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Federal study raises alarms on oil trains Associated Press, 2/23/15. A federal Department of Transportation report predicts 10 trains hauling crude oil or ethanol will derail each year, on average, over the next two decades, causing more than $4 billion in damage and possibly killing hundreds of people if an accident happened in a densely populated part of the U.S.
Why this week could be the end of sub-$2 a gallon gas Star-Ledger, 2/23/15. Is it officially the end of $2 a gallon gas? The Magic 8-Ball of gas prices seems to be saying "all signs point to yes."
No solution in sight for fixing NJ’s crumbling roads, bridges Home News Tribune, 2/22/15. TRENTON – Billions of dollars are spent each year building and maintaining a New Jersey road system that’s nevertheless riddled by congestion, poor surfaces and outdated designs. Now policymakers in both Trenton and Washington are at a “Y” in the road, with big implications for our pocketbooks.
Port Authority releases bridge closure schedule for week Hudson Reporter, 2/22/15. BAYONNE – The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey has released its Bayonne Bridge closure schedule for the week of Feb. 23.
Century-old Portal Bridge could cost $2 billion to replace The Record, 2/21/15. Pushing a million gallons of human sludge down the Hackensack River is tricky. The job requires finesse, a rusty barge, a puttering little tugboat, high tide, low winds and an ability to withstand the horrible smell. It also requires the Portal Bridge to swing open so ships can pass, and that’s where the problems start.
OPINION: Why do New Jersey roads cost so much? Daily Record, 2/21/15. There has been much discussion recently about a report on state highway systems by the Reason Foundation that found New Jersey’s roads to be the nation’s most expensive to build, operate and maintain. According to that report, New Jersey’s state-administered highways cost taxpayers $2 million per mile, which the Reason Foundation claims to be 12 times the national average, three times the cost in the next highest state and four times the cost in New York.
Gas tax debate breaks down along party lines in Trenton New Jersey 101.5, 2/20/15. Several Republican lawmakers are on the record saying they will not vote in favor of a gas tax increase if that is the solution for replenishing the nearly bankrupt Transportation Trust Fund. That’s not stopping Democratic leaders from calling for bipartisan support of any plan to add to the TTF.
Mobile App Helps New Jersey Transit Enhance Incident Management Government Technology, 2/20/15. New Jersey Transit is developing a new mobile app that turns smartphones into reporting tools. The goal? To document incidents as they happen and allow officials to act faster to resolve them.
Improvements planned for Livingston Ave. Sentinel, 2/19/15. Roadway changes, a restaurant row and an overall aesthetic upgrade may be in store for Livingston Avenue.
W. Va. oil train explosion has N.J. raising concerns over rail safety Star-Ledger, 2/19/15. Each day, long trains trailing hundreds of matte-black tank cars filled with highly flammable crude oil snake along the rails through New Jersey to a refinery in Linden.
Demographic shifts prompt sea change Atlanticville, 2/19/15. The population of central New Jersey is expected to grow as the number of foreign-born workers increases and young professionals flock to urban centers.
Mayor calls for safer streets for area pedestrians, cyclists The Hub, 2/19/15. To support his plan to encourage safer bicycling throughout the borough and Monmouth County, Fair Haven Mayor Benjamin Lucarelli will head to the District of Columbia in early March to participate in a nationwide Mayor’s Challenge.
Transportation chatter rules on annual ‘walk’ to DC Daily Record, 2/19/15. WASHINGTON – There’s nothing like a train trip to Washington for New Jersey’s political honchos and business hotshots to try to bridge differences over the state’s ailing infrastructure. As New Jersey’s transportation trust fund faces insolvency by June 30, the state Chamber of Commerce’s “Walk to Washington” was abuzz Thursday with talk of how to solve what many say is the biggest issue facing the state.
