Illegal toll hike in NJ?

9/11/2008:

Do you think the revenue received because of the proposed toll-hike should be used to help fund the upcoming Trans Hudson Express tunnel (THE Tunnel)?

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Senator Questions Toll Hike Plan

A Republican state senator is questioning whether it’s legal for revenue from the proposed toll hikes on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway to fund a new rail tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan. Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon) says state law prohibits toll revenue from the two roads to be used for anything but toll road expansion and maintenance.

The Turnpike Authority, which runs both toll roads, proposed toll increases Sept. 4 that would more than double the cost of tolls by 2012. The revenue, the authority announced, would be used to improve the toll roads and contribute more than $1 billion toward a new rail tunnel.

“The Trans-Hudson tunnel is a vital component in modernizing and expanding New Jersey transportation infrastructure,” Lance said. “However, it is obvious that a multi-billion-dollar trans-Hudson rail tunnel is neither a highway project nor an interim project.”

Gov. Jon S. Corzine said that the plan has been “thoroughly” reviewed by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the Attorney General’s office, which have deemed it “legal and appropriate.” Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri, who is also chairman of the Turnpike Authority’s board, said the rail tunnel would reduce congestion on the Turnpike.

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17 Comments on "Illegal toll hike in NJ?"

greentea
Member
greentea
[quote comment=”105670″]I don’t want to belabor this, but: I agree, digging a tunnel is a massive undertaking, but digging two 2-track tunnels, one now, and one later, is much more expensive than digging one 4-track tunnel.[/quote] That might be true if you were using a cut-and-cover construction sequence, but this project would have to take on additional TBMs for extra tunneling; it would be just as expensive for one machine to tunnel through and have construction workers demo the allotted space needed for the other tracks. Either way, the tracks have to terminate at the proposed new station, which only has a finite amount of space available to accomodate x number of trains. Then you’d have the same problem that the 7 train into Flushing-Main Street has today – too many trains [read: more ‘service’] and massive delays at rush hour waiting for trains to platform. Oh, why not make the station bigger, then? The only way to accomplish that would be to dig deeper (and it’s already pretty far down) to clear the existing utility and transit structure interferences. People are uncomfortable being several stories underground as it is, and you can’t please everyone. It’s not a perfect solution and it is cost-prohibitive to expand the project to suit everybody’s ideal train route. [quote comment=”105670″]The original H&M plans called for the 33rd Street line to continue north on 6th and then crosstown to Grand Central. World War I delayed that, and then shortsighted planning killed it; we’re all the… Read more »
bradykp
Member
bradykp
[quote comment=”105311″]This may not be popular statement but I hope it is deemed legal. (I will not comment on legality because I am not a lawyer but I do see 2 sides to the argument). I am all in favor of anything to increase the use of efficient mass transit and decrease cars on the road. In the long term that is just good policy – and in the short term people will complain because thats what people do.[/quote] i’m torn on this. i haven’t read much on this lately, but last i heard, the new tunnel would roughly double the amount of trains that can enter NYC during the rush hour commutes for the NJ transit. if that is true, and the trains are currently pretty full, going on the assumption that some people don’t take the trains because they are too full (don’t know if i buy this one), or because they don’t run frequently enough (plausible), then this would increase mass transit ridership and is definitely a good long term decision to build the tunnel. maybe the better answer would be that the tolls can be increased for a set amount of time, before they revert back to a prior level (after they earn enough to cover what they want to accomplish with that money) and extra revenue from the tolls should be used to increase parking facilities at train stations and subsidize the cost of parking there? something smells wrong about using NJ Turnpike and GSP… Read more »
rich k
Member
rich k

I don’t want to belabor this, but:
I agree, digging a tunnel is a massive undertaking, but digging two 2-track tunnels, one now, and one later, is much more expensive than digging one 4-track tunnel. Infrastructure is most cost effective when it leads need rather than playing catch up – Central Park was created when “uptown” was 23rd St., the E & F lines in Queens were built when most of the surrounding area was still farmland. What is required of the politicians involved is the fortitude to withstand ridicule from the those who can’t, or won’t, plan ahead, until the need catches up.
The original H&M plans called for the 33rd Street line to continue north on 6th and then crosstown to Grand Central. World War I delayed that, and then shortsighted planning killed it; we’re all the poorer for it. I fear the same thing may happen to the HBLR – the window was there for it to continue north into Bergen, and even close a loop back using the second abandoned train tunnel under Edgewater. But we’ve allowed developers to build on the land that would have been the right of way along River Road, so that may never happen. In the other direction, extending it past 8th Street could set up a connection to Staten Island’s plan to revive the north shore line, which would do wonders for Bayonne’s and Jersey City’s economies.
None if it will happen without our demanding that our leaders invest in long term planning.

truth1
Member
truth1

Hoboken’s Mayor has all the anwsers about everything, but the politics of the council won’t let him do his job 😆

hobojoe
Member

[quote comment=”105351″]Then extend the light rail to Giants Stadium, as originally proposed.[/quote]

Originally the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail was supposed to actually go into Bergen County (imagine that). Then some local politicians caved into the special interests which supply their campaigns with cash, and had the Light Rail rerouted towards the Meadowlands. Eventually they tried to save face by proposing the DMU plan, which would have dumped all the Bergen County commuters at the Weehawken ferry terminal – where they would have to pony up $$ to finish their commutes into the city by ferry. There have been some changes to the plan since, though.

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