| Things to think about
In many new
communities, it is impossible to get a candy bar, gallon of
milk or a newspaper, or to go to school or church, without using
a car. Many new subdivisions don’t even have sidewalks.
Most of our existing commuter rail lines are well patronized.
For ridership to increase significantly, more capacity and new
lines will have to be added.
miles traveled and ridership on public transit are both measures
of mobility – a highly prized asset at the beginning of the
21st century. Our jobs, schools, shopping, and recreation sites
are frequently spread out and far from our homes. Further, much
development – office, retail center, housing – is designed for
optimal auto access at the expense, and often elimination, of
other transportation options. Planning our "built environment"
better would mean increasing our ability to take public transit,
bike, or walk. We would then have less traffic congestion and
more we drive, the more we are delayed. This irony is the essence
of congestion. As our VMT rises, our transport efficiency declines
in the resulting traffic jams. As our transit ridership rises,
however, congestion is reduced and energy efficiency is increased.
This efficiency improves the competitiveness of the economy
as workers, consumers, and goods get where they need to go with
minimum time and cost.
vehicles and roads are a significant source of air and water
pollution in New Jersey. Roads also fragment wildlife habitat,
making it unsuitable for some species. Approximately 33 percent of all energy consumed in our
state is used for transportation. Without continuous improvements
in efficiency and environmental technology, our pollution will
increase as VMT inc
centralized towns and cities are more amenable to transit use
and harbor a greater sense of community identity than sprawling
townships and corporate campuses. Automobile dependence tends
to isolate people in their cars, inhibiting interaction and
community coherence. Transit brings people together in stations,
towns, and in larger vehicles.
We need data
about the locations of our jobs, homes, recreation, and shopping
districts so that they can be analyzed for proximity to each
other and to existing transportation services. Consistently
collected land use data, surprisingly, remain unavailable. It
is by understanding the layout of our daily activities that
we can really address the issues of why and how much we have
to travel. These data do not include the very important ridership
of numerous privately operated mass-transit companies, especially
Source: NJ Department of Transportation and NJ Transit