TRENTON, N.J. – Is it really a “hearing” if the public can’t attend?
Governor Phil Murphy and transportation authority officials don’t care. Surging unemployment and a statewide “stay at home” order haven’t dissuaded them from forging ahead with three more hearings on a massive toll hike scheme, this time concerning the Atlantic City Expressway.
Here are the dates:
- Wednesday, April 1, 2020 – 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
- Wednesday, April 1, 2020 – 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
- Thursday, April 2, 2020 – 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
The public will be able to watch remotely here, but they won’t be able to participate live.
Some toll plazas will see 50% increases if the plan goes through.
A mid-March hearing for Turnpike and Parkway toll increases was also conducted without residents and motorists being able to show up and voice their discontent.
Some lawmakers are steamed at what’s clearly becoming a pattern.
“We call on Governor Phil Murphy, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti to immediately stop any hearings, plans or discussions to increase our Parkway or Turnpike tolls at this time,” said Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano of LD10 in a joint statement. “We are in the middle of a state-wide public health emergency that caused a massive economic fallout and thousands of jobs terminated. The timing couldn’t be any worse for these hearings and we are vehemently against any increases at this time.
“We want our residents to have a proper say in any potential toll hikes that will affect the lives of commuters and businesses throughout the state. It’s the wrong time, period” the trio added. “These hearings must be stopped now.”