Contact: Kate Slevin
Tri-State Transportation Campaign
P: 212-268-7474, C: 917-833-9259

July 6, 2009

Statement in response to groundbreaking for Garden State Parkway widening

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign continues to oppose the widening of the Garden State Parkway between exits 30 and 80 because the project will not relieve congestion and will create fewer jobs than projects that fix existing roads and bridges.

The NJ Turnpike Authority’s own studies show that portions of the new Parkway lanes will be filled with traffic as soon as construction is complete.

“Building more lanes just to be stuck in more of the same traffic is a waste of drivers' and taxpayers’ money,” said Kate Slevin, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a regional policy watchdog organization. “New Jerseyans deserve better.”

A recent Smart Growth America report found that road repair and maintenance generate 16% more jobs than highway expansion and employ more types of workers.

More effective alternatives that would manage traffic in the new lanes were not adequately studied by the Authority. These include: high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, which would allow HOV and buses but require solo drivers to pay a premium toll to enter the lane, mass transit, congestion pricing, or smaller projects to eliminate key bottlenecks.

The Campaign has a lawsuit pending over environmental permits for the Parkway project and questions how a project of this magnitude can move forward before the case is decided.