Parkway, Turnpike Tolls Hike Proposed

first_imgIn addition to the verbal comments made at the March 18 meeting, the public is invited to send written comments by email to njtapubliccomments@njta.com or by mail or courier to Executive Director, New Jersey Turnpike Authority, 1 Turnpike Plaza, P.O. Box 5042, Woodbridge, NJ 07095. The NJTA’s full plans are available at njta.com. The New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) is now accepting public comments on proposed toll increases on the Garden State Parkway and Turnpike. Comments will be accepted through April 3 at 5 p.m. Neptune resident Zoey Baldwin spoke as the director of government affairs and communications for the Utility & Transportation Contractors Association. She said she strongly supports the adjustments, as the last adjustments were made to the Turnpike and Parkway nine years ago. Additionally, all cash collection lanes on the parkway and turnpike have been suspended in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Drivers are being asked to use E-ZPass lanes. Anyone without an E-ZPass tag in the vehicle will be billed by mail at the cash toll rate. “They get on and off at Cheesequake. They get on and off at Belmar. Close the holes. Everybody pays to get on, everybody pays to get off, you’re going to see a substantial increase,” he said. At public hearings March 18 hosted by the state Department of Transportation (DOT), one in Woodbridge and one in Camden County, authority members presented a proposed 2020 capital improvement program and toll adjustment schedule to the public. About 40 people attended, keeping with Gov. Phil Murphy’s mandate banning gatherings of 50 or more. These proposed toll rates will remain in line with rates drivers pay on other U.S. toll roads, Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. The NJTA does not receive tax money from any source and 92 percent of its revenue comes from tolls paid by people who use the turnpike and parkway. The remainder is generated from service areas, the PNC Bank Arts Center and other miscellaneous small sources, she added. Tinton Falls resident Cindy Williams spoke on behalf of herself and members of the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters. She said the state is in “desperate” need of investment in replacing and repairing its infrastructure. “The proposed NJTA Capital Plan is amongst the strongest economic stimulators of the State of New Jersey,” said Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, commissioner of the DOT and chairman of the NJTA. It will sustain “tens of thousands” of jobs, and maintain and strengthen the transportation network, she added. center_img During the public comment portion of the meeting in Woodbridge, several people spoke out as either individuals or representatives of larger groups. All of them had positive reactions to the plans. According to the NJTA, the additional revenue from the last toll increase allowed it to take on a $7 billion capital program, which included the widening of the Turnpike between interchanges 6 and 9. “At a final cost of $2.13 billion, the widening added 170 lane miles and represented the largest capital improvement in the history of the Authority,” according to the NJTA. “The modest raise in tolls that are being proposed by the NJDOT will help to make sure that we have projects moving forward. It will help put hardworking men and women, like myself, to work,” she said. As proposed in the plan, the average toll on the Parkway will increase by 27 percent, from $1.11 to $1.41. On the Turnpike, fees will increase by 36 percent, from $3.50 to $4.75. If approved, tolls will be indexed starting in 2022, allowing for annual increases to keep up with rising costs. It will be capped at 3 percent. Buses would receive a 40 percent discount. Matawan resident Denis Brady also said he approves of the plan, but asked that officials “close the gaps” on the Parkway so that no matter what exit people get on or off of, they pay the same toll fees that others do. Tolls could be increased on the Garden State Parkway and Turnpike under a proposal by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. “While no one likes to pay more, everyone wants a better, faster commute. Increasing tolls will afford the Turnpike Authority the resources it needs to continue providing us with the same premium service that we’ve come to expect,” said Baldwin. By Allison Perrine | aperrine@tworivertimes.comlast_img read more

Mallard’s Team of the Week — Selkirk Saints

first_imgThis selection was easy for the Mallard’s Source for Sports Staff and Management after the Selkirk Saints completed its rags to riches season Saturday at the NDCC Arena by capturing the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League Championship, in overtime no less.For those people just crawling out from under a rock the Saints went from a 5-19 last place finish in 2012 to 21-3 in 2013, topping it all off with an impressive 4-0 record in playoffs — the final series a 2-0 best-of-three win against Simon Fraser University.Toss in a few league records to with the league title and this Team of the Week pic was a no brainer. Pictured above is the jubilant 2012-13 BCIHL Champion Selkirk Saints in the traditional team photo minutes after knocking off SFU 3-2 in overtime.last_img read more