Morristown Getting $270K in State Aid
$185,000 going toward South Street streetscape project; $85,000 awarded for Lafayette Avenue pedestrian safety and accessibility improvements.
Morristown has been awarded a pair of grants from the New Jersey Department of Transportation, totalling $270,000, which will be used for the third phase in streetscape improvements on South Street, and for pedestrian safety and accessibility improvements on Lafayette Avenue.
$185,000 has been awarded for the streetscape improvement project, while $85,000 has been earmarked for Lafayette Avenue. The funds are part of a $78.4 million local aid grant package announced this week, providing monies for 376 municipalities statewide.
The majority of grants were awarded under the Municipal Aid program, with 374 grants totaling $76,126,200. Ten Local Aid Infrastructure Fund (LAIF) grants worth $1,810,000 were awarded. Morristown was one of three municipalities in the state to receive the Safe Streets to Transit grants, totalling $500,000.
The 374 grants awarded were from a pool of 661 applicants, or 57 percent, according to the NJDOT press release.
"We're grateful to the governor for awarding us the money," Mayor Tim Dougherty said.
While the mayor said the town was pleased to receive the funds to continue the South Street streetscape improvements–which began in June–"we're very, very happy to get the money for Safe Routes to Transit."
Councilman Stefan Armington said the Safe Routes to Transit grant would be used for a reconfiguration of traffic lanes on Lafayette Avenue, from Ridgedale to Morris avenues, to try and make that area more pedestrian friendly. It's a similar project to one championed by Councilwoman Rebecca Feldman in 2010, which reduced the number of lanes on Morris Avenue from three to two, he said.
An avid cyclist and vocal proponent of greater accessibility for those utilizing means of transportation other than automobiles, Armington said he was thrilled the town was getting the $85,000 grant.
"It's an extremely difficult road to cross and travel along," he said, noting its proximity to both the Morristown Train Station, as well as the Highlands at Morristown Station transit village, "which is technically supposed to be pedestrian and bike friendly, but it's really not at this point."
Dougherty said, while no time has been set to begin either project, "now that it's official, we'll get together with our engineers and planners and set dates to get moving."