Posted Monday, March 17th, 2014

The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority Board of Trustees has approved a $350,000 federal grant for Morris County to prepare a new Circulation Element for the County Master Plan.

The Circulation Element will serve as a comprehensive guide for all planning processes involving transportation.

The current Circulation Element of the county Master Plan was adopted in 1992. The goal of the effort is to provide a safe and efficient transportation network for Morris County and the region. The Circulation Element will focus particularly on promoting walking and bicycling, expanding multi-modal access to transit, moving freight more efficiently, and improving the safety and security of all transportation facilities.

“The Circulation Element is an essential tool for shaping the future of transportation in our county,” said Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo, Morris County’s representative on the NJTPA Board. “It will guide our yearly capital programming and the design of all transportation projects.”

Public outreach events to gather input for the development of the Circulation Element will include 12 regional meetings, three presentations to the Morris County Planning Board and three to the Morris County Board of Transportation. Outreach will also include a project website and press releases in multi-lingual publications.

A partnership among agencies involved in the project includes: NJ TRANSIT, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the NJTPA, the New Jersey Highlands Council, the M&E Railway, TransOptions, the Morris County Economic Development Corporation, Morris County Park Commission, Morris County Engineering, Morris County Planning Board, and Morris County Board of Transportation.

Further details on the study are available on the NJTPA website at

The project is one of five county- and city-led studies that were approved for funding by the NJTPA Board of Trustees. The study is projected to cost $437,500, which will be paid for through the $350,000 NJTPA grant and $87,500 from a local match.

Funding for the project will begin on July 1.

The effort is part of the NJTPA’s Subregional Studies Program, which provides two-year grants on a competitive basis to the 13 counties and two cities represented by the NJTPA Board. The program is designed to help counties and cities develop transportation improvement strategies established in the NJTPA’s Regional Transportation Plan.

The NJTPA is the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for 13 northern New Jersey counties. Under federal legislation, MPOs provide a forum where local officials, public transportation providers and state agency representatives can come together and cooperatively plan to meet the region’s current and future transportation needs. It establishes the region’s eligibility to receive federal tax dollars for transportation projects.