(TRENTON) – Assembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), the Assembly transportation committee chairman, released the following statement Monday after the committee heard testimony on the condition of New Jersey’s transportation infrastructure following Hurricane Sandy:
“Commissioner Simpson disrespected the people of New Jersey today by failing to come before this committee to discuss an issue vitally important to this state. We extended courtesies to him but he failed to extend the same to the residents of New Jersey. His failure to appear today makes one wonder what he has to hide about his department’s planning and response.
“No one argues that Sandy wasn’t an unprecedented storm, but legitimate questions remain about whether facilities and equipment were properly protected. I look forward to a continued conversation with and more cooperation from transportation officials to ensure such mistakes are not made again. This system is too important for our commuters to put it at risk.
“This much is clear – Sandy should serve as a wake-up call to each and every administration and transportation agency that more must be done to protect and preserve the transportation system that is so vital to our state’s economy. New Jersey cannot function without a reliable transportation network. Investing in its safety and reliability in a real way is crucial. It’s time to move past empty talking points and short-sighted decisions such as canceling a commuter rail tunnel for political gain.
“Our residents deserve a transportation system built around and protected by a long-term vision for economic growth and prosperity. That includes protecting it from the elements as best we can and being smart about the decisions we make to protect it.”