Yeah, NJ: Governor Christie screwed you (again)

The New York Times reports that a forthcoming GAO report shows the government distorted the facts, made misstatements, and said whatever he needed to say to cancel a tunnel project that would make the lives of hundreds of thousands of people better. Good going, Governor!

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey (courtesy: Luigi Novi)

Back in 2010, I wrote about how foolish and shortsighted Governor Chris Christie was being when he cancelled a new tunnel project for trains between New York City and New Jersey on practically the same day that the Swiss broke through a new mountain tunnel on either side.  The contrast was nothing short of sad, from an American perspective.

But now it turns out that Christie was being very loose with the facts, according to the  New York Times.  It says that in a forthcoming GAO report, the governor misrepresented both the total cost for the tunnel, and New Jersey’s share of it.  That’s a shame.  Anyone who commutes by train into New York knows that it doesn’t take much for trains to run late.  That gets more people into cars, the long term results being more pollution, more asthma, and more traffic for New Jersey and New York.  Good going, Governor Christie!  Thanks for making the lives of people in New Jersey more miserable.  I’m sure that’s why you’re there.

Tunnels, Infrastructure, and Stupid Governors (like that of New Jersey)

Here in Switzerland people may have noticed the news last month about the new 57km (35 mile) Gotthard Tunnel having been broken through from both sides.  The Swiss are to be congratulated on their achievement, which by the way, cost $13 billion, but will shift huge amounts of freight from trucks and roads to rail, reducing CO2 emissions and fuel costs.

Meanwhile in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie has cancelled a new rail tunnel project across the Hudson because, he claimed, it was over budget.  Having lived in New Jersey for many years, of course it was it was going to be over budget, to say the least.  But by most reports it wasn’t really that over budget, and the governor seemed to ignore many facts that were placed in front of him, forgoing $3 billion in federal aid.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg knows a deal when he sees one, being a business man.  And so now he has proposed extending the Number 7 subway line across the Hudson to Secaucus, according to the this article in the Wall Street Journal.  From a commuter perspective this would be second best, because it would mean yet another transfer to get to where one is going.  Furthermore, the implications to PATH will have to be carefully studied.  One wonders what it would take to combine PATH with the subway.  A whole lot of downtime comes to mind, of course.  I don’t even know if they use the same gauge track.

Anyway, it’s nice to see someone in America looking at infrastructure in a serious way.