APA-NJ “Outstanding Student Project”
Concerned with the overall safety and comfort of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists in West Orange Township, the Pleasant Valley Civic Association, Thomas Edison National Historic Park, Township of West Orange, and a number of other West Orange stakeholders tasked the Walking and Cycling Studio at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University with developing a Complete Streets Concept Plan for the township. To complete the Plan, students conducted a comprehensive literature review, highlighting the current status of complete streets policy adoption and implementation in the US and more specifically NJ; conducted a comprehensive built environment assessment/audit over a three-week period; researched and documented a brief history of West Orange; reviewed and documented a list of existing plans, programs, and policies; identified and mapped community assets and resources; analyzed and mapped the socio-economic characteristics of township; analyzed and mapped 10 years of crash statistics throughout the township; and attended meetings with the public and project partners.
As a result, the students were able to develop a comprehensive West Orange Complete Streets Concept Plan complete with before and after 2D and 3D renderings of proposed complete streets improvements; a West Orange Bicycle Network, complete with customized street sign toppers, bicycle racks, and bicycle signage; a customized West Orange Walkability Guide, designed and formatted for use by anyone wishing to access the walkability of the streets throughout the township; a vision for a first-ever “shared street” in the township; and customized wayfinding signage which can be attached to existing poles and bus shelters or at standalone kiosks. Moreover, the students created an animation video of all the proposed improvements and drafted a Vision Zero plan for the township.