Complete Streets Summit awardees, Leslie Gimeno, Planning Director at the Cape May County Planning Department (left) and Mayor Pickolycky of Woodbine, NJ (right) pose for a picture with Mike Russo, Assistant Commissioner – Capital Investment, Planning and Grant Administration at NJDOT (middle).
On Tuesday, October 24, 2017, the Complete Streets Summit was held at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. At the event, Leslie Gimeno, Planning Director at the Cape May County Planning Department accepted the 2017 Complete Streets Summit Excellence Award.
The award honored the initiative set forth by the Cape May County Planning Board and the Cape May County Open Space Board for the development of a Regional Bike Network in the County. The initiative was supported by 16 local municipalities, managers of recreational assets, cycling advocates, as well as the SJTPO.
Discussion for a Regional Bike Network began in 2013 when the Open Space Program, established in 1989, expanded on its original functions of Farmland Preservation and land acquisition, to act as a funding source for Historic Preservation and Recreational Development programs. Representatives from the County’s local municipalities met and collectively decided to implement an initiative that would connect small-scale bike projects to create a more expansive network of trails, paths, and lanes that would grow and support the tourism and ecotourism industry present in the County.
Representatives from local municipalities came together to discuss potential project ideas that stemmed from the needs and wants of the public.
A Special Funding Round was an integral part of the Regional Bike Network. The Special Funding Round encouraged municipalities to submit applications for bike-related projects by funding 50% of Engineering and Design costs, as well as 100% of capital construction costs. As a result of the Special Funding Round, $3.2 million was awarded to five applicants. Of the five applicants, two were of major significance as they closed a 10-mile gap in the trail network located in the central part of the County.
The SJTPO staff would like to once again congratulate Leslie Gimeno and Cape May County for their efforts related to the implementation of Complete Streets, and for making the area’s roads safer for all roadway users.
An article on the Regional Bike Network is available to read, here. The article can be found on pages 6 and 7.
A video on the Regional Bike Network is available as well, and can be viewed, here.