W. Va. oil train explosion has N.J. raising concerns over rail safety NJ.com, 2/19/15. Each day, long trains trailing hundreds of matte-black tank cars filled with highly flammable crude oil snake along the rails through New Jersey to a refinery in Linden.On one stretch through Edison and Metuchen, the tracks weave through backyards of tree-lined residential neighborhoods. There, the mile-long trains pass within a few hundred yards of a parochial school, a public high school and an elementary school— carrying the same volatile liquid cargo that so spectacularly exploded in West Virginia earlier this week, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of residents.
County gets $1.3 million toward replacing collapsed Kingwood bridge NJTPA Mention
Hunterdon County Democrat, 2/18/15. KINGWOOD TWP. — Hunterdon County is getting $1.3 million in state "discretionary" funds to help pay for replacing the bridge on Route 519 in Kingwood Township that collapsed when a too-heavy crane truck crossed it June 12.
Somerset County Planning Board wins award for Priority Investment Plan NJTPA Mention
Messenger-Gazette, 2/18/15. The Somerset County Planning Board received statewide recognition by the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association at its annual conference Jan. 29, for its Supporting Priority Investment in Somerset County Plan initiative.
No deal on N.J. gas tax or transportation funding plan before Christie budget speech, lawmakers say NJ.com, 2/18/15. NEWARK — New Jersey's Democratic legislative leaders had hoped to strike a deal with Republican Gov. Chris Christie on replenishing the state's Transportation Trust Fund before the governor delivers his next budget proposal on Tuesday. That's not likely to happen.
Christie under pressure to fix New Jersey’s transportation woes WSJ Market Watch, 2/18/15. New Jersey’s roads are crumbling, its bridges are being closed and the state may soon run out of money to fix them. As Gov. Chris Christie eyes a run for president, he faces a strained budget and a politically tricky transportation challenge back home: Democrats are urging him to agree to an increase in the gasoline tax, one of the lowest in the nation, to fund repairs and new projects.
Cash guzzler: N.J. stuck on how to raise money for roads Press of Atlantic City, 2/18/15. New Jersey could soon face huge increases in taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel to bail out the Transportation Trust Fund, but some are questioning where previous spending has gone.
Details About Upcoming Mathis Bridge Overhaul WOBM, 2/18/15. Before construction work begins this Spring, State Transportation (NJDOT) officials answer questions and listen to concerns about proposed upgrades to the Mathis Bridge in Toms River. During an information session at the township’s municipal building Tuesday night, engineers explained the proposed deck replacement, mechanical/electrical upgrades and safety improvement work planned for the east-bound span.
Help wanted: New boss for embattled transportation behemoth NJ.com, 2/18/15. JERSEY CITY -- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey plans to launch a nationwide search Thursday for a single chief executive officer to replace the co-directors who have historically been named by the governors of each state.
Oil train derailment in W.Va. raises concerns in New Jersey The Record, 2/17/15. The same kind of volatile crude that caused a large fire and threatened drinking water supplies in West Virginia when an oil train derailed Monday afternoon is carried by as many as 30 trains every week through Bergen County by the same rail company.
Small Hunterdon town getting $1M sidewalk grant Hunterdon County Democrat, 2/17/15. FLEMINGTON — The borough has been approved for a $1 million federal grant to improve sidewalks on Main Street under the Safe Routes to Schools Program.
Koppers, NJ Transit perfect together: HCIA The Observer, 2/17/15. KEARNY – NJ Transit may be giving Kearny the silent treatment on its plans to install a reserve generator in South Kearny but that’s not been the case with the agency’s dealings with the Hudson County Improvement Authority.
Bike Lane, Angled Parking Coming To Sea Bright SEA BRIGHT: The borough will soon have a bike lane and back-in, angled parking as the council has passed a resolution approving the New Jersey Department of Transportation's (NJDOT) new striping plan for Route 36/Ocean Avenue.
Glassboro-Camden light rail still on hold with 'no timeline' while officials debate transportation funding South Jersey Times, 2/17/15. Progress with the proposed Glassboro-Camden light rail remains at a standstill, at least until the ongoing debate over replenishing the state's dwindling transportation trust fund is resolved.
