[Third Reprint]

SENATE, No. 1234

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

213th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 21, 2008

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator ROBERT W. SINGER

District 30 (Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean)

Senator JEFF VAN DREW

District 1 (Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland)

Assemblyman  RONALD S. DANCER

District 30 (Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean)

Assemblyman  UPENDRA J. CHIVUKULA

District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)

Assemblyman  PAUL D. MORIARTY

District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen Gusciora, Diegnan, Rumana, L.Smith, Amodeo, Rudder and Rumpf

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes criteria municipalities and counties are to consider when establishing speed limits.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As amended by the General Assembly on January 7, 2010.

  


An Act concerning 2[municipal streets] the establishment of speed limits by municipalities and counties2 and amending 2[R.S.39:4-8] R.S.49:4-982.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1[1.  R.S.39:4-8 is amended to read as follows:

     39:4-8.  a.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, no ordinance or resolution concerning, regulating or governing traffic or traffic conditions, adopted or enacted by any board or body having jurisdiction over highways, shall be of any force or effect unless the same is approved by the Commissioner of Transportation, according to law.  The commissioner shall not be required to approve any such ordinance, resolution or regulation, unless, after investigation by him, the same shall appear to be in the interest of safety and the expedition of traffic on the public highways.

     [b.  In the case of totally self-contained streets under municipal jurisdiction which have no direct connection with any street in any other municipality, or in the case of totally self-contained streets under county jurisdiction which have no direct connection with any street in any other county, the municipality or county may, by ordinance or resolution, as appropriate, without the approval of the Commissioner of Transportation, designate parking restrictions, no passing zones, mid-block crosswalks and crosswalks at intersections, except that in the case of any streets under municipal jurisdiction, the municipality may, by ordinance, designate reasonable and safe speed limits and in the case of totally self-contained streets under county jurisdiction which have no direct connection with any street in any other county, the county may, by ordinance or resolution, as appropriate, designate reasonable and safe speed limits, and erect appropriate signs, designate any intersection as a stop or yield intersection and erect appropriate signs and place longitudinal pavement markings delineating the separation of traffic flows and the edge of the pavement, provided that the municipal or county engineer shall, under his seal as a licensed professional engineer, certify to the municipal or county governing body, as appropriate, that any designation or erection of signs or placement of markings:  (1) has been approved by him after investigation by him of the circumstances, (2) appears to him to be in the interest of safety and the expedition of traffic on the public highways and (3) conforms to the current standards prescribed by the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, as adopted by the Commissioner of Transportation.]

     b.  (1) A municipality may, without the approval of the Commissioner of Transportation, do the following by ordinance or resolution, as appropriate:

     (a)   designate parking restrictions, no passing zones, mid-block crosswalks, and crosswalks at intersections, and erect appropriate signs and install appropriate markings, on streets under municipal jurisdiction which are totally self-contained within that municipality and have no direct connection with any street in any other municipality;

     (b)   designate reasonable and safe speed limits and erect appropriate signs, on any street under municipal jurisdiction;

     (c)   designate any intersection as a stop or yield intersection and erect appropriate signs, on streets under municipal jurisdiction which are totally self-contained within that municipality and have no direct connection with any street in any other municipality; and

     (d)   designate any intersection as a stop intersection and erect appropriate signs, on streets under municipal jurisdiction if that intersection is located within 500 feet of a school, or of a playground or youth recreational facility and the street on which the stop sign will be erected is contiguous to that school, or playground or youth recreational facility.  The municipal engineer shall certify to the following in regard to the designated site in which a stop intersection is being designated: (i) that both intersecting streets are under municipal jurisdiction; (ii) that the intersection is within 500 feet of a school, or of a playground or youth recreational facility as defined herein; and (iii) that the intersection is on a street contiguous to a school, or playground or youth recreational facility. A claim against a municipality for damage or injury under this subparagraph for a wrongful act or omission shall be dismissed if the municipality is deemed to have conformed to the  provisions contained in this subparagraph.

