Mayor Steven M. Fulop has announced that Jersey City’s director of the recently established Department of Infrastructure, Barkha Patel, has been awarded the “Distinguished Emerging Planner Award” for her exceptional work implementing significant infrastructure improvements and providing life-saving transportation operations throughout the community.
Under Vision Zero, the city’s campaign efforts to eliminate traffic pedestrian fatalities and severe injuries, Jersey City had zero traffic fatalities last year, according to the city’s press release.
“I feel very lucky to work in a city like ours where our efforts today will help shape the community’s future. It is a huge privilege to help serve my community alongside great leadership both within the administration and throughout the community,” said Patel “Beyond infrastructure and safety, our work emphasizes our city’s unique diversity, innovation, and justice while also focusing on bringing joy and dignity to communities throughout Jersey City.”
In May of 2022, the Fulop Administration created the Department of Infrastructure to efficiently align the planning, design, and implementation of Jersey City’s critical public infrastructure, including streets, transit, parks, public spaces, municipal buildings, and other public facilities.
Patel was recently honored at the Planning Excellence Awards hosted by the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA). In addition, Patel managed to launch of Via JC in 2019, Jersey City’s first on-demand microtransit service. To date, Via JC continues to exceed goals in closing transit gaps, while providing affordable and reliable mass transit options for all Jersey City residents.
Patel was raised in India and moved to Rutherford, graduating from Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy with a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning.
Shortly after graduating in 2016, the Ward A resident started her career with Jersey City, where she worked as a Senior Planner within the Division Planning.
“Social equity and its integration into planning – especially transportation planning—is among her most valued planning principles,” said Mayor Fulop, who commended Patel’s efforts in her current role as director. “I am incredibly thankful for my entire team, all 3,000 City employees, who work hard every day for our 300,000 residents. Barkha Patel has been a standout employee from the start, and I’m proud to be able to honor her today for her critical contributions.”
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