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Municipal Public Access Planning>Transportation Plans>Transportation Public Access Rule

Transportation Public Access Rule

N.J.A.C. 7-7E 8.11(c)
Development proposed on sites which are located on or adjacent to tidal waterways and their shores shall provide public access in accordance with (c)1 through 4 below. Municipalities are encouraged to develop and submit to the Department an application for approval of a Municipal Public Access Plan. Public transportation agencies and counties are encouraged to submit to the Department an application for approval of a Transportation Public Access Plan.
4. In all municipalities, regardless of whether the Department has received a resolution incorporating a Department-approved Municipal Public Access Plan in accordance with (d) below, public access for public highways shall be provided in accordance with (o) below.

N.J.A.C. 7-7E 8.11(f)2
For linear projects, other than projects of the New Jersey Department of Transportation which shall provide public access in accordance with (o) below,

N.J.A.C. 7-7E 8.11 (n)
(Link to (n) or subpage with (n)

N.J.A.C. 7-7E 8.11 (o)
(o) Public Highways, including superhighways, shall provide both visual and physical access as follows. For purposes of this subsection, an example of visual and physical access is a sidewalk on or adjacent to a bridge. Public transportation agencies and counties are encouraged to submit to the Department an application for approval of a Transportation Public Access Plan in accordance with (o) 3 below:

