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The Commissioner's Report
During his State of the State address, Governor McGreevey outlined a bold and clear vision for the future development of New Jersey: the State will no longer subsidize sprawl development and the State will back its communities in their Smart Growth efforts. Smart Growth is the Governor's plan to end unchecked development.
The Department of Transportation is uniquely positioned to carry out this vision. We know the elements of transportation design that invite sprawl and we know how to avoid them. Eliminating new sprawl will prevent new congestion across the state and will help the Department of Transportation concentrate on eradicating the gridlock that already exists.
One example of the Smart growth strategy at work is the re-design of the Route 206 bypass in Hillsborough and Montgomery Townships. The original plan to build a bypass with three interchanges contradicted Smart Growth policies. It would have encouraged sprawl and more congestion, defeating the purpose of the bypass to alleviate congestion through these communities.
The new design of the Route 206 bypass preserves open space, concentrates development, and eliminates two of three intersections that would have induced sprawl. The plan is a modification of the original project and is still expected to begin during Summer 2005.
Diverting through traffic away from the existing Route 206 is designed to compliment Hillsborough's plans to develop a town center along the old highway. The addition of the bypass will allow the town to create a business district with pedestrian-friendly crossings and access. Both are important features of Smart Growth that allow a community to channel development into its center safely.
The redesign of the Route 206 bypass is a milestone for Governor McGreevey's Smart Growth initiative. The Governor's plan addresses over-development with initiatives such as the redesign of non-Smart Growth projects to more effectively govern development along our roads. His plan approaches growth through regional planning, and focuses on the redevelopment of our aging infrastructure. Through these initiatives, we will take strong, preemptive steps to avoid sprawl-inducing development.