Jersey City moves toward closing parking authority

AP : sfgate – excerpt

Jersey City is moving closer to realizing Mayor Steven Fulop’s goal of abolishing the city’s autonomous parking authority.

Fulop announced Friday that New Jersey’s Civil Service Commission has granted his request to have parking authority employees given civil service status.

The approval allows the city to move forward with its plan to abolish the authority and have its functions absorbed by other departments.

Fulop plans to present an ordinance to the City Council on Sept. 10.

The parking authority’s enforcement functions would come under the Department of Public Safety, while administrative functions would be handled by city staff who already perform these duties.

Fulop says the dissolution of the parking authority will save taxpayers millions of dollars.

(more)

There’s an idea on how to save Muni money. Abolish the SFMTA by repealing Prop E. What voters create they can dismantle.

Residents: Improve roads, bridges instead of bike path

By Kent Mallett : newarkadvocate – excerpt

NEWARK — A plan that may expand, connect and improve Licking County bike paths, and a survey about the trail system, drew the ire of a few residents at a transportation meeting Tuesday.

The residents spoke up at a Licking County Area Transportation Study committee meeting Tuesday at the Licking County Administration Building.

They questioned the use of transportation funds for a recreational resource while roads deteriorate, bridges crumble and the federal debt rises…

“A huge flaw in the survey is the assumption that bike paths are at the top of the taxpayers’ list of priorities,” DeRolf said.

She said the survey should have asked respondents to rank the important of bike paths versus roads and bridges.

The survey, DeRolf said, should have gauged support for bike path funding if it adds to the federal deficit, if it requires use of taxpayer dollars, if it increases the respondent’s taxes, and if it takes private property without the owner’s permission…

“A better way to achieve adequate and valid responses would be to place this issue on the ballot.”… (more)

Steve Kornacki Floats New Theory About Chris Christie’s Bridge Scandal

 huffingtonpost – excerpt

MSNBC host Steve Kornacki floated a new theory as to why New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s staff and appointees engineered the closure of two lanes leading into the George Washington Bridge last year.*
“It wasn’t just the everyday lives of commuters and residents that were altered or in some cases jeopardized by what happened in Fort Lee,” Kornacki explained. “Something else was affected and possibly jeopardized, something of enormous economic and political significance.”
Kornacki explained that there is currently a billion dollar development project in Fort Lee, right next to where the lane closures occurred. The project is a keystone of Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich’s tenure… (more)

New theories on why the closed traffic lanes on in New Jersey are coming out of the woodwork. So far no one is blaming the war on cars, or safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists. People are filing claims against the MTA, and the outcome of those cases could have some wide ranging ramifications.

* Members of both the SF Planning Commission and the SFMTA Board balked at removing traffic lanes from Third street, which most people consider to be a major regional arterial road, connecting to the Bay Bridge.

If you haven’t already done so, send some letters to the members of those boards and the supervisors, reminding them that all regional traffic flows through the city and that traffic should not be impaired in any way.

Also remind them that the funds coming out of Washington and Sacramento are based on claims for regional plans, therefore, there must be a regional plan.

Emails Tie Top Christie Aide to New Jersey Lane Closing Scandal

By Jodie Gummow : AlterNet – excerpt
‘Time for some traffic problems,’ staffer said in leaked email.
 A series of documents has revealed that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was closely involved in the controversial lane closings on the New Jersey side of George Washington Bridge in September, despite the governor denying involvement, NY Times reported.

Top aid, Bridget Anne Kelly sent emails to an executive at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey saying it was “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” to which the executive responded “Got it,” leading to an overwhelming traffic gridlock lasting four days, Wall Street Journal reported(more)

National publications consider deliberately closing traffic lanes on major regional corridors scandalous. How do San Francisco citizens feel about it? What would they do if they knew the SFMTA plans to do just that? They plan to restrict traffic on parts of Masonic, Potrero, Van Ness Avenue, Geary, Cesar Chavez, and 19th Avenue, among others. Who benefits from this? Certainly not the taxpayers.

Chris Christie Officials Messed With Bridge Traffic Despite Being Warned About Congestion Problems

huffingtonpost – excerpt

WASHINGTON — New documents reveal that a high-ranking official in the administration of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) knew that Fort Lee, N.J., had issues with traffic congestion around the George Washington Bridge, long before he authorized a seemingly unnecessary study that closed down lanes to the bridge and made traffic even worse.
Fort Lee is an essential access point to New York City, serving as the gateway to the George Washington Bridge, which is the busiest bridge in the United States. In November 2010, Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich (D) wrote to Bill Baroni, deputy director of the Port Authority of New York and Jersey, and complained of traffic problems in the borough. The letter was obtained by The Record in a public records request
“On approximately 20 occasions in the last forty days, our Borough has been completely gridlocked,” wrote Sokolich to Baroni, who was Christie’s top official at the Port Authority. “Traveling from the south to the north end of our Borough takes upwards of one hour. Our safety vehicles are unable to traverse our own thoroughfares to attend to emergencies which place our residents in harms way.”… (more)

Alleged planned traffic congestion makes the national news. Public records request revealed enough evidence to resulted in layoffs, and may mushroom into a bigger disaster for the accused perpetrators.