ASSEMBLY, No. 3885

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MARCH 7, 2011

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JOHN F. MCKEON

District 27 (Essex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires certain employers to plan and implement traffic reduction programs for employees.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the reduction of traffic during peak-hours and supplementing Title 27 of the Revised Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.    This act shall be known and may be cited as the "New Jersey Traffic Management Act of 2006."

 

     2.    The Legislature finds and declares that:

     a.     In recent years, New Jersey has experienced tremendous growth in certain regions, often along highway routes in this State. This growth has outpaced the capacity of the highways in this State for efficient movement of traffic, creating constraints on future economic development, and, in particular, making it increasingly difficult for employers to maintain a desirable environment for their employees as they commute to work.

     b.    Levels of traffic congestion in this State are related to levels of air pollution, particularly ozone, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter.  The federal Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. s.7401 et seq., as amended in 1990 by Public Law 101‑549, sets attainment standards for these various pollutants.  While New Jersey has demonstrated attainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard ("NAAQS") for carbon monoxide through the implementation of pollution reducing measures, the State has not yet demonstrated attainment of the NAAQS for ozone levels for the entire State.  In New Jersey, it is estimated that 50% of the ozone pollution is caused by mobile sources, such as cars and trucks.

     c.     Recent gasoline price increases have created financial hardships for many commuters who are located in areas with inadequate mass transportation or who do not have access to ride-sharing programs, and are therefore required to drive to and from work each day at substantial costs to themselves.

     d.    The continuing rise in gasoline prices since the oil-price shocks of the 1970’s and the 1973-74 oil embargo have led to the development of various strategies to decrease this nation’s dependence on foreign oil including, but not limited to, the offering of incentives to stimulate greater use of ride-sharing programs, as well as public transit, where available.

     e.     In order to deal with the economic, social, and environmental costs and effects enumerated above, to avoid or delay expensive or environmentally costly new highway construction, to assist the State in reaching attainment standards set forth in the federal Clean Air Act with regard to federally mandated ozone levels, and to further the national goal of decreasing dependence on foreign oil, it is in the public interest for the Department of Transportation to require every business employing 100 or more persons at one or more work locations to undertake an annual survey of its employees and issue an annual report to the Commissioner of Transportation as to the commutation patterns of its employees; and to further require businesses employing 100 or more persons at one or more work locations to plan and implement trip-reduction strategies, if such plans have not previously been established, that will provide their employees with programs and incentives to increase private passenger vehicle occupancy or increase the use of public transit or other alternative transportation modes on home-to-work trips during peak-hours.

 

     3.    As part of its transportation control strategy required by section 4 of P.L.1992, c.32 (C.27:26A-4), the Department of Transportation shall establish and monitor a program to be known as the "Traffic Management Program" (the "program") to:

     a.     monitor and analyze traffic commutation patterns of businesses employing 100 or more persons at one or more work locations in this State;

     b.    monitor and regulate businesses employing 100 or more persons at one or more work locations in this State and require these businesses to establish and implement traffic reduction plans, except as otherwise provided in section 9 of this act, in order to reduce the number of vehicles in use by their employees traveling to and from work during peak-hour periods; and

     c.     render technical assistance and information to such businesses with regard to implementation of traffic reduction plans.

     For the purposes of this act, "peak-hour periods" means the hours from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and the hours from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. during weekdays when normal business hours are being conducted.

 

     4.    Every business employing 100 or more persons at one or more work locations in this State shall survey its workforce annually to gather data on place of residence, working hours, and modes of commutation.  The results of this survey shall be provided to the Commissioner of Transportation in the form of an annual report no later than December 1 of each year.  The annual report shall protect the privacy of the survey respondents to the greatest extent practicable and feasible and shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:

     a.     the number of employees beginning and ending work by 15 minute time intervals during peak-hour periods;

     b.    the number of peak-hour automobile trips of employees who are commuting to work by means of single occupancy vehicles;

     c.     a description of measures taken by the business to reduce traffic generation, including efforts to market traffic reduction measures; and

     d.    the number of employees participating in an alternative work-hours program.

