The Christie administration has announced the awarding of $3 million in grants to 59 municipalities — including more than $500,000 for Atlantic County — to promote bicycle safety.
Fifty-three towns will share $2 million in Safe Corridors grants from the state Department of Transportation’s Division of Local Aid and Economic Development for fiscal year 2012, with another six sharing $1 million in Bikeway grants, the DOT said in a statement.
Towns receiving Safe Corridors grants include Hamilton Township, Egg Harbor Township and Pleasantville, which will share $107,096 for a 10-mile segment of Route 40, one of 14 state highways that have a history of high crash rates. The grants are supported by fines, the DOT said, which are doubled in Safe Corridors for violations including speeding.
Among the Bikeway grants are $270,000 for an extension of the Linwood bike path and $175,000 for Galloway Township’s Wrangleboro bike path.
“Safety is the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s top priority, and these grants support safety through local enforcement and capital improvement projects,” DOT Commissioner James Simpson said in a statement. “The funding helps local governments achieve their objectives without burdening local property taxpayers.”
In the wake of several deaths in the region — including a 19-year-old bicyclist who was struck and killed by an SUV in Egg Harbor Township in February, a Linwood bicyclist struck and killed in November and another 19-year-old bicyclist struck and killed in Stafford Township in 2009 — local bicycling groups began a “Ride of Silence” event in Northfield in May to raise awareness of bicyclist safety.
The nonprofit group New Jersey Future, which advocates for responsible land-use policies, has reported that the number of bike commuters increased by more than 72 percent from 2000 to 2010, based on data in the Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey.
In addition to sending out the grant awards, the DOT is sending letters to all 566 municipalities and 21 counties to advise them that applications are now being accepted for fiscal year 2013 State Aid programs such as municipal aid, Transit Village, Bikeways and Safe Streets to Transit. Applications are due by Sept. 28.
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