Transcript Document

We’ll get started soon
Photo courtesy of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
Land Use and
Natural Resources Committee
Planning Hunterdon County’s
Transportation Future
October 6, 2003
Why we’re gathered.
The purpose of tonight’s gathering is to
discuss how we can apply the concept
of smart growth to our county’s
transportation system.
Why we’re gathered.
First, can we agree on the following
smart growth axiom:
The county’s transportation system
should accommodate, not encourage,
Why we’re gathered
In order to wrap ourselves around this
axiom we should understand the make
up of Hunterdon County’s physical
Transportation System.
Hunterdon County’s
Transportation System
Airports – There are three general
aviation airports in Hunterdon County.
General aviation airports are those
facilities that do not serve regularly
scheduled commercial or military
Hunterdon County’s three airports:
Alexandria Field – Built almost sixty years ago, it sits on about 70
acres with the longest runway being 2,550 feet in length. A
flight school is operated from this facility.
Sky Manor Airport – Also in Alexandria Township, covers about 60
acres with a single runway of 2,438 feet. This facility hosts a
branch of the Seaplane Pilots Association. Helicopter training is
also offered.
Solberg Airport – Encompasses about 731 acres in Readington
Township. It contains four runways with the longest being
about 3,735 feet. Solberg is also designated a ‘reliever’ airport,
a distinction the others do not have. A reliever airport allows
smaller aircraft to operate within hub airport space without
straining runway capacity elsewhere.
County Airports
County airports do provide a viable
economic function, but by and large,
flying is more of a recreational pursuit
than a means of transportation.
Hunterdon County’s
Transportation System
Now let’s shift to Transit.
That means talking about buses and
Hunterdon County’s
Transportation System
Let’s start with buses.
When thinking about bus travel within
the County – it’s the LINK for intracounty travel, and TransBridge Bus
Lines, Inc., for inter-county travel.
First, the LINK.
Great web site about the service
The LINK is really Hunterdon County’s
Consolidated Transportation System. It
consolidates all social service transportation
funding sources into a single entity.
The LINK offers 2 Shuffle routes, 4 bus Loop
routes, and 13 Curb-to-Curb/Collector routes.
TransBridge, Inc. for information and
schedule of stops and timetables.
Service to Newark Airport, Wall Street, and
Port Authority Bus Terminal, NYC.
Pick up points include Frenchtown, Liberty
Village, Lambertville, Annandale Square, and
Clinton Point.
NJTransit also operates one route between
Lambertville and Trenton.
Hunterdon County’s
Transportation System
Trains – Hunterdon County is served by
New Jersey Transit via the Raritan
Valley Line (RVL).
The RVL stretches from High Bridge to
Penn Station-Newark.
There are four stops in the County –
High Bridge, Annandale, Whitehouse,
and Lebanon.
Hunterdon County’s
Transportation System
Average daily boardings at the four
stops is about 200. That jumps to
about 600 at the Raritan stop
(Somerset County) and another 700 at
the Somerville station. Greater
frequency of service is why.
Also, there is no weekend service at the
county stations.
Hunterdon County’s
Transportation System
The notion of a region-wide
transportation center within the county
is under serious investigation by the
NJDOT and NJTransit.
The center would combine park-andride, vanpool, bus, and train services.
The purpose of the center is to replace
automobile trips with transit trips.
Hunterdon County’s
Transportation System
Another benefit of the Transportation
Center would be an increase in service
frequency allowing more Hunterdon
County residents shorter access to rail
service for business and pleasure.
Stay tuned for more information when it
becomes available.
Hunterdon County’s
Transportation System
Roads – There are about 1,460 center
line miles of road within the county.
Roads are used by bicyclists,
automobiles, buses, and trucks. This is
an obvious fact, but bears repeating.
Hunterdon County’s
Transportation System
A brief commercial message - The
meeting scheduled for October 20th, at
7:00 p.m., here, will be devoted to
County Roads and Bridges.
Center Line Road Mileage in Hunterdon
24 miles I-78 or 2 %
103 miles State Hwy
or 7 %
240 miles County or
17 %
1,092 miles Local or
74 %
Roads continued
This is an interesting fact, but in terms
of volume of traffic accommodated,
the reverse is almost true – Interstate
and State Highways carry far more
traffic than local roads.
