For immediate release: Thursday, April 7, 2011
Contact: Janna Chernetz, 609-271-0778
We agree with Governor Chris Christie that New Jersey’s roads are in desperate need of repair. However, our analysis shows that NJDOT's proposed capital program retreats from the state's popular fix-it-first policy, which focuses transportation dollars on maintenance of existing roadways.
According to TSTC's analysis, the share of NJDOT's proposed FY 2012 capital plan going to road expansion will be over twice as high as it was as recently as 2009 -- 7.5% in 2012, compared to 3.6% in 2009.
A few projects raise important questions about the state's priorities. Specifically, the NJDOT lists $13 million for “concept development” for a project along Bergen Arches, once a controversial highway project vigorously opposed by local residents; a new truck road through the Port of Newark and Elizabeth, “Portway” or “Route 1&9T,” for $5 million; and a major interchange project on I-295 in Camden County that will ultimately cost as much as $800 million.
The state is broke, and our investments must be smart. We urge the Governor, State Legislature, and NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson to take a hard look at all projects in the capital program to ensure New Jersey residents are getting the best bang for their transportation buck.
The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is a nonprofit organization working toward a more balanced, transit-friendly, and equitable transportation system in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. www.tstc.org