NJ Turnpike Authority announces highway widening project, but not everyone is on board
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority is proposing a project to widen the turnpike between Hudson and Essex counties. But some Jersey City residents aren't on board with the plan.
A recent environmental impact study showed that more people have been moving to New Jersey, which means more traffic. The Turnpike Authority wants to replace the four lanes of the Newark Bay Bridge between Newark and Bayonne with two bridges that have four lanes each.
Some say expanding the turnpike is now the way to limit traffic, but instead should invest in mass transit.
“They say it’s going to save people three minutes, $11 billion for three minutes when people are waiting 30 – 40 minutes for the PATH train,” says Jimmy Lee, president of Safe Streets Jersey City.
While some disagree, the Turnpike Authority says the more than $10 billion project would provide better access to and from the Holland Tunnel. Some Jersey City residents believe it would create more of a traffic hazard.
“The part of the turnpike that they’re trying to widen feeds into the Holland Tunnel, which is not getting any wider. So, drivers are very frustrated sitting in traffic trying to get into the Holland Tunnel and what they do is look for ways to cut through traffic,” says Jersey City resident Talyea Schwartz. “They come through into the city and we’ve seen in the last few years just a real increase in traffic violence.”
Lee also believes there are more efficient ways of reducing traffic, like pouring more money into public transit. He added, “We could build three light rail systems for this money. We could build affordable housing so people wouldn’t have to travel so long to be able to commute to work."