Somerset County Freeholder Director Peter S. Palmer, a resident and former mayor in Bernardsville, was this month recognized by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) Board of Trustees with an award for his 14 years of service on the board.
Palmer joined the NJTPA Board in 1999 and served as its chairman in 2005 and 2006. He is currently the Secretary of the Board’s Executive Committee. Membership on the board is an uncompensated position, according to an announcement from the county and NJTPA.
Palmer founded the NJTPA’s Freight Initiatives Committee in 2002 and has chaired it ever since, serving as a leading advocate for improving regional goods movement through transportation investment.
During his time on the NJTPA Board, Freeholder Palmer has led efforts to put federal dollars to work on local construction projects and planning studies. Under his direct leadership, Somerset County has completed many important local projects, such as the rehabilitation of the Elm Street Bridge between Branchburg and Hillsborough and the Duer Street Bridge between North Plainfield and Plainfield.
Work is also well underway on the Route 22/Chimney Rock Road Interchange in Bridgewater. Under his guidance, Somerset County recently completed an award-winning NJTPA Subregional Study on the county’s Circulation Plan, which examined how mobility improvements could be used to support economic growth.
Palmer also is the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, a coalition of Raritan Valley Line riders, municipal elected officials and representatives from the counties of Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex and Union.
Palmer has served on the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders since 1997, serving as freeholder director in 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2013. He was recently recognized on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives for 50 years of continuous public service.
In his hometown, Palmer was Bernardsville Borough Mayor from 1985 to 1994; Bernardsville Borough Council Member from 1968-1984; and a member of the then-Bernardsville Board of Education, 1962 to 1968.
The NJTPA is the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for 13 northern New Jersey counties. Under federal legislation, MPOs provide a forum where local officials, public transportation providers and state agency representatives can come together and cooperatively plan to meet the region’s current and future transportation needs.
The NJTPA oversees $1 billion in federal transportation investments annually for a region of 6.6 million people. The Board consists of one local elected official from each of the 13 counties in the region (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren), and the cities of Newark and Jersey City. The Board also includes a Governor’s Representative, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the Executive Director of NJ Transit, the Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and a Citizen’s Representative appointed by the Governor.