The Hoboken City Council okayed a measure opposing the New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s $4.7 billion plan to expand the extensions from Exits 14 through 14C in Jersey City at last night’s meeting.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
During public comment, Safe Streets JC President Jimmy Lee praised the Mile Square City’s Vision Zero efforts, since they have not had a single pedestrian fatality in the past four years, explained how that effort goes hand in hand with stopping this project.
“I want to thank you all for introducing a resolution to oppose the proposed $4.7 billion widening of the Newark Bay-Hudson County Turnpike Extension and to call for investments in mass transportation and safe streets instead,” he said.
“I urge all of you to stand together with many others in Jersey City including Mayor Fulop, Councilman Solomon, Councilman Saleh, Councilwoman Prinz-Arey … This out of date $4.7 billion widening will do nothing to achieve it’s stated goals of relieving congestion.”
The NJPA has heard several people speak out against the project, where the first phase would widen the extension to four lanes in both directions, at their June and July meetings, though have taken no formal action at this time.
The next phase would widen 14A to Columbus Drive in Jersey City to three lanes, while the final phase would replace elevated structures from Columbus Drive to Jersey Avenue.
The resolution, sponsored by 4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos and co-sponsored by Councilwoman-at-Large Emily Jabbour, passed unanimously (8-0) as part of the consent agenda, with 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco absent.
Jabbour and 5th Ward Councilman Phil Cohen called into the meeting.
The local legislation notes that traffic studies show that widening highways does little to alleviate traffic, as well as that massive construction would have a negative impact on the air quality.
“NJTA has neither provided a traffic study or cost benefit analysis with respect to the Turnpike Expansion nor explained why the Turnpike Expansion would not cause increased demand without any reduction in traffic congestion,” the resolution notes.”
“Whereas, NJTA has not provided any study showing what impact the Turnpike Expansion will have on local Jersey City streets.”