Electric Vehicle Planning Project for Montclair

Electric Vehicle Planning Project for Montclair

The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) (www.njtpa.org) is the federally authorized Metropolitan Planning Organization for the 13-county northern New Jersey region, which includes Montclair. Each year, NJTPA oversees over $2 billion in transportation improvement projects, and provides a forum for interagency cooperation and public input.

This year, NJTPA partnered with three pilot municipalities – the Township of Montclair in Essex County; the Town of Secaucus in Hudson County; and, Woodbridge Township in Middlesex County – on an exciting new project to develop Local Readiness Plans to facilitate the use of Alternatively Fueled (electric and natural gas) Vehicles (AFVs) in those communities.

These plans will consider how municipal regulations and infrastructure can be improved to advance the use of alternative fuel vehicles, including a review of local zoning and land use ordinances, permitting requirements, and potential locations for charging station infrastructure. These towns were chosen because of their leaders’ willingness to consider regulatory and infrastructure changes to bolster the use of AFVs by residents, visitors, and their municipal fleet.

The NJTPA consultant team is compiling a comprehensive assessment of the respective municipalities, tailoring the readiness plans to fit each community. The team is identifying and assessing critical components of readiness planning, such as existing infrastructure and AFV use in each community, parking availability, and regulatory constraints or opportunities. In addition, NJTPA will conduct an assessment of existing municipal ordinances pertaining to AFVs, and recommend changes to reduce the barriers to AFV adoption. They also flagged several early readiness actions for further consideration, in addition to ongoing stakeholder engagement.

They are also discussing the particular challenge of making EV charging available at multi-unit dwellings, because apartment buildings, condos, multi-family housing, and similar developments offer unique challenges. As such, they will identify specific building owners and/or managers within each municipality who might be able to offer their perspective and insight into this issue; they’ve also reached out to the NJ Apartment Association for their input.

Following are three goals developed by NJTPA’s consultant team for the AFV project:

Goal 1: Facilitate increased access to and use of public AFV infrastructure in Montclair, as well as a balance of home and workplace infrastructure;
Goal 2: Encourage partnerships and collaboration to enable AFV infrastructure in order to bolster local economic impact;
Goal 3: Educate municipal staff and local officials on AFV deployment opportunities and the benefits of incorporating AFVs into local planning processes.