July 01, 2003

New Jersey Case Sets Transportation Funding Priorities Straight

A recent court victory should ensure that their efforts translate into concrete results.

In 2000, the New Jersey legislature passed the Transportation Trust Fund Act, which prioritized road and bridge repair over new road construction, required legislative approval for new highway projects, and mandated the creation of 1,000 new miles of bicycle paths. Dubbed “fix it first,” the law was spearheaded by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and other local NGOs.

However, the groundbreaking law has been consistently undermined by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, which has reduced the amount of funding dedicated to repair efforts. In response, the advocacy groups took the state to court and on June 11, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court ruled in their favor.

The ruling requires the Dept. of Transportation to submit a bridge and pavement repair plan to the legislature that “identifies known deficiencies, establishes priorities, project costs and provides realistic implementation goals.” It also demands “a strategy for meeting the statute’s goals for construction of additional bicycle paths.” For more information, visit the Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s website: https://www.tstc.org


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