The New Jersey Department of Transportation, in partnership with the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization or SJTPO, awarded $5.2 million to six local infrastructure projects under the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside or “TA Set-Aside” program.
[Above photo by New Jersey DOT]
“As part of our ‘Commitment to Communities,’ we work with the three metropolitan planning organizations to provide federal funding to counties and municipalities for local transportation projects that improve safety and strengthen the cultural, aesthetic, and environmental aspects of our transportation system,” noted New Jersey DOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti in a statement.
“[Those] grants will fund projects to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists in six South Jersey communities without having to impact local property taxes,” she said.
[Editor’s note: The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials recently hosted a knowledge session at its 2023 Spring Meeting in Seattle that delved into ways transportation agencies can get the most out of the discretionary grant programs funded by the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA enacted in November 2021 – especially in terms of helping fund local infrastructure projects.]
New Jersey DOT’s TA Set-Asides program provides funds to build pedestrian and bicycle facilities, improve access to transportation, create safe routes to school, preserve historic transportation structures, provide environmental mitigation, and create trail projects that serve a transportation purpose while promoting safety and mobility.
It is administered by the New Jersey DOT in partnership with SJTPO, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, with grants being awarded every two years.
As of 2021, New Jersey DOT said the TA Set Asides program now includes an equity component. Projects in eligible communities – determined by U.S. Census data identifying low-income residents, racial and ethnic minorities, those with limited English proficiency, persons with disabilities, children, and older adults – received additional technical assistance with the grant application, as well as additional points during the scoring process.