Truckers and pedestrian suicide: 'I can't stop screaming about dead people when I sleep' Star-Ledger, 2/17/15. Trucker Bob Eason can't sleep at night. He's haunted by what happened in September on Route 287.
Will N.J. trade a higher gas tax for a lower death tax? NJ.com, 2/16/15. TRENTON — New Jersey's cheap gas is a point of pride in an otherwise high-tax state. On the other hand, the Garden State is notorious for its duo of death taxes often landing it a spot on superlative lists like "Where not to die" and "Worst states to die."
Report claiming N.J. roads cost $2 million per mile to build is flawed | Opinion NJ.com, 2/15/15. What does it cost to build a mile of road in New Jersey? A recent report by the Reason Foundation quoted an astronomical figure of $2 million a mile. That figure, even in a high cost-of-living state like New Jersey, certainly caught my attention when I became commissioner of the Department of Transportation.
Replenish N.J. transportation fund by tying driver's licenses to tax payments | Opinion NJ.com, 2/14/15. The New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund is in dire financial shape and its future solvency prospects are bleak. There are two main reasons why the fund has reached this nadir: New Jersey has one of the lowest gas taxes in the country and as vehicles' fuel economy continues to improve, it lessens their need at the pump, resulting in correspondingly less gas tax paid. As a result of anemic resources, the states' bruised and battered bridges and roadways are in a woeful state of disrepair.
Senators Call for More Funding to Improve Safety at Rail Crossings New York Times, 2/15/15. Senators Charles E. Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut on Sunday called for more federal funding for safety measures at rail crossings after a deadly crash at a Metro-North Railroad crossing this month.
Frigid forecast cancels repair work and weekend closing of Route 3 bridge in East Rutherford The Record, 2/13/15. The full closure of the Route 3 bridge eastbound in East Rutherford, which was to start Saturday night, has been canceled due to weekend forecasts predicting cold weather and heavy winds, state transportation officials said Friday.
Pascrell Calls for Improved Rail Safety in Elmwood Park NJTPA Mention
Bergen Dispatch, 2/13/15. Today, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) urged the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) to improve rail safety at a crossing in Elmwood Park that the NY Times reported today was listed as one of the most dangerous in the country.
RUDOTS director addresses white buses Daily Targum, 2/13/15. While it is no secret that the Rutgers bus system is a consistent source of aggravation for students, the widespread use of unknown “white buses” has recently made many students curious.
Oceanic Bridge Maintenance to Begin Monday, Feb. 9 Campus Town developer is crafting car-share program for TCNJ students — even the freshmen
NJ Biz, 2/13/15. PRC Group, the developer of The College of New Jersey's 11-building Campus Town project, announced it has partnered with Enterprise to create a car-share program for students.
March 4: NAIOP New Jersey Public Policy Symposium will Address “The Intersection of Transportation & Workforce” NJTPA Mention
New York Citybizlist, 2/13/15. With New Jersey continuing to lag the nation in job growth, key questions remain, and the state’s economic future is at stake. Those questions will be the topic of discussion at NAIOP New Jersey’s Public Policy Symposium titled, “The Intersection of Transportation & Workforce.”
Sea Bright Council To Vote On Downtown Parking Plan Soon Word on the Shore, 2/13/15. SEA BRIGHT: The borough council appears to be ready to give New Jersey Department of Transportation the OK on its plan to restripe Ocean Avenue. The plan would include a bike lane on the northbound and southbound sides of the street as well as back-in angled parking, also known as head-out parking, in the downtown area.
Commuting Trends in NJ Show Tilt Toward Taking Public Transit NJ Spotlight, 2/13/15. A national public advocacy group is touting the end of the "driving boom" in the United States. So far, though, New Jersey has seen only the slightest change in commuters' habits.
Is it time for a commuter to be on NJ Transit's board? Riders say yes NJ.com, 2/13/15. Is it time for someone who rides NJ Transit trains or buses to join the board of directors? A commuter advocate asked Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox to help make that happen. David Peter Alan, president of the Lackawanna Commuter Coalition, asked Fox to meet with him about requiring one member of the seven-member NJ Transit board of directors is a regular train or bus rider.
