N.J. Turnpike and Parkway

Dear Editor:
I’ve never been a big fan of privatization but in this day and age, considering soaring costs, it is an issue that might need to be revisited. Shall I dare mention the topic of leasing, with the option to buy, the N.J. Turnpike and Parkway? Apparently, many intelligent scholars believe it worked in Indiana. Indianans are adjusting quite well. To their Governors knowledge, they are the only state with a fully financed 10 year transportation plan. The state leased roads similar to our beloved Turnpike and Parkway, for 75 years, cashing in on an almost $4 billion dollar lump sum. The interest alone is nearly $300 million. How’s that for cutting your budget and giving taxpayers some well deserved breathing room?
I’m not saying it should be done exactly like Indiana or Chicago Skyway, but if it’s done with strict federal regulations and is something that the voters can really take a look at, why not? With any good issue, there is going to be opposition by voters and legislature alike. It has to be done in a way that the common man and woman can read and understand it. Not some legal mumbo jumbo. Show it to us in layman terms. Let us see the pros and cons.
I believe Governor Jon Corzine is a smart man; one of the smartest on the planet when it comes to his trade. I also believe that even after the country voted for Barack Obama to be President, some people still fear change. Good government takes place through change. Let change continue. Proceed with caution of course. There should be a reasonable cap for toll increases along with serious oversight.
With a fresh new plan, New Jersey, through Governor Corzine’s leadership, will know what could go wrong by looking at Chicago and Indiana, correcting any mistake before it ever happens. Governor Corzine wants New Jersey roads and finances to be in good condition. Anybody that doesn’t believe that is stunod. Corzine is trying everything possible to problem solve. Cash up front is always the best. You don’t have to be Jon Corzine to know that.
Electronic tolls and EZ Pass is working fantastically. Maybe, leasing with the option to buy, the N.J. Turnpike and Parkway can work out just as well. We need to find out all the particulars first. What do we have to lose? Or what do we have to gain?

James Francis Waddleton

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