29 March 2008

Pedestrian ... safety?

The New Jersey Department of Transportation web site includes a section claiming that the organization "has made pedestrian safety a top priority." Under "Contacts," there's an email address where readers are encouraged to write for more information.

However the message bounced back with a notification that the address no longer exists. Does this mean that the NJ DOT has given up on pedestrian (and bicycle) safety?

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Dear Pedestrian and Bicycle Program Coordinator,

Because I try to avoid driving all the time, I’ve walked on various occasions between Monmouth University (where I work) and places like the Elberon and Long Branch train stations as well as area businesses.

Sidewalks in the area are frequently damaged or non-existent, but worse, the place where they should be is often blocked by a hedge, forcing a pedestrian into the street.

I’ve been on the NJ Department of Transportation web site trying to find out if any state or federal law requires the construction or maintenance of sidewalks within towns, but found information only about snow removal. Is there any law requiring sidewalk construction and/or maintenance of sidewalks in towns or along any particular kind of streets and roads in the state? If so, who is in charge of enforcement? If not, to whom would I write to ask that the law be changed?

Thank you for your time.

Heide Estes

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If this blog has a reader, maybe you can make some suggestions.