County roads are designed to collect
traffic from local roads and distribute it
to arterials.
How does it all relate?
It’s all about the commute trip!
How does it all relate?
Or is it?
How does it all relate?
Here’s a loaded question:
How many of us drove to work alone
today? Show of hands.
How does it all relate?
Don’t worry, we’re not alone (no pun
In Hunterdon County 82.5 percent of us
drive to work alone, according to the
2000 Census.
Statewide, that number is 73.0 percent.
How does it all relate?
But usually, only two automobile trips
per day are associated with driving to
or from work.
The mode we choose for the other
eight, or less trips, per day can be just
as important (a single family home
generates an average of ten trips per day).
How does it all relate?
Percentages are one thing, but as
percentages stay the same, the total
How does it all relate?
Traffic volume is what we can most
easily associate with.
Fact: Traffic increases between 2 to 5
percent per year along county roads.
What does that mean?
Here’s how it relates?
Say you just purchased a home with a
30 year mortgage along County Route
123. The traffic volume along 123 is
5,000 AADT, a low number for a typical
county road. You went to the County
Planning Board office before you bought
and asked about traffic and was told it
is increasing about 2% per year. Again,
a relatively low number.
Here’s how it relates?
After about 10 years you begin to
notice traffic increasing.
It has, it went from 5,000 AADT to
6,095, an increase of about 1,100
Here’s how it relates?
After twenty years you notice you have
to wait longer and longer to get out of
your driveway.
You do because the traffic passing in
front of your house is up to 7,324 per
average day, that’s 2,324 more.
Here’s how it relates?
At your mortgage burning party you’re
standing on the front porch explaining to a
friend how you love the area, but traffic has
just gotten out of hand.
It has, traffic passing your house is now
8,927, an increase of 3,927. You tell your
friend “that’s not too bad compared to Joe
and Joan over on Route 456, traffic has
increased in front of their house by 4
Commuting in Hunterdon
Back to our commute trips.
Hunterdon County commuters are
pretty consistent.
Daily commute time increased by about
five minutes from the 1990 to the 2000
Commutation continued…
Why such an insignificant change when
evidence suggests VMTs (vehicle miles
of travel) have increased and transit use
has decreased?
Commutation continued…
Could it be drivers are finding alternate
or ‘short-cut’ routes?
Don’t forget over 8 out of 10 of us are
driving to work alone.
Commutation continued…
Before trying to answer that, if we can,
we should find out where County
residents commuting to?
For that we need a bit of Statistics 101.
Commutation continued…
According to the 2000 Census, there
are 62,359 employed people that call
Hunterdon County home.
Commutation continued…
Out of the 62,359 total, 25,761 work
right here in the county, that’s about 41
Commutation continued…
Another 12,983 work next door in
Somerset County, that’s about 21
percent more.
Commutation continued…
Another 3,656 (about 6%) commute to
Morris County, 3,492 (about 6%),
commute to Mercer County, and 3,069
(about 5%) commute to Union County.
Commutation continued…
Okay, so 41% work within the county
and 38% commute to nearby counties.
Commutation continued…
An interesting interpretation to the
figure is there are just as many
Hunterdon County residents commuting
to Warren County (1,145) as there are
to Manhattan (1,176).
Keep in mind that job growth is more
likely to occur east of us.
Commutation continued…
The second most interesting
interpretation is there are an additional
935 residents commuting to Bucks
County, PA, while 318 commute to the
other four Boroughs of New York City.
So, where do we go from here?
The way land is used determines the
type and amount of traffic generated.
So, where do we go from here?
Should we (HCPB) concentrate on
recommending methods to reduce the
number of trips?
So, where do we go from here?
…or, the length of trip (remember, this is
referred to as vehicle miles of travel or VMT)?
So, where do we go from here?
Placing reliant compatible land uses in
closer proximity to each other can do
So, where do we go from here?
For the next 20 minutes let’s discuss what
you’ve seen on these slides, then we can go
to the handouts.
On your handout there are a few policies and
strategies I’d like you to respond to.
What you write will help formulate the
transportation section of the Smart Growth
Please mark your calendar.
Monday, October 20, 2003,
7:00 p.m., Freeholder’s meeting room.
The topic will be County Roads and
Bridges and the challenges of
maintaining them while respecting our
county’s unique character.
See you on the 2Oth
Carpool with a friend