(Trenton) –The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), today announced the 2021 New Jersey Trails & Greenways Summit. New Jersey’s first-ever trails summit will demonstrate opportunities to create robust trail networks throughout the state.
Kicking off on September 1st and running throughout the month, the 2021 New Jersey Trails & Greenways Summit will be a free online event that will broaden the conversation around trails and increase local knowledge about the funding, design, construction, maintenance, and use of multi-use paths, trail crossings and Complete Streets. It will feature a variety of webinars and online social mixers along with Saturday morning mobile workshops hosted by bicycle clubs and nonprofit organizations across the state.
“Trails are an increasingly important piece of the transportation network in New Jersey, providing safe corridors for walking and bicycling,” said NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “These networks connect neighborhoods and communities while also providing important resources for public health and wellbeing.”
“Trails are truly at the intersection of conservation and recreation, providing access to preserved places and scenic landscapes,” said NJDEP’s Acting Commissioner Shawn LaTourette. “This inaugural summit will allow trail planners, builders, and advocates to gather, share resources, and collaborate on a future-focused trails vision that incorporates climate resilience and promotes environmental justice.”
“The past year, in particular, has seen the usage of trails and greenways skyrocket as gyms and other indoor areas closed,” said Sonia Szczesna, Director of Active Transportation at the nonprofit Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “The pandemic caused massive changes to everyday life. People have been looking for ways to get outside and as some workplaces start to reopen, they are rethinking their commutes. Trails and greenways have become very popular.”
“Trails also serve as outdoor classrooms, improve the economy through tourism, and provide alternative transportation corridors to connect to population centers,” said Bill Foelsch of the New Jersey Trails Council.
The planning committee includes members of the NJ Trails Council, the NJ Bike & Walk Coalition, the NJ Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Council, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, the Circuit Trails Coalition, and the East Coast Greenway Alliance.
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