407 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08618  (609)695-3481
 NJLM logo 

William G. Dressel Jr, Executive Director - Michael J. Darcey, CAE, Asst Executive Director

Metuchen Creates a Walking
Metro System


Edmund O'Brien
Mayor, Metuchen

photo - Master Maps display walking trails
One of four master maps displays the extensive network of walking throughout the borough.
  photo - pedestrian path with person walking
A pedestrian uses the safe, organized path system to reach her destination.

Walking in Metuchen has just gotten easier, since the implementation of "Walk Metuchen," a Healthy Communities Program sponsored by the Borough of Metuchen and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In a collaborative effort, the Mayor and Council, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Metuchen Public Works, Metuchen Police Department and Metuchen Recreation Department, used a grant of $19,400 from the Foundation to create walking trails that lead to the heart of Metuchen; its downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. The network will serve as a walking metro system for the community.

The grant paid for four safe pedestrian loop routes, each beginning in a different geographical quadrant of the community. The paths, which follow existing streets and roads, have been color-coded and well marked. The trails range from 1.8 to 2.7 miles. Each circuit includes an additional route that leads downtown. Routes are blazed with custom designed signs, directional arrows, and mile markers. Nearly all borough homes are within a short walk of the routes.

Residents were mailed a map outlining each of the pedestrian loops and additional copies are available at the Metuchen Library, Senior Citizen Center, Chamber of Commerce, Metuchen Train Station, and Metuchen Borough Hall. Regular mileposts and route markers also remind residents to use the network.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation approached me to discuss a program that would link good community planning and good health. The Borough responded to this interest by proposing a system of walking paths. The Foundation is interested in encouraging walking because of the health benefits, and our program met this objective. In addition, it reduces vehicular traffic, increases pedestrian activities, spotlights the benefits of walking and provides the opportunity to educate and enforce programs relative to pedestrian safety.


 

Nearly all borough homes are within a short walk of the routes.


Metuchen, located in Middlesex County, is a community of approximately 13,000 residents completely surrounded by Edison Township, a community approaching 100,000 in population. As a result of this fact of political geography, Metuchen has

photo mile marker
Color coded direction sign posts are located along the paths.

attempted to promote community-planning initiatives that highlight pedestrian activities. One of our goals in the Metuchen Master Plan is to reduce automobile traffic. Metuchen has intensified its education and enforcement programs relative to pedestrian safety within our Police Department through sting enforcement activities at crosswalks. We've also installed a pedestrian only footbridge and a pedestrian trail. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers and the acquisition of an abandoned rail line known as the Greenway; walkers joggers and cyclists now enjoy Centennial Park.

The motto for Walk Metuchen, which appears on a banner displayed across Main Street each October in observation of Pedestrian Safety Week, is "Get Out . . .Get Fit . . . Reduce Stress . . . Enjoy your Scenic Community . . . Meet your Neighbors and Friends." The Metuchen Recre NJLM - Metuchen Creates a Walking Metro System

407 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08618  (609)695-3481
 NJLM logo 

William G. Dressel Jr, Executive Director - Michael J. Darcey, CAE, Asst Executive Director

Metuchen Creates a Walking
Metro System


Edmund O'Brien
Mayor, Metuchen

photo - Master Maps display walking trails
One of four master maps displays the extensive network of walking throughout the borough.
  photo - pedestrian path with person walking
A pedestrian uses the safe, organized path system to reach her destination.

Walking in Metuchen has just gotten easier, since the implementation of "Walk Metuchen," a Healthy Communities Program sponsored by the Borough of Metuchen and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In a collaborative effort, the Mayor and Council, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Metuchen Public Works, Metuchen Police Department and Metuchen Recreation Department, used a grant of $19,400 from the Foundation to create walking trails that lead to the heart of Metuchen; its downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. The network will serve as a walking metro system for the community.

The grant paid for four safe pedestrian loop routes, each beginning in a different geographical quadrant of the community. The paths, which follow existing streets and roads, have been color-coded and well marked. The trails range from 1.8 to 2.7 miles. Each circuit includes an additional route that leads downtown. Routes are blazed with custom designed signs, directional arrows, and mile markers. Nearly all borough homes are within a short walk of the routes.

Residents were mailed a map outlining each of the pedestrian loops and additional copies are available at the Metuchen Library, Senior Citizen Center, Chamber of Commerce, Metuchen Train Station, and Metuchen Borough Hall. Regular mileposts and route markers also remind residents to use the network.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation approached me to discuss a program that would link good community planning and good health. The Borough responded to this interest by proposing a system of walking paths. The Foundation is interested in encouraging walking because of the health benefits, and our program met this objective. In addition, it reduces vehicular traffic, increases pedestrian activities, spotlights the benefits of walking and provides the opportunity to educate and enforce programs relative to pedestrian safety.


 

Nearly all borough homes are within a short walk of the routes.


Metuchen, located in Middlesex County, is a community of approximately 13,000 residents completely surrounded by Edison Township, a community approaching 100,000 in population. As a result of this fact of political geography, Metuchen has

photo mile marker
Color coded direction sign posts are located along the paths.

attempted to promote community-planning initiatives that highlight pedestrian activities. One of our goals in the Metuchen Master Plan is to reduce automobile traffic. Metuchen has intensified its education and enforcement programs relative to pedestrian safety within our Police Department through sting enforcement activities at crosswalks. We've also installed a pedestrian only footbridge and a pedestrian trail. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers and the acquisition of an abandoned rail line known as the Greenway; walkers joggers and cyclists now enjoy Centennial Park.

The motto for Walk Metuchen, which appears on a banner displayed across Main Street each October in observation of Pedestrian Safety Week, is "Get Out . . .Get Fit . . . Reduce Stress . . . Enjoy your Scenic Community . . . Meet your Neighbors and Friends." The Metuchen Recreation Commission has also sponsored "Jingle Round the Town" a walking event which features a leisurely walk on one of our paths with the participants all receiving jingle bells. Each year in April, the Metuchen Health Department sponsors a "Fitness Walk" in honor of National Health Week.

Walk Metuchen is the winner of the 2004 New Jersey Recreation and Parks Association Excellence in Programming Award.

Nancy Goldberg, Recreation Director for the Borough of Metuchen, contributed to this article.

 

Article in May 2005, New Jersey Municipalities