927, an increase of 3,927. You tell your friend “that’s not too bad compared to Joe and Joan over on Route 456, traffic has increased in front of their house by 4 percent”. Commuting in Hunterdon County?:  Commuting in Hunterdon County? Back to our commute trips. Hunterdon County commuters are pretty consistent. Daily commute time increased by about five minutes from the 1990 to the 2000 census. Commutation continued…:  Commutation continued… Why such an insignificant change when evidence suggests VMTs (vehicle miles of travel) have increased and transit use has decreased? Commutation continued…:  Commutation continued… Could it be drivers are finding alternate or ‘short-cut’ routes? Don’t forget over 8 out of 10 of us are driving to work alone. Commutation continued…:  Commutation continued… Before trying to answer that, if we can, we should find out where County residents commuting to? For that we need a bit of Statistics 101. Commutation continued…:  Commutation continued… According to the 2000 Census, there are 62,359 employed people that call Hunterdon County home. Commutation continued… :  Commutation continued… Out of the 62,359 total, 25,761 work right here in the county, that’s about 41 percent. Commutation continued…:  Commutation continued… Another 12,983 work next door in Somerset County, that’s about 21 percent more. Commutation continued…:  Commutation continued… Another 3,656 (about 6%) commute to Morris County, 3,492 (about 6%), commute to Mercer County, and 3,069 (about 5%) commute to Union County. Commutation continued…:  Commutation continued… Okay, so 41% work within the county and 38% commute to nearby counties. Commutation continued…:  Commutation continued… An interesting interpretation to the figure is there are just as many Hunterdon County residents commuting to Warren County (1,145) as there are to Manhattan (1,176). Keep in mind that job growth is more likely to occur east of us. Commutation continued…:  Commutation continued… The second most interesting interpretation is there are an additional 935 residents commuting to Bucks County, PA, while 318 commute to the other four Boroughs of New York City. So, where do we go from here?:  So, where do we go from here? The way land is used determines the type and amount of traffic generated. So, where do we go from here?:  So, where do we go from here? Should we (HCPB) concentrate on recommending methods to reduce the number of trips? So, where do we go from here?:  So, where do we go from here? …or, the length of trip (remember, this is referred to as vehicle miles of travel or VMT)? So, where do we go from here?:  So, where do we go from here? Placing reliant compatible land uses in closer proximity to each other can do both. So, where do we go from here?:  So, where do we go from here? For the next 20 minutes let’s discuss what you’ve seen on these slides, then we can go to the handouts. On your handout there are a few policies and strategies I’d like you to respond to. What you write will help formulate the transportation section of the Smart Growth Plan. Please mark your calendar.:  Please mark your calendar. Monday, October 20, 2003, 7:00 p.m., Freeholder’s meeting room. The topic will be County Roads and Bridges and the challenges of maintaining them while respecting our county’s unique character. See you on the 2Oth:  See you on the 2Oth Carpool with a friend THANK YOU

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