SSTI praised the joint efforts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey in producing an exemplary Smart Transportation Guidebook when we reviewed PennDOT’s Smart Transportation program. Now a recent article by Angie Schmitt in DC Streetsblog (“From Sprawling New Jersey, a New Way Forward for State DOTs”) praises the work on smart transportation from the other side of the border.
“Despite the rather obvious link between transportation investments and development patterns, land use planning is simply not a consideration at your average state DOT. Most state DOTs — and there are notable exceptions — see their primary responsibility as building highways, never mind that highways are likely to spur outward development, which leads to the need for more highways. What comes after the highways are built is considered by many to be beyond the state transportation agency’s scope.”
Al Biehler, the former head of PennDOT and now working with SSTI, remembered advice from the former head of NJDOT on coordinating transportation and land use: “He said, ‘The real challenge is to get that practice accepted by people in the field.’”