On Monday NJ Gov. Jon Corzine signed into law two bills with an impact on transportation and land use that made it through the state legislature’s lame duck session (which ended last week).
State Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex) sponsored the “Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Act,” which offers tax credits to businesses that build or lease offices and create jobs near urban train stations. In order to be eligible, businesses must employ at least 250 people and invest in a facility within a half-mile of rail stations. These credits are available only to businesses that invest in cities eligible for urban aid and have a certain percentage of their property exempt from property taxes; currently, these cities are Jersey City, Hoboken, Trenton, Newark, New Brunswick, Paterson, Elizabeth, East Orange, and Camden.
Also signed into law was a bill creating a red-light camera pilot program. Outgoing State Sen. Joseph Coniglio sponsored the bill, which orders NJDOT to create a five-year pilot program which municipalities can apply to for permission to install red-light cameras at intersections. In their application, municipalities must identify intersection(s) they want to install cameras on, and provide evidence that a high violation rate exists at the intersection and the yellow light is sufficiently long (the required length varies with the documented speed of traffic at the intersection).
Red-light cameras have worked in NYC. In 2004, NYCDOT found that intersections with red-light cameras saw a 10% overall reduction in collision-related injuries and a 19% decline in pedestrian injuries over six years (see MTR # 464).