Communities across South Jersey are discovering that trails offer more than simply recreation – they attract visitors who spend money at local businesses, they attract residents who have a choice in where to live, they give communities places to engage in safe, healthy activities – in short, they are an investment in our communities, an investment in South Jersey.
Counties and municipalities across South Jersey have been working for years to bring trails to their communities. South Jersey Trails is about raising the profile of these efforts and thinking about these assets in a regional context. SJTPO hopes to strengthen existing local efforts by organizing them, raising their profile, and expanding the options available to fund these community assets.
South Jersey Trails Design Guide
The first step of this process was to brand the effort and organize the way SJTPO and regional partners communicate about South Jersey Trails. To this end, SJTPO brought in a team of experts in planning, branding, and bicycle and pedestrian advocacy to assess existing conditions, get feedback from bicycle and pedestrian stakeholders, and use that to develop a brand and series of recommendations for taking South Jersey Trails to the next level.
Next Steps for South Jersey Trails
To advance South Jersey Trails, actionable steps must be identified and carried out. SJTPO and the project team have identified a number of next steps to ensure that South Jersey Trails continues to develop and reap benefits to South Jersey. These actions may be conducted in any order, based on opportunities or funding that becomes available.
- Identify and advance critical gaps in existing trails network.
- Atlantic County Bikeway West – feasibility study completed in December 2021.
- Northern Cape May County Bikeway – feasibility study currently underway.
- Identify and advance opportunities to connect with The Circuit Trails in the Philadelphia region.
- Develop and implement an Active Transportation Master Plan – anticipated to begin in early 2024.
- Conduct an assessment of Right-of-Way (ROW) in South Jersey that may be conducive to expanding the South Jersey Trails network.
- Establish a South Jersey Trails Coalition and Steering Committee to guide the effort in a way that reflects the region’s needs and values.
- Identify funding sources and partners that can enable a planning process that keeps a regular stream of projects to advance for construction.
- Establish a South Jersey Trails counting program to assess existing and future growth in utilization.