NJ Governor Jon Corzine Considering VIP Highway Lanes – For a Price

In case any New Jersey residents were thinking that the selling of our state roads for quick cash had died after public opposition, I’m afraid it’s wishful thinking. The state’s beloved Governor Corzine has made it apparent that he will stop at nothing to squeeze his own constituency for all we’re worth, whether it be by charging us for water, for working, for dying, or for driving. And now his latest contemplation is over whether drivers could be offered to pay a price for the right to use “express lanes” in order to escape traffic. Just in case gas prices weren’t putting enough of a burden on our commutes.

Gov. Jon Corzine said today a proposal to let private investors operate some lanes along the New Jersey Turnpike is “worthy of examination” but represents just one of many ideas he’s looking into while developing a new long-range strategy for improving the state’s roads and bridges.

“We need to have a comprehensive approach,” Corzine said during a press conference in Perth Amboy. “The single leasing of a lane will maybe deal with a widening…but there might be other ways to do that.”

One option would be to have lanes exclusively for truck and bus traffic. Another would create “express lanes” for drivers who pay a premium to escape traffic.

I’m all for cost-effective solutions to New Jersey’s debt and our traffic problem, but does anyone actually think it is a good idea to drop a few billion dollars at once into the greedy, unaccountable hands of the New Jersey government? Or to put a price on yet another privilege that should cost residents nothing, simply because the government does not want to take responsibility to address a problem? For someone who had such monumental success in the private sector, Corzine has been a shocking disappointment when it comes to understanding and managing the public sector.

Even my ultra-liberal colleague, who was quick to alert me of this news, calls this idea a regression “back to the caste system,” where only the elite are good enough to enjoy the “right” not to sit in traffic. I don’t like to say this to him often, but he does have a point.

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