Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Raritan Valley Rail Coalition report

A well attended coalition meeting demonstrated the commitment of members who braved the early Monday snowfall to meet at Westfield's Council Chambers. 

Assemblyman John Wisniewski was the main speaker.  He explained the importance of increasing the gasoline tax to fund the transportation trust fund.  I found his argument convincing.  New Jersey has depleted the fund and has been funding projects by borrowing money.  At this point we are facing the prospect of using the limited new money coming in to pay only debt service.  The Trust Fund is the source for bridge and road repairs and for rail projects.  The Raritan Valley Line has projects pending that need funding:
  • increased one seat ride service to and from NYC
  • the Hunter Fly-over
  • Triple tracking east of Cranford
The latter two projects are needed to prevent bottlenecking delays on the Raritan Valley Line between Cranford and Jersey City.

The Assemblyman pointed out that the Pulaski Skyway repairs now underway took money from the Hudson River tunnel project, which was cancelled by Governor Christie.  The Skyway would have been funded by the Transportation Trust Fund if it were solvent. 

Ultimately a new Hudson River tunnel is necessary but that is many years away.  A lot of transportation improvements can be done in the meantime to unleash the economic, recreational and real estate potentials of communities like Plainfield. Support the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition!! 

For more information and how you can help:
Raritan Valley Rail Coalition

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