Browsing articles in "Speaks Out Blog"

Opinion: Plans for Hoboken Terminal Could Put the City on the Right Track

Oct 1, 2012   //   by PlanSmart NJ   //   High Speed Rail, Lucy Vandenberg, NJ Spotlight, Opinion, Redevelopment, Speaks Out Blog, TOD, Transit Oriented Development, Transportation  //  Comments Off on Opinion: Plans for Hoboken Terminal Could Put the City on the Right Track

High-density, mixed-use development could fuel city’s fiscal engine

Image Source: www.maggieblanck.com

The City of Hoboken held a public hearing earlier this month on proposed redevelopment of the 100-year-old Hoboken Terminal & Rail Yards.

Hoboken has an incredible opportunity — and responsibility — before it.

The site is one of NJ Transit’s main terminals and a major regional transportation hub, serving over 50,000 people daily with commuter rail, light rail, PATH and bus service. The terminal is a key gateway to New York City and its vast network of jobs.

It is also a historic asset. The only ferry and commuter rail terminal still in operation in the United States, it was added to the New Jersey Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Read more >>

Opinion: A High-Speed Rail Link Will Carry NJ Into the Future

Jul 30, 2012   //   by PlanSmart NJ   //   High Speed Rail, Opinion, Policy, Speaks Out Blog, Transportation  //  Comments Off on Opinion: A High-Speed Rail Link Will Carry NJ Into the Future

The state can’t function effectively with an outmoded rail system that strains to carry millions of residents to work

Image Source: Aecom

Earlier this month, Amtrak released its integrated long-range plan for upgrading the Northeast Corridor (NEC) train line and leaping into the future with a high-speed rail link between Washington, D.C., and Boston. The plans call for making substantial improvements to the current system to increase reliability, reduce travel time, and expand capacity. They also call for finally creating a next-gen , high-speed rail system in the Northeast, to be operational by 2040. The estimated cost over the 2012-2040 period totals $151 billion. Approximately $110 billion of that would be for high-speed rail service and the remainder for capacity improvements. Read more >>

Opinion: How Regional Government Can Help New Jersey Thrive

Jun 18, 2012   //   by PlanSmart NJ   //   Consolidation, Municipal Government, Opinion, Policy, Speaks Out Blog  //  Comments Off on Opinion: How Regional Government Can Help New Jersey Thrive

With bill before lawmakers, anything we do to curb ‘municipal madness’ is good for NJ

By Lucy Vandenberg, June 12, 2012 in NJ Spotlight

A bill making it easier for New Jersey’s municipalities to merge by identifying funding sources that can be used for consolidation expenses was recently passed by the NJ Senate and introduced in the Assembly last week. Various efforts have been made by the Legislature over the years to encourage municipal consolidation, including the Municipal Consolidation Act of 1978, the Sparsely Populated Municipal Consolidation Act of 1995, and the Local Option Municipal Consolidation Act of 2007. Each of these laws has created new incentives or more flexibility to encourage municipal consolidation.

Since reaching a peak of 568 municipalities in 1957, however, only two sets of municipalities have merged, with the recent Princeton Township/Princeton Borough merger to take effect on January 1, 2013, bringing the total number of mergers to three, and reducing the number of municipalities to 565.

While a small step, anything the Legislature or citizens can do to encourage consolidation is a good thing.

Read more >>

Opinion: How People, Places Can Shape Economic Growth

Apr 11, 2012   //   by PlanSmart NJ   //   Opinion, Policy, Speaks Out Blog, State Plan  //  Comments Off on Opinion: How People, Places Can Shape Economic Growth

Both have roles in the state’s Strategic Plan to spur development

Image Source: Chris Lynch, Digital Irvine

Last week, the public comment period closed for the new State Strategic Plan. Last updated more than 10 years ago, it is intended to guide New Jersey’s physical growth and development.

The document is relevant to anyone who cares about how and where New Jersey will grow in the future, how it will foster economic growth, what types of infrastructure investments will be made, and what’s being done to create vibrant, diverse communities here in the Garden State. A vote on the revised version of the State Strategic Plan incorporating public comments is expected at the April 25 state Planning Commission meeting. Read more >>

Opinion: New Jersey’s State Plan Offers Prosperity, Not Government Conspiracy

Mar 27, 2012   //   by PlanSmart NJ   //   Opinion, Policy, Speaks Out Blog, Uncategorized  //  Comments Off on Opinion: New Jersey’s State Plan Offers Prosperity, Not Government Conspiracy

The antics of the Tea Party aside, the draft state plan envisions a New Jersey that can accommodate growth, change, and protection

Earlier this month, the State Planning Commission concluded a series of six public hearings, which were by any measure, the most eventful of any in recent memory. The subject was the draft State Strategic Plan, which is expected to be voted on next month by the commission. While this may seem a dry topic to some, this time it was anything but, with Tea Party antics dominating the scene.

The most recent draft of the plan put forth by the Christie administration is intended to replace the current State Plan, which was adopted in 2001. It’s meant to serve as a statewide guide for both growth and preservation, and contains four broad goals: 1) targeted economic growth; 2) effective planning for vibrant regions; 3) preservation and enhancement of critical state resources; and 4) tactical alignment of government. Read more >>

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