If you live, work, or play in Sussex County then participate in the County’s Complete Streets Study. Complete streets are often presented in an urban context where the need is obvious; rural residents, however, have little or no access to public transportation and not having access to a car, even on a temporary basis, can create incredible disruption. Sussex County’s mix of small towns, rural landscapes, lake communities, steep terrain and exurban development creates huge challenges to implementing complete streets. But when your team includes the placemaking gurus at the Project For Public Spaces, the outcome of this plan could set the standards for complete streets in non urban counties across the nation.
One interesting and under appreciated Sussex County asset is its trail network. The core trails – the 27 mile Paulinskill Valley and the 20 mile Sussex Branch Trails – are maintained by Kittatinny Valley State Park. These rail trails parallel state highway corridors and connect the communities of Andover, Newton and Branchville as well as shopping centers and suburban developments. However, these trails are poorly marked and not maintained to a very high standard for shared use paths. Improvements to path maintenance, signage and road crossings would result in a huge return of investment.
A public meeting is scheduled in December.
Sussex County Complete Streets Meeting
Community Open House & Presentation
Thursday, December 5, 2013 | 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Sussex County Technical School, Auditorium | 105 North Church Road | Sparta, NJ 07871
For more information visit SussexCountyCompleteStreets.com. You can also interact with the project team by providing input on the study’s Facebook Page.
John Boyle is Research Director for the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and a resident of Burlington, NJ.