  1. Superhighways, specifically, the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey Turnpike, Atlantic Expressway, and Interstates 76, 78, 80, 95, 276, 278, 195, 295, and 676, shall provide access as follows:
    1. Where the proposed activity consists of maintenance, rehabilitation, reconstruction, or expansion that remains entirely within the right-of-way existing as of the effective date of the amendments, no public access is required if there is no public access onsite. Any existing public access shall be maintained or equivalent public access shall be provided offsite on the waterway(s) and within the municipality(s) where the development is located. Equivalent public access shall include access that provides for opportunities to participate in the same activities, in the same manner and by the same number of people as in the existing public access area;
    2. Where the proposed activity is an expansion outside the right-of-way existing as of the effective date of the amendments and the expansion crosses or proposes to fill in a tidal waterway, public access shall be provided offsite on the waterway(s ) and within the municipality (s) where the development is located or in accordance with the following:
      1. A Department approved Transportation Public Access Plan
      2. A Department approved Municipal Public Access Plan
      3. An agreement between the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the Department specifying the payment of funds to the Department or the municipality to be used to provide new or enhanced public access;
    3. If the applicant demonstrates that offsite public access in the same municipality is not feasible because there are no sites available upon which to provide public access in accordance with (o)1i and ii above, equivalent offsite public access shall be provided on the same waterway(s) within a neighboring municipality where the access is consistent with the neighboring municipality’s Municipal Public Access Plan or, if there is no Municipal Public Access Plan, the access is located and designed to be consistent with (b) above.
  2. Public Highways, other than superhighways, shall provide both physical and visual access as follows:
    1. for existing public highways, except as provided at (o)2ii below, where proposed activity consists of the maintenance, reconstruction, rehabilitation or expansion that remains entirely within the right-of-way existing as of the effective date of the amendments, no public access is required if there  is no existing public access onsite. Any existing public access shall be maintained or equivalent onsite public access shall be provided. Equivalent public access shall include access that provides for opportunities to participate in the same activities, in the same manner and by the same number of people as in the existing public access area.
    2. for new public highways, or expansion of existing public highways outside the right-of-way existing as of the effective date of the amendments where the new public highway or expansion crosses or proposes  fill in a tidal waterway, public access shall be provided in accordance with a Department approved Transportation Public Access Plan if one exists or onsite unless it can be demonstrated that public access is not practicable based on the risk of injury from proposed hazardous operations, or substantial permanent obstructions, or upon documentation of a threat to the public safety due to unique circumstances concerning the subject property, and no measures can be taken to avert these risks. In cases where the Department concurs that the risk is too great for onsite public access, access shall be provided in accordance with (o)2iii below;
    3. Where a Transportation Public Access Plan does not exist and it has been demonstrated that onsite access is not practicable based on the presence of substantial permanent obstructions or upon documentation of a threat to the public safety due to unique circumstances concerning the subject property, and no measures can be taken to avert these risks, equivalent public access shall be provided in accordance with the following:
      1. Offsite on the waterway(s) and within the municipality(s) where the development is located where the access is consistent with the municipality’s Municipal Public Access Plan;
      2. Consistent with an agreement between  the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the Department specifying the payment of funds to the Department or the municipality to be used to provide new or enhanced public access;  or
      3. In accordance with (b) above if there is no Municipal Public Access Plan;
    4. If the applicant demonstrates that offsite public access in the same municipality is not feasible because there are no sites available upon which to provide public access in accordance with (o)2ii and iii above, equivalent offsite public access shall be provided on the same waterway(s) within a neighboring municipality where the access is consistent with the neighboring municipality’s Municipal Public Access Plan or, if there is no Municipal Public Access Plan, the access is located and designed to be consistent with (b) above.
  3. Transportation Public Access Plans shall satisfy the goals specified at N.J.A.C. 7:7E-1.1( c) and the public access goals at (b) above. Transportation Public Access Plans shall additionally meet the requirements at (o)3i though iii below:
    1. Transportation Public Access Plans shall incorporate fishing access and associated amenities where appropriate;
    2. Transportation Public Access Plans shall require installation and maintenance of appropriate public access signage in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:7E-8.11(u).
    3. . Transportation Public Access Plans shall not provide for access that is contrary to any requirement contained in this chapter (for example, access that encroaches upon threatened  or endangered species or is in violation of the dunes rules).
  4. A public transportation agency or county seeking approval of a Transportation Public Access Plan shall file an application for approval with the Department. The application shall include a proposed Transportation Public Access Plan consisting of the following elements:
    1. A statement describing the overall goals of the Transportation Public Access Plan;
    2. A public access policy for public roadways included in the Transportation Public Access Plan;
    3. A description of potential public access options;
    4. A description of the general locations where public access will be provided;
    5. A description of the general locations where public access will not be provided due to practical limitations;
    6. An implementation strategy that describes the form of public access proposed in order to satisfy the public access policy and measures to be implemented to permanently protect public access;
    7. Demonstration that at least two public informational meetings have been held to take public comment on the proposed Transportation Public Access Plan and that the applicant notified the Department two weeks in advance of the dates and times of the public meetings so that the Department can provide notice of the public meetings by posting the meeting information on its website and notifying by email individuals who have requested notice of application for approval of Transportation Public  Access Plans; and 
    8. A description of any changes made to the Transportation Public Access Plan as a result of public comments received.
  5. the Department shall review an application for approval of a Transportation Public Access Plan to determine whether the plan is consistent with the broad goals described in N.J.A.C. 7:7E-1.1( c), and the goals for public access at (b) above as follows:
    1. Upon receipt of an application for approval of a Transportation Public Access Plan that meets the requirements of (o)4 above, the Department shall seek public comment on the application by:
      1. Posting the proposed Transportation Public Access Plan on the Department’s website;
      2. Notifying by email individuals who have requested notice of applications for approval of Transportation Public Access Plans; and
      3. Publishing notice in the DEP Bulletin.
    2. The Department shall accept public comments on the proposed application for approval of a Transportation Public Access Plan for 30 days following publication of the notice in the DEP Bulletin.
    3. After the close of the public comment period, the Department may request revisions to the proposed Transportation Public Access Plan.
    4. If revisions are requested, the Department shall, in writing, notify the applicant within 60 days of receipt of the revisions that the proposed Transportation Public Access Plan either:
      1. Satisfies all applicable requirements of this section and is approved;
      2. Does not satisfy all applicable requirements of this section and is not approved with explanation.
    5. If no revisions are requested by the Department, the Department shall, in writing, notify the applicant within 60 days of the end o9f the public comment period that the proposed Transportation Public Access Plan either:
      1. Satisfies all applicable requirements of this section and is approved;
      2. Does not satisfy all applicable requirements of this section and is not approved with explanation.
    6. The Department shall provide notice of its determination under (o)5iv or v above by:
      1. Posting the proposed Transportation Public Access Plan on the Department’s website;
      2. Notifying by email individuals who have requested notice of applications for approval of Transportation Public Access Plans; and
      3. Publishing the determination in the DEP Bulletin.
  6. A public transportation agency or county which has received approval of a Transportation Public Access Plan shall as a condition of the approval, every five years after the date of approval, submit to the Department a report detailing:
    1. the status of all projects that have been undertaken in accordance with the Transportation Public Access Plan; and
    2. any problems encountered in pursuit of the plan’s objectives and goals and proposed remedies to assure the objectives and goals of the plan are met.
  7. Department review and approval is required before a public transportation agency or county may make changes to an approved Transportation Public Access Plan. In support of a request to amend the approved plan under this subsection, the applicant shall submit to the Department the approved plan with information specified in (o)4 above updated to reflect the proposed change. This submission shall detail how the proposed change affects the approved plan. The Department shall review and make a determination on the Transportation Public Access Plan amendment request in accordance with (o)5 above.

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Last Updated: March 21, 2014