(PISCATAWAY) — Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset), vice-chair of the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee, released the following statement Tuesday after the panel’s second hearing on New Jersey’s transportation funding crisis:
“New Jersey is in dire need of improvements to its infrastructure, especially when one considers its population density and the sheer volume of passengers on our roadways and railways. Right now, the bleak outlook for transportation has a direct negative impact on individual residents and our overall economy. This ongoing conversation about the Transportation Trust Fund is, at its core, a conversation about our future as a state.
“Today’s hearing reinforced the conclusion we drew from our previous meeting – inaction cannot be an option here. After decades of kicking the can down the road, we now see that the road – along with bridges, tunnels, trains and buses in New Jersey – is in an urgent state of disrepair.
“Infrastructure is an investment. The grim reality is that businesses will not come to a state with crumbling infrastructure, which does no good for our employment forecast. The more important thing to note, however, is that we cannot afford to wait for a wake-up call in the form of a collapsed bridge or a train derailment to realize that this is a serious public safety issue. I look forward to future hearings, having faith that we are moving toward a solution that will restore our economy and safeguard the well-being of families in our state.”
The next committee hearing on the issue is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5 in the Conference Center at Camden County College.