Cherry Hill’s focus on road improvements is no longer going to be just on cars.
At last week’s council meeting, a resolution adopting a Complete Streets policy was passed. The policy formalizes a focus on all aspects of transportation, including bicycles and pedestrians.
According to the New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center, Cherry Hill is the third municipality in Camden County to adopt Complete Streets, joining Camden and Gloucester Township.
The new policy goes hand-in-hand with the township’s bike and pedestrian master plan approved by the planning board early in 2013. Director of communication Bridget Palmer said the policy reaffirms what the township has been doing the past two years.
“We have the bike ped plan, and we’ve always prioritized these kind of upgrades,” she said. “This gives us a guidepost to set these criteria.”
Going forward, the township plans to implement the Complete Streets policy with all road improvements. This includes the addition of sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks, curb cut outs and other features to make township roads more accessible for all forms of transportation.
Palmer said a committee consisting of employees from the township’s engineering, public works, community development and police departments will consider each project for Complete Streets.
“There are a few criteria that are considered,” Palmer said. “There is also a cost consideration built in. There’s a committee that will look at every project.”
In addition to criteria the project must fulfill, the cost for the Complete Streets portion of the project may not exceed 15 percent of the project’s total cost or else it is exempt from the program.
Palmer said the committee’s job is important in breaking down the criteria and making sure a project is fit for Complete Streets.
While the Complete Streets policy is a township one, it will not necessarily limit the projects to township roads. The township has worked with Camden County and the state to add bike paths on their roads as well.
Kings Highway and Springdale Road are just two examples of state and county roads where bike paths were recently added.
“This works hand-in-hand with their policies as well,” Palmer said.
The project also goes hand-in-hand with the Mayor’s Wellness Program. Palmer said the township hopes more bike trails and sidewalks will encourage people to ride bicycles and walk more in their neighborhoods.
In other news:
• Council reaffirmed its Green Team through the passage of a resolution. The Green Team was created as part of Cherry Hill’s mission to achieve a Sustainable Jersey designation. Palmer said the committee is a prerequisite to achieving the designation.
• An ordinance was passed on first reading approving signs that prohibit turns out of Kingston Elementary School. The ordinance will allow the township to officially enforce the newly erected signs. All vehicles leaving the school must now turn right onto Kingston Road.
• The next Cherry Hill Township Council meeting will be on Monday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. in town hall.