LETTER: Gov. Muphy’s $235M budget freeze is not in the best interests of Bayonne

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In a letter to the editor, Bayonne resident and prospective council candidate Peter Franco says that Gov. Phil Murphy’s $235 million budget freeze is detrimental to Peninsula City residents since it halts the Route 440 pedestrian bridge project.

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Dear Editor,

How much is a single life worth? Is the loss of any lives really worth it to win a political squabble, Governor Murphy?

While representatives like Senator Kip Bateman have publicly condemned Governor Murphy’s actions to freeze $500,000 in funding for a large truck bypass along Route 206, our local politicians have lent zero criticism in how Governor Murphy’s freeze delays vital public safety funding here in the peninsula city.

Under Murphy’s budgetary freeze $250,000 in spending towards a Route 440 pedestrian bridge in Bayonne has been halted.

I echo the sentiments of Senator Bateman who stated “Governor Murphy should not be playing politics with taxpayer money, particularly funding that impacts our ability to keep people safe.”

A pedestrian bridge on Route 440 is equally as important as the public safety project on Route 206 in Hillsborough.

In the last 5 years we have seen 5 deaths along our state highway; an area in which separates Bayonne proper from our major shopping districts, housing, restaurants, and our waterfront walkway.

It has taken our city years of applying to the state to secure some funding for this project and any delay by the governor on this shows a lack of empathy towards the families of residents struck and killed crossing the highway and a disregard for the safety of our current residents.

I call on our appointed First Ward Councilman, Neil Carroll, and locally elected officials to use their positions to remind the Governor that this freeze isn’t serving the best interest of the people he serves and that Bayonne cannot to lose another life over political squabbles.

Peter Franco
Bayonne resident