     5.    a. Notwithstanding the provisions of any law, rule, regulation or order to the contrary, within one year of the effective date of this act, every business employing 100 or more persons at one or more work locations in this State shall, except as otherwise provided by section 9 of this act, establish and implement a traffic reduction plan to, within two years of the effective date of this act, reduce the number of peak-hour automobile trips of its employees commuting to work by means of single occupancy vehicles by 25 percent.

     b.    Traffic reduction plans shall be prepared in cooperation with the Department of Transportation and shall be filed by the affected employer with the Commissioner of Transportation.  In developing a traffic reduction plan, any combination of the following traffic mitigation measures may be incorporated: (1) facilitating utilization of mass transit; (2) facilitating ridesharing; (3) establishing an alternative work-hours schedule; and (4) encouraging non-vehicular work trips.

     c.     The provisions of section 1 of P. L.1993, c.150 (C. 27:26A-15) shall apply to employers required to establish and implement traffic reduction plans pursuant to this section, and shall apply to employers who have established and implemented traffic reduction plans prior to the effective date of this act which meet or exceed the standards set forth in this section.

 

     6.    a.  Commencing on the first anniversary of the effective date of this act, the Department of Transportation shall annually conduct at least one public hearing in the State in order to gather information from interested parties as to the efficacy of the program established under section 3 of this act.

     b.    The department shall submit an annual report to the Legislature by August 1 of each year covering the period of the previous State fiscal year.  The report shall cover the status of this program, including any recommendations to alter or improve the program.

 

     7.    An employer who does not comply with the requirements of either section 4 or section 5 of this act shall be subject to a civil administrative penalty.  The Commissioner of Transportation is authorized to assess a civil administrative penalty of not more than $500 per month.  Each month of non-compliance with the requirements of either section 4 or section 5 of this act, or both, shall constitute an additional, separate and distinct offense.

 

     8.    The Commissioner of Transportation shall adopt, in accordance with the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations to implement the purposes of this act.


     9.    The requirements of subsections a. and b. of section 5 of this act shall not be construed to be applicable to any business in this State which has established and implemented a traffic reduction plan prior to the effective date of this act which meets or exceeds the standards set forth in section 5 of this act.

 

     10.  This act shall take effect on the 90th day following enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires the Department of Transportation (the "department") to establish  a "Traffic Management Program" to monitor businesses employing 100 or more persons in one or more work locations in this State and to assist such businesses in the implementation of traffic reduction plans, as appropriate.

     This bill further requires every business employing 100 or more persons at one or more work locations in this State to undertake an annual survey and provide an annual report to the Commissioner of Transportation regarding the commutation patterns of its employees.  The bill further requires each such business, except as otherwise provided by section 9 of the bill, to establish and implement a traffic reduction plan to reduce the number of vehicles in use by its employees traveling to and from work during peak-hours; within two years of the effective date of this bill, each of these businesses is to attain a standard of reducing projected peak-hour automobile trips of its employees commuting to work by means of  single occupancy vehicles  by 25 percent.

     The traffic reduction plans to be developed and implemented by the affected employers shall be prepared in cooperation with the department and be filed with the Commissioner of Transportation. Various traffic mitigation measures may be incorporated in each traffic reduction plan including: facilitating utilization of mass transit; facilitating ridesharing arrangements; establishing an alternate work-hours schedule; and encouraging non-vehicular work trips.

     Under the provisions of section 1 of P. L.1993, c.150 (C. 27:26A-15), employers are entitled to various tax credits as an incentive for participating in ride-sharing programs.  The bill provides that the various incentives contained in section 1 of P. L. 1993, c.150 (C. 27:26A-15) shall apply to employers required to establish and implement traffic reduction plans under section 5 of the bill and shall also apply to employers who established and implemented traffic reduction plans prior to the effective date of the bill which meet or exceed the standards for such plans set forth in section 5 of the bill.

     The bill requires the department to hold a public hearing annually in the State to gather information about this program, and further stipulates that the department shall submit an annual report to the Legislature including any recommendations to alter or improve the program.

     Section 9 of this bill provides that subsections a. and b. of section 5 of this bill shall not be construed to be applicable to any business in this State which established and implemented traffic reduction programs prior to the effective date of the bill which meet or exceed the trip reduction standards set forth in subsections a. and b. of section 5 of this bill.

     Penalties are also established for any business subject to the bill which violates its provisions.