Trenton) ? Assembly Democrat Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen) issued the following statement on the testimony received by the Assembly transportation committee on Monday from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey?s executive director on the decision by the agency to close ? without public notice ? access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in September:
?Shutting off access lanes to the George Washington Bridge without warning to the public or emergency services was irresponsible, and outright reckless. It is certain that more than one person was involved in making this decision.
?Mr. Baroni testified in a previous hearing on the cause of lane shut down. Armed with a large poster board-size graphic, Mr. Baroni sat before us and blamed an ongoing traffic study being conducted at the time as the reason for the closures. However, Mr. Foye today testified he was unaware of a study taking place.
?Others also testified to not knowing of a traffic study. This study is as much of a phantom as the entrance to the GWB for only Fort Lee residents, which has also been falsely claimed.
?The Port Authority?s decision impeded first responders on the way to their destinations. Ft. Lee residents were disadvantaged by traffic overflow into their borough. School busses were delayed on the first of day of school. The lane closures created a catastrophe for everyone on and off the highway.
?It is extremely hard to conceive that only Mr. Wildstein is the only one to blame for this and that his superior, Mr. Baroni, had absolutely no part in this decision.”