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NJDOT Capital Investment Strategy FY 2007 - 2011

 
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:14 pm    Post subject: NJDOT Capital Investment Strategy FY 2007 - 2011 Reply with quote

You can download the NJDOT Capital Investment Strategy for Fiscal Years 2007 - 2011 from the NJDOT website ...

http://www.nj.gov/transportation/capital/cpd/pdf/cis0711.pdf

It's worth a read. What bugs me is how they explain that widening highways is not their preferred solution in most cases. This is fairly obvious to anyone who has lived in New Jersey for a while... our highways are rarely improved to increase capacity. This report practically comes out and says... "if we widen the highways, it will only encourage more growth, and we don't want that". This is a perpetually flawed strategy... congested highways are viewed as a good thing, since they serve as a disincentive for people to live too far away from where they work, or to move to more rural areas. In this age of global warming and high gas prices, we need our elected leaders to show more guts and determination (and brains) in order to make New Jersey more livable and green. According to New Jersey's Action Plan on Global Warming (http://www.state.nj.us/dep/dsr/gcc/ghg-whatis.htm), 38% of the CO2 generated in the state is due to transportation. It would seem clear that one of the only things the state can do to reduce CO2 from cars and trucks is to reduce congestion on our roads. Every time you wait at a traffic light, or even slow down due to traffic lights or overcrowded roads you waste gas and you generate Carbon Dioxide unnecessarily.

Routes 70 and 73 are a total parking lot for much of the day, especially during rush hour. Crossing these highways is also difficult, and most streets are backed up for several cycles of the traffic light. It can take 20 minutes to go a mile or so down Route 73... it's ridiculous. There is apparently no plan to create overpasses for any of the numerous cross streets that back up the highway and are themselves backed up. There are no plans to widen these major arteries for South Jersey. The political opposition from towns and property owners along Route 70 (Erlton, for instance) is practically insurmountable. The desires of a few outweigh the needs of the many.

And so, a reasonable commute time from Medford to Philadelphia remains a dream. Perhaps some day we will see elected officials with some common sense and vision who can help us build the infrastructure that we need. Wouldn't it be great to see Route 70 widened to at least 3 lanes in both directions from 206 to Philadelphia? How about a limited access highway instead of traffic signals every 1/2 mile?

What about a light rail extension of the PATCO High Speed Line that comes east down Route 70? All it takes is vision. The financing could be obtained, and if it is done right the system could pay for itself (not only through fares, but through it's ability to eliminate the need for other roadway improvements). How great would it be to get on a train in Medford and get to your job in Philadelphia in 45 minutes or so?

Tom
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:26 pm    Post subject: Compare this to California Reply with quote

California is attempting to finance some massive transportation infrastructure improvements. Voters will decide on Measure 1B, a $20 Billion bond initiative that provides funds to actually BUILD ROADS! What a concept.

Whereas the State of New Jersey views congestion as a fact of life, and in some ways, a good thing, Californians are at the opposite end of the spectrum... they love their cars, and they don't mind paying for better roads.

http://www.dot.ca.gov/docs/strategicgrowth.pdf
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