     (2)   A county may, without the approval of the Commissioner of Transportation, do the following by ordinance or resolution, as appropriate, on streets which are totally self-contained within the county and have no direct connection with any street in any other county:

     (a)   designate parking restrictions, no passing zones, mid-block crosswalks, and crosswalks at intersections and erect appropriate signs;

     (b)   designate reasonable and safe speed limits and erect appropriate signs;

     (c)   designate any intersection as a stop or yield intersection and erect appropriate signs; and

     (d)   place longitudinal pavement marking delineating the separation of traffic flows and the edge of the pavement and erect appropriate signs.

     (3)   Except with respect to subparagraph (d) of paragraph 1 of this subsection, the municipal or county engineer shall, under his seal as a licensed professional engineer, certify to the governing body of the municipality or county, as appropriate, that any designation or erections of signs or placement or makings has been approved by the engineer after investigation of the circumstances, appears to the engineer to be in the interest of safety and the expedition of traffic on the public highways and conforms to the current standards prescribed by the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, as adopted by the commissioner.

     A certified copy of the adopted ordinance or resolution, as appropriate, shall be transmitted by the clerk of the municipality or county, as appropriate, to the commissioner within 30 days of adoption, together with a copy of the engineer's certification; a statement of the reasons for the engineer's decision; detailed information as to the location of streets, intersections and signs affected by any designation or erection of signs or placement of markings; and traffic count, accident and speed sampling data, when appropriate.  The commissioner, at his discretion, may invalidate the provisions of the ordinance or resolution within 90 days of receipt of the certified copy if he reviews it and finds that the provisions of the ordinance or resolution are inconsistent with the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets or Highways; are inconsistent with accepted engineering standards; are not based on the results of an accurate traffic and engineering survey; or place an undue traffic burden or impact on streets in an adjoining municipality or negatively affect the flow of traffic on the State highway system.

     Nothing in this subsection shall allow municipalities to designate any intersection with any highway under State or county jurisdiction as a stop or yield intersection or counties to designate any intersection with any highway under State or municipal jurisdiction as a stop or yield intersection.

     When designating reasonable and safe speed limits for a street under its jurisdiction pursuant to this subsection, a municipality or county shall consider, but not be limited to, the following criteria:  residential density; the presence, or lack, of sidewalks; the prevalence of entry and exit ways  for business and commercial establishments; whether school children walk adjacent to the street on their way to and from school; and the proximity of recreational or park areas, schools, community residences, family day care homes, child care centers, assisted living facilities or senior communities.  Nothing in this paragraph shall substitute for traffic count, accident and speed sampling data as appropriate.

     c.     Subject to the provisions of R.S.39:4-138, in the case of any street under municipal or county jurisdiction, a municipality or county may, without the approval of the Commissioner of Transportation, do the following:

     By ordinance or resolution:

     (1)   prohibit or restrict general parking;

     (2)   designate restricted parking under section 1 of P.L.1977, c.309 (C.39:4-197.6);

     (3)   designate time limit parking;

     (4)   install parking meters.

     By ordinance, resolution or regulation:

     (1)   designate loading and unloading zones and taxi stands;

     (2)   approve street closings for periods up to 48 continuous hours; and

     (3)   designate restricted parking under section 1 of P.L.1977, c.202 (C.39:4-197.5);

     Nothing in this subsection shall allow municipalities or counties to establish angle parking or to reinstate or add parking on any street, or approve the closure of streets for more than 48 continuous hours, without the approval of the Commissioner of Transportation.

