Monmouth County is home to various types of events and tourist destinations, including beaches, concert venues, golf courses, marinas, orchards, racetracks, theaters, and theme parks which attract visitors and create a significant benefit to the local and regional economy. However, traffic congestion generated by some venues and events effects the travel experience of visitors and residents, the local economy, and the environment. Visitors use the same state, county, and local routes to access major attractions that residents and others travel every day. This overlap is due to the proximity and interdependence of residential and commercial uses with tourists and event destinations, as well as the fact that most venues are not served end-to-end by limited access freeways.
While summer typically generates the most significant traffic congestion, there are many events held in Monmouth year-round that affect local travel. Events such as flower festivals in spring, apple picking and Halloween related events in fall, and entertainment events year-round can create high travel demand, particularly on weekends. Monmouth County residents who travel by car in the summer and during events are known to change their travel behavior to deal with the increased congestion. Municipalities and event sponsors recognize congestion as a hindrance to visitors and residents year-round and have taken steps to mitigate it within their jurisdictions. However, with applications such as Waze, more visitor vehicles are being pushed to local streets to avoid congested areas.
The purpose of Monmouth Within Reach, the Monmouth County Tourism and Events Travel Demand Management Study, is to develop strategies and best practices for managing travel demand in order to help people get where they need and want to go.
The study will result in a set of actionable recommendations for the implementation of travel demand techniques during peak tourism periods and events to reduce congestion and to improve the travel experience for tourists and Monmouth County residents. Recommendations may include but are not limited to strategies such as scheduling for reduced conflicts, shuttles and other transit, and technology improvements, among others.