Saturday, March 29, 2014

Celebrate the Transit Village Designation!

A story Plaintalker has been tracking since 2006 hit the headlines today - Plainfield has won designation as a transit village.

The designation is prized because it opens the door to special attention from state agencies, but since 1999 only 27 municipalities have earned it. Plainfield is now the 28th transit village and credit is due to the city's Planning Division and Planning Board, which have worked hard on Transit Oriented Development zoning designations centered on its two train stations.

Some background from Plaintalker and Plaintalker II:

In April 2006, former Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs and her director of Public Works & Urban Development Jennifer Wenson Maier announced that Plainfield would seek four transit village designations, for its two existing train stations and two defunct ones that the administration hoped to revive.

In August 2006, transit-oriented development and "New Urbanism" were discussed at the Zoning Board meeting.

In November 2007, planners probed issues of density and uses around the Netherwood train station.

In July 2008, the City Council debated a transit-oriented development ordinance for the Netherwood area.

In January 2010, talk of transit villages had given way to more emphasis on transit-oriented development.

In January 2011, a transit expert urged Plainfield to get more involved in the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition.

Transit-Oriented Development-Downtown map

A press release from the NJ Department of Transportation includes praise from NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson for all the work that went into the successful application. Plainfielders all will benefit from the designation. Drink a toast this weekend with your favorite libation for this great news!

--Bernice

14 comments:

  1. Congratulations Bill, Scott, Roz and Ron and to all the Planning Board members that made this possible. This designation will help to move the City o Plainfield forward and help to revitalize this municipality into unique and shinning jewel.

    April

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  2. Pat Turner KavanaughMarch 29, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    Bernice: does this TOD designation apply to the main train station downtown and/or Nethwerwood,and/or Grant Avwnue, and Clinton Avenue, there when I grew up on West Fiftth Street between Monroe Avenue (1112) and Lexington Place, where my Mom grew up (410), We're dreaming if we think we can get Grant and Clinton back. FOSH (Friends of Sleepy Hollow) open to anyone or elsewhere who cares about Plainfield - was instrumental in saving the Netherwood Station for anyone in the City or elsewhere seeking a train ride to Newark or NYC.

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  3. Congrats to the people who made it happen

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  4. Great news, congrats to all. Pat please stop beingso anti west end.

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  5. All the more reason to reject JFK's proposal for 600+ rentals at Muhlenberg.

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    1. You are sooooooooo right!

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  6. Pat is right -- there will not be any "reopened/reestablished" stations in the west end. I asked a NJT Planning rep about that at a public meeting and I was told that the industry standard is for 2 miles between stations. The old west end stations are too close to Dunellen and downtown. Adding more stops slows the travel time and then people complain about that. This same rep said area people need to more fully use downtown and Netherwood stations.

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  7. Bernice, you mentioned 26 other designations. Do you know what impact the designation has had?

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  8. Some have been studied and the results are in a report at http://policy.rutgers.edu/vtc/reports/2011_PropertyValuesinNJTransitVillages.pdf
    There is no absolute impact that can be cited, as each municipality has unique factors affecting it. I expect to be writing about this soon.

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  9. This is very good news. We, as a city, must be ready to rise to the occasion and take advantage of this designation to move the city forward without obstruction.

    Rebecca

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  10. Plainfield has always been a transit village. Even had it's own rail car. Now we need an "official" designation. Will it bring us $$$ or more headaches? Is this why JFK is looking to put up 600 "luxury" apartments? Time will tell if this is a positive.

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  11. There is $1 Million available in 2014 from the state for Transit Oriented Development. Has Plainfield sought any of that funding?

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