     d.    A municipality or county may, by ordinance or resolution, as appropriate, in any street under its jurisdiction, install or place an in-street pedestrian crossing right-of-way sign at a marked crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.  The installation shall be subject to guidelines that shall be issued by the Commissioner of Transportation after consultation with the Director of the Office of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety. The guidelines shall be aimed at ensuring safety to both pedestrians and motorists including, but not limited to, the proper method of sign installation, dimensions, composition of material, proper placement points and maintenance.  A certified copy of the adopted ordinance or resolution shall be transmitted to the commissioner within 30 days of adoption.  The commissioner, at his discretion, may invalidate the provisions of the ordinance or resolution within 90 days of receipt of the certified copy if he reviews it and finds that the provisions of the ordinance or resolution are inconsistent with the guidelines issued pursuant to this subsection.  A claim against the State or a municipality or county for damage or injury under this subsection for a wrongful act or omission shall be dismissed if the municipality or county is deemed to have conformed to the guidelines required hereunder.

     e.     A municipality or county may, by resolution, in any street under its jurisdiction, designate stops, stations or stands for omnibuses.  The designation shall be subject to guidelines that shall be issued by the Commissioner of Transportation.  The guidelines shall be aimed at ensuring safety to both pedestrians and motorists including, but not limited to, the proper method of sign installation, dimensions, composition of material, proper placement points and maintenance.  A certified copy of the adopted resolution shall be transmitted to the commissioner within 30 days of adoption.  The commissioner, at his discretion, may invalidate the provisions of the ordinance or resolution within 90 days of receipt of the certified copy if he reviews it and finds that the provisions of the ordinance or resolution are inconsistent with the guidelines issued pursuant to this subsection.  A claim against the State or a municipality or county for damage or injury under this subsection for a wrongful act or omission shall be dismissed if the municipality or county is deemed to have conformed to the guidelines required hereunder.

(cf: P.L.2004, c.169.)]1

 

     2[11.  R.S.39:4-8 is amended to read as follows:

     39:4-8.  a.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, no ordinance or resolution concerning, regulating or governing traffic or traffic conditions, adopted or enacted by any board or body having jurisdiction over highways, shall be of any force or effect unless the same is approved by the Commissioner of Transportation, according to law.  The commissioner shall not be required to approve any such ordinance, resolution or regulation, unless, after investigation by him, the same shall appear to be in the interest of safety and the expedition of traffic on the public highways.

     b. (1)  A municipality may, without the approval of the Commissioner of Transportation, do the following by ordinance or resolution, as appropriate:

     (a)   designate parking restrictions, no passing zones, mid-block crosswalks, and crosswalks at intersections, and erect appropriate signs and install appropriate markings, on streets under municipal jurisdiction which are totally self-contained within that municipality and have no direct connection with any street in any other municipality;

     (b)   designate reasonable and safe speed limits and erect appropriate signs, on any street under municipal jurisdiction;

     (c)   designate any intersection as a stop or yield intersection and erect appropriate signs, on streets under municipal jurisdiction which are totally self-contained within that municipality and have no direct connection with any street in any other municipality; and

     (d)   designate any intersection as a stop intersection and erect appropriate signs, on streets under municipal jurisdiction if that intersection is located within 500 feet of a school, or of a playground or youth recreational facility and the street on which the stop sign will be erected is contiguous to that school, or playground or youth recreational facility.  The municipal engineer shall certify to the following in regard to the designated site in which a stop intersection is being designated: (i) that both intersecting streets are under municipal jurisdiction; (ii) that the intersection is within 500 feet of a school, or of a playground or youth recreational facility as defined herein; and (iii) that the intersection is on a street contiguous to a school, or playground or youth recreational facility.  A claim against a municipality for damage or injury under this subparagraph for a wrongful act or omission shall be dismissed if the municipality is deemed to have conformed to the  provisions contained in this subparagraph.

     (2)   A county may, without the approval of the Commissioner of Transportation, do the following by ordinance or resolution, as appropriate, on streets which are totally self-contained within the county and have no direct connection with any street in any other county:

     (a)   designate parking restrictions, no passing zones, mid-block crosswalks, and crosswalks at intersections and erect appropriate signs;

     (b)   designate reasonable and safe speed limits and erect appropriate signs;

     (c)   designate any intersection as a stop or yield intersection and erect appropriate signs; and

     (d)   place longitudinal pavement marking delineating the separation of traffic flows and the edge of the pavement and erect appropriate signs.

