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new jersey department of environmental protection  


Living with the Future in Mind
Goals and Indicators for New Jersey's Quality of Life
First Annual Update to the Sustainable State Project Report 2000
New Jersey is a state of transportation "firsts": the first stagecoach, the first balloon flight, the first airport, the first steam locomotive. But despite this promising "multi-modal" start, mobility in our state depends on cars and highways. The number of miles we drive in a year has risen steadily, as has the amount of time we spend sitting in cars. The amount of land we pave for roads and subdivisions has risen correspondingly, as has the congestion we endure. Our pattern, to build new homes rather than renovate existing towns, perpetuates our car culture. When we require services or recreation, most of us have little choice but to drive. The lack of choice in transportation and land use is likely to be an increasing problem as the population ages and becomes less able to live in auto-dependent locations.

What we know

Need for road and bridge repairs increasing

Vehicle miles traveled increasing

Workplace transportation options increasingly auto-dependent

Traffic fatalities decreasing


What we don't know

The lifestyle and public health costs of our increased auto-dependency, including time spent in traffic instead of walking, biking, or exercising.

The full environmental impacts of auto-dependency, in areas such as wildlife habitat loss, air and water quality degradation, and global warming.

How many of us have transportation options aside from driving for doing the things that we want to do, including eating, shopping, and socializing.

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2006
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Modified: April 30, 2007

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