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Help Support the ARC Tunnel!

October 5, 2010

Source: NJ.com

Regular readers of this blog know that the ARC Tunnel, a vital rail link between NJ and NY, and the nation’s largest infrastructure project, is under serious threat of being terminated. Despite unprecedented funding commitments from the federal government, Port Authority of NY/NJ and the State of New Jersey, the administration is considering putting an end to the project and using NJ’s share to help replenish the nearly depleted Transportation Trust Fund. Doing so would not only ignore existing (and growing) capacity constraints, but would also forego billions in federal aid and cripple New Jersey’s ability to spur sustainable, transit oriented development in its most populated areas.

You can help by telling Trenton that you support the ARC tunnel.

(Thanks to our friends at Tri-State for setting this up!)

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 5, 2010 11:56 am

    The New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-NJ), representing over
    1,000 professional planners throughout the Garden State, strongly assert that any attempt to stop one of the nation’s most important transit improvements is detrimental to the State’s economy.

    Upon completion, ARC will build two new badly-needed commuter rail tracks under the Hudson River, creating new direct linkages between New Jersey and Manhattan’s 2 million jobs. In the reverse direction, New Jersey communities stand to benefit from the enormous economic growth potential along the rail lines. The project also supports homeland security planning as it provides NY/NJ metropolitan area residents and visitors an additional option to and from Manhattan.

    NJ TRANSIT projects that ARC would increase the Gross New York/New Jersey Regional
    Product by $660 million a year. Past research has indicated that property value of New Jersey residences close to train stations grew exponentially when a one-seat ride into Manhattan was implemented along the Morris and Essex Line; an indicator that ARC will have a profoundly positive impact in over 200 communities served by the NJ TRANSIT rail system.

    If shelved by New Jersey, the project stands to lose $3 billion of already-committed federal funds as well as another $3 billion from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

    With the state’s Transportation Trust Fund in peril, Governor Christie may be seeking to
    reposition NJ’s funds toward other projects. This is a shell game that will not result in a
    sustainable funding source for much needed transportation improvements. Moreover,
    eliminating the Tunnel will continue to push more cars on the road, degrading air quality and exacerbating the need for street, bridge and highway upgrades. The lost productivity from traffic and congestion alone, as can be vouched for by New Jersey’s commuters and businesses, should be accounted for in the “total cost” of the project. Traffic in this State, considered one of the worst in the Nation, will only continue to intensify without investment in essential transportation alternatives that make these options more reliable and attractive to the New Jersey commuter.

    ARC may be an expensive project, but it is of utmost importance. Pulling back from ARC would be a mistake of proportions that only history books will tell. We at APA-NJ hope that this is not the case, and that this delay is truly just an attempt to ensure the project’s budget does not balloon out of control.

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