     (3)   Except with respect to subparagraph (d) of paragraph 1 of this subsection, the municipal or county engineer shall, under his seal as a licensed professional engineer, certify to the governing body of the municipality or county, as appropriate, that any designation or erections of signs or placement or makings has been approved by the engineer after investigation of the circumstances, appears to the engineer to be in the interest of safety and the expedition of traffic on the public highways and conforms to the current standards prescribed by the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, as adopted by the commissioner.

     A certified copy of the adopted ordinance or resolution, as appropriate, shall be transmitted by the clerk of the municipality or county, as appropriate, to the commissioner within 30 days of adoption, together with a copy of the engineer's certification; a statement of the reasons for the engineer's decision; detailed information as to the location of streets, intersections and signs affected by any designation or erection of signs or placement of markings; and traffic count, accident and speed sampling data, when appropriate.  The commissioner, at his discretion, may invalidate the provisions of the ordinance or resolution within 90 days of receipt of the certified copy if he reviews it and finds that the provisions of the ordinance or resolution are inconsistent with the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets or Highways; are inconsistent with accepted engineering standards; are not based on the results of an accurate traffic and engineering survey; or place an undue traffic burden or impact on streets in an adjoining municipality or negatively affect the flow of traffic on the State highway system.

     Nothing in this subsection shall allow municipalities to designate any intersection with any highway under State or county jurisdiction as a stop or yield intersection or counties to designate any intersection with any highway under State or municipal jurisdiction as a stop or yield intersection.

     When designating reasonable and safe speed limits for a street under its jurisdiction pursuant to this subsection, a municipality or county shall consider, but not be limited to, the following criteria:  residential density; the presence, or lack, of sidewalks; the prevalence of entry and exit ways for business and commercial establishments; whether school children walk adjacent to the street on their way to and from school; and the proximity of recreational or park areas, schools, community residences, family day care homes, child care centers, assisted living facilities or senior communities.  Nothing in this paragraph shall substitute for traffic count, accident, and speed sampling data as appropriate.

     c.     Subject to the provisions of R.S.39:4-138, in the case of any street under municipal or county jurisdiction, a municipality or county may, without the approval of the Commissioner of Transportation, do the following:

     By ordinance or resolution:

     (1)   prohibit or restrict general parking;

     (2)   designate restricted parking under section 1 of P.L.1977, c.309 (C.39:4-197.6);

     (3)   designate time limit parking;

     (4)   install parking meters.

     By ordinance, resolution or regulation:

     (1)   designate loading and unloading zones and taxi stands;

     (2)   approve street closings for periods up to 48 continuous hours; and

     (3)   designate restricted parking under section 1 of P.L.1977, c.202 (C.39:4-197.5);

     Nothing in this subsection shall allow municipalities or counties to establish angle parking or to reinstate or add parking on any street, or approve the closure of streets for more than 48 continuous hours, without the approval of the Commissioner of Transportation.

     d.    A municipality or county may, by ordinance or resolution, as appropriate, in any street under its jurisdiction, install or place an in-street pedestrian crossing right-of-way sign at a marked crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.  The installation shall be subject to guidelines that shall be issued by the Commissioner of Transportation after consultation with the Director of the Office of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety. The guidelines shall be aimed at ensuring safety to both pedestrians and motorists including, but not limited to, the proper method of sign installation, dimensions, composition of material, proper placement points and maintenance.  A certified copy of the adopted ordinance or resolution shall be transmitted to the commissioner within 30 days of adoption.  The commissioner, at his discretion, may invalidate the provisions of the ordinance or resolution within 90 days of receipt of the certified copy if he reviews it and finds that the provisions of the ordinance or resolution are inconsistent with the guidelines issued pursuant to this subsection.  A claim against the State or a municipality or county for damage or injury under this subsection for a wrongful act or omission shall be dismissed if the municipality or county is deemed to have conformed to the guidelines required hereunder.

