Soon it could be easier for some New Jersey commuters to roll out of bed and into their trains: plans are in the works for housing and retail developments near train stations in Aberdeen/Matawan, Morristown, South Orange, Rutherford, South Amboy and Pleasantville.

These sitees are being pushed by the administration of Governor Christie Whitman for development of what NJ Transit calls “transit villages.” Under the plan, these communities will be given priority for funding from the Department of Transportation’s Local Aid for Centers program, the Transportation Enhancements program, and bicycle and pedestrian projects.

The concept isn’t without opposition. Some feel such development makes for crowding, and such experiments don’t have a high success rate nationally. Similar projects have been attempted with mixed results near Portland, OR and San Diego; additional sites are planned in Boulder, CO and Seattle. One success occurred in California’s Bay Area at the BART Fruitvale station.

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