At Rail Crossings in New York Area, Where Train and Tragedy Are Likely to Intersect New York Times, 2/12/15. The former police chief in Elmwood Park, N.J., vividly remembers the moment 30 years ago when the gates at the railroad crossing on the edge of town lowered on the bus carrying his son and his classmates on a field trip.
Lavallette hopeful about summer construction on Route 35 Coast Star, 2/12/15. LAVALLETTE — Business owners, residents and seasonal beachgoers who frequent the borough might soon be releasing sighs of relief, as per recent updates regarding construction on Route 35.
What's raised in Amtrak's Northeast Corridor should stay in the northeast, House panel says NJ.com, 2/12/15. WASHINGTON — If a U.S. House committee has its way, Amtrak's Northeast Corridor profits would be used to improve that service rather than subsidize other lines.
$3M to go to improving dangerous stretch of roadway in Jersey City NJTPA Mention
Jersey Journal, 2/12/15. Hudson County has won a $3 million grant to make roadway improvements to a stretch of Kennedy Boulevard on the city's West Side.
Congressman Scott Garrett's tax plan would be a real gas for Jersey drivers: Mulshine Star-Ledger, 2/12/15. In the New York Times the other day a panel of experts debated the wisdom of lowering the drinking age. Those in favor of doing so pointed out that current law encourages younger people to binge on hard liquor in private instead of drinking beer or wine at a bar.
Electric car charging stations on N.J. toll roads inch closer to reality NJ.com, 2/12/15. Need to top off the Tesla or power up the electric Prius? A bill that's headed to the state assembly for a vote may make it easier to recharge or fill up electric and natural gas powered vehicles at toll road service areas.
County to study traffic signal at Hance Avenue The Hub, 2/12/15. TINTON FALLS — Citing a high accident rate and dangerous conditions, the county is studying the need for a traffic signal at the intersection of Hance and Sycamore avenues.
NJ Bridge Video Scares Drivers New Jersey Newsroom, 2/12/15. New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund is just about out of money. Meanwhile, the state still has a number of structurally deficient bridges. The NJ Alliance for Action has posted a video on YouTube that gives New Jersey drivers a look at the condition of the bridges that many of them use every day.ailing to yield to pedestrians.
N.J. legislative leaders meet with Christie on transportation funding The Record, 2/11/15. Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto spent over an hour in the governor’s office today, but they emerged from the meeting with no deal to announce on an extension of New Jersey’s ailing transportation trust fund or the possibility of increasing the state’s gas tax.
Bridge horror vid is scary plug for raising N.J.'s gas tax NJ.com, 2/11/15. It's an infrastructure horror film, and it wants you to be afraid, be very afraid, of what could happen to state bridges -- and to you or someone you love -- if the gasoline tax isn't raised.
Sunset Avenue Bridge closed until next year NJTPA Mention
The Hub, 2/11/12. OCEAN TOWNSHIP — Travelers in both Ocean Township and Asbury Park will be detoured for the next year as the Sunset Avenue Bridge is replaced.
New Jersey electronic driver's license, proof of insurance pushed in Legislature Express-Times, 2/11/15. Under two bills making their way through the New Jersey Legislature, drivers could one day provide their license and proof of insurance solely by handing over their smartphone.
N.J./N.Y. airports can't compete when it comes to access, study finds NJBiz, 2/11/15. Often, the trouble with taking an airplane is that you first have to get to the airport. After all, most people — at least, those that don't have helipads — can't just stroll out the front door and climb onto a flight. And that, it turns out, is a real problem for New Jersey's would-be fliers.
Man struck, killed by NJ Transit train in Garfield The Record, 2/11/15. GARFIELD — A man was killed after being struck by a New Jersey transit train, officials said Wednesday. The incident occurred at 2 p.m., just east of the Garfield Station, said William J. Smith, a spokesman for NJ Transit.
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