     e.     A municipality or county may, by resolution, in any street under its jurisdiction, designate stops, stations or stands for omnibuses.  The designation shall be subject to guidelines that shall be issued by the Commissioner of Transportation.  The guidelines shall be aimed at ensuring safety to both pedestrians and motorists including, but not limited to, the proper method of sign installation, dimensions, composition of material, proper placement points and maintenance.  A certified copy of the adopted resolution shall be transmitted to the commissioner within 30 days of adoption.  The commissioner, at his discretion, may invalidate the provisions of the ordinance or resolution within 90 days of receipt of the certified copy if he reviews it and finds that the provisions of the ordinance or resolution are inconsistent with the guidelines issued pursuant to this subsection.  A claim against the State or a municipality or county for damage or injury under this subsection for a wrongful act or omission shall be dismissed if the municipality or county is deemed to have conformed to the guidelines required hereunder.1

(cf: P.L.2004, c.169, s.1)]2

 

21.  R.S.39:4-98 is amended to read as follows:

     39:4-98.  Rates of speed.  Subject to the provisions of R.S.39:4-96 and R.S.39:4-97 and except in those instances where a lower speed is specified in this chapter, it shall be prima facie lawful for the driver of a vehicle to drive it at a speed not exceeding the following: 

     a.     Twenty-five miles per hour, when passing through a school zone during recess, when the presence of children is clearly visible from the roadway, or while children are going to or leaving school, during opening or closing hours;

     b.  (1)  Twenty-five miles per hour in any business or residential district;

     (2)  Thirty-five miles per hour in any suburban business or residential district;

     c.     Fifty miles per hour in all other locations, except as otherwise provided in the "Sixty-Five MPH Speed Limit Implementation Act," pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1997, c.415 (C.39:4-98.3 et al.).

     Whenever it shall be determined upon the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that any speed hereinbefore set forth is greater or less than is reasonable or safe under the conditions found to exist at any intersection or other place or upon any part of a highway, the Commissioner of Transportation, with reference to State highways, may by regulation and municipal or county authorities, with reference to highways under their jurisdiction, may by ordinance, in the case of municipal authorities, or by ordinance or resolution, in the case of county authorities, subject to the approval of the Commissioner of Transportation, except as otherwise provided in R.S.39:4-8, designate a reasonable and safe speed limit thereat which, subject to the provisions of R.S.39:4-96 and R.S.39:4-97, shall be prima facie lawful at all times or at such times as may be determined, when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected at such intersection, or other place or part of the highway.  Appropriate signs giving notice of the speed limits authorized under the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection b. and subsection c. of this section may be erected if the commissioner or the municipal or county authorities, as the case may be, so determine they are necessary.  Appropriate signs giving notice of the speed limits authorized under the provisions of subsection a. and paragraph (2) of subsection b. of this section shall be erected by the commissioner or the municipal or county authorities, as appropriate.

     When designating reasonable and safe speed limits for a street under its jurisdiction pursuant to this subsection,  3as part of an engineering and traffic investigation,3 a municipality or county shall consider, but not be limited to, the following criteria:  residential density; the presence, or lack, of sidewalks; the prevalence of entry and exit ways for business and commercial establishments; whether school children walk adjacent to the street on their way to and from school; and the proximity of recreational or park areas, schools, community residences, family day care homes, child care centers, assisted living facilities or senior communities.  Nothing in this paragraph shall substitute for traffic count, accident, and speed sampling data as appropriate.

     The driver of every vehicle shall, consistent with the requirements of this section, drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.

     The Commissioner of Transportation shall cause the erection and maintenance of signs at such points of entrance to the State as are deemed advisable, setting forth the lawful rates of speed, the wording of which shall be within his discretion.2

(cf: P.L.1997, c.415, s.1)


     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.