Belleville 1 of 5 towns awarded funds to make township streets safer near BHS

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The Township of Belleville will develop a Bicycle Corridor Plan for the area around Belleville High School and the municipal stadium through the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority’s (NJTPA) Complete Streets Technical Assistance Program, the mayor’s office says.

The township is one of five municipalities selected through a competitive application process to receive assistance in documenting existing conditions, exploring potential improvements and developing recommendations to help improve health and safety for people biking and walking.

“The Bicycle Corridor Plan has the potential to improve residents’ lives in so many ways,” Mayor Michael A. Melham said. “It promises to make the town safer for people, including schoolchildren, who walk and cycle in the area. It also promises to foster healthier lifestyles by promoting exercise. And fewer cars on the road makes Belleville cleaner and greener.”

The plan targets Division Avenue from Union Avenue to Passaic Street, an area with heavy traffic especially during school drop-off and pick-up. Vehicle speeding is also a concern. This effort will explore the possibility of adding a bicycle lane.

“The Complete Streets program helps make our roads safer for everyone, especially people walking and biking,” said NJTPA Chairman John P. Kelly. “The program also helps create more equitable and healthy communities by giving people more options when travelling.”

In addition to Belleville, Verona, Belmar, Paterson and Readington will also receive technical assistance through the NJTPA.

“We’re thrilled to have two Essex County municipalities selected to participate in this competitive program,” Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., who represents the county on the NJTPA Board of Trustees, said. “This project will help Belleville explore ways to make a busy road safer for some of the community’s most vulnerable residents – school children.”

The NJTPA runs the program in partnership with the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University and Sustainable Jersey.

The Complete Streets Technical Assistance Program helps municipalities bring together key stakeholders to explore a local safety concern and develop concepts for potential solutions using a collaborative approach.

Projects may include a bicycle corridor or network plan or a Complete Streets assessment of a one-mile corridor. The program can also be used to develop a Complete and Green Streets Policy. Projects may include demonstration projects or conceptual renderings of proposed future improvements.

“Across New Jersey and the broader nation, we’ve seen a troubling rise in roadway fatalities, particularly among pedestrians and cyclists. The recommendations that are developed through these projects will help communities enhance the safety of their roadways for all users,” Jon A. Carnegie, executive director of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, said.

This is the fourth time the NJTPA has offered technical assistance to municipalities in its region.

Seven projects were completed in 2023, eight projects were completed in 2020 and nine projects were completed in 2019.

The final reports are available on NJTPA’s Complete Streets webpage at

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.