By John Montone, 1010 WINS
NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — New Jersey is not short on governmental bodies, commissions and semi-autonomous agencies.
There are more than 550-municipalities statewide and almost 600-school districts along with 21-counties and their freeloaders…oops…I meant freeholders and then we have the gang down in Trenton, the Turnpike Authority, New Jersey Transit, the Delaware River something or other Authority, the Passaic Valley Water, Sewage and patronage Authority and the Big Daddy of them all, the Port Authority.
Let’s begin with the P.A. It has been alleged that some high level operatives conspired with members of Governor Christie’s inner circle to create a massive traffic jam in Fort Lee. Maybe, I should say a more massive traffic jam since there are traffic jams there every weekday. If true, this is sinister. The P.A. should be making it easier for people to cross the Hudson. But the P.A. would not be alone.
Recall the great New York/New Jersey Big Game. Remember how tens of thousands of out-of-town football fans waited for hours on a train platform for a ride back to their hotels as a snow storm approached. Imagine if the snow had arrived a few hours earlier? Imagine if NJT did not have four years. I said, four years to plan for the Big Game.
NJT has a performance problem during major natural and man-made events.
The is the same mass transit agency that left hundreds of millions of dollars of “rolling stock,” you know — commuter trains in Hoboken and Kearny during Superstorm Sandy. Although AccuWeather warned us almost a week in advance of a catastrophic sea surge, NJT claims it’s research showed the chance of such an occurrence was just 20%. Well, what do you know? Once you drown a train in salt water, it’s time for a new train.
During one of the dozen or so snow, ice and sleet storms we weathered this winter, I saw people standing on New Jersey highways waiting for buses. Not very safe places to be with speeding cars and trucks skidding along, but because many bus stops had not been plowed, they had no choice. And why weren’t the bus stops plowed? Because state and local road crews could not decide whose responsibility it was.
Another jurisdictional dispute has resulted in blown car tires and drivers being taken to the emergency room with bumps, bruises and back and neck strains after hitting a good five miles of bad road on the Palisades Interstate Parkway. The New Jersey Department of Transportation and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission both say the road is not their responsibility and so new potholes are opening up every day because it hasn’t been properly paved for 18 years. One driver told 1010 WINS it feels like he’s on, “…an old wooden roller coaster…bounce, bounce bounce.”
And for all of these reasons I applaud Metro-North conductor Michael Shaw, who after telling his passengers to wait for the express train that was following his local…wrote a letter of apology to them which he left on their seats when he found out he had been mistaken. He said he was sorry.
Port Authority. NJT. NJDOT. Palisades Interstate Park Commission. Repeat after conductor Shaw.