| Office of the Governor |
McGreevey announces over 5,700 Park and Ride spaces for NJ
Includes 500 space parking garage in West Orange
(West Orange) - Reaffirming his commitment to ease congestion on New Jersey roadways, Governor James E. McGreevey today announced five Park and Ride projects throughout the State. Combined, the projects will create over 5,700 new parking spots in six counties and 17 municipalities.
“To reduce the sheer number of cars on our roads, we must make mass transit the ticket to lessening traffic,” said McGreevey. “In January, I promised New Jersey’s commuters that I would create an additional 20,000 park and ride spaces. Today, we are making a major installment on that promise with 5,796 park and ride spaces at five locations all over the State.”
Included in this announcement are plans to build an $8 million parking deck in West Orange adjacent to the South Mountain Arena on Northfield Avenue. Creation of the garage is a cooperative effort between NJDOT and Essex County officials. Joining the Governor were Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere, Senate Co-President Dick Codey, Assemblymen Mims Hackett and John McKeon, and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo.
"In the 27th district and in West Orange in particular, this initiative will especially have a large impact," said Codey, D-Essex. "Where we stand now has become a sort of makeshift park and ride, a meeting place for commuters to meet to carpool. With official designation and the construction of a parking garage on premises, this site will serve many more commuters, and be a commuter meeting place for drivers throughout the region."
“The ability to use mass transit has become an overwhelming concern for Essex County residents,” said Hackett (D-Essex). “The creation of this facility will help ease the horrendous congestion on our area roadways.”
“Hundreds of residents commute to New York City daily from West Orange, Livingston and South Orange,” said McKeon (D-Essex). “I’m pleased to see the state commit to continuation of the ‘park and ride’ at South Mountain Arena. Building a 500-spot parking garage here is good public policy from an environmental and transportation perspective.”
"I applaud Governor McGreevey's initiative to promote the use of mass transportation. By providing funds to upgrade the parking facility at South Mountain Arena, our Governor recognizes that established park and rides help alleviate the traffic on our roads and reduce harmful vehicle emissions, which will benefit our environment,” said DiVincenzo. “The parking deck will eliminate the congestion and traffic hazards, creating a safer environment for the commuters and children who visit Turtle Back Zoo and South Mountain Arena. It also will help stimulate economic development in an area that has the potential to grow."
The deck will serve bus commuters throughout the region, primarily those commuting into New York City. A partnership between the State and Essex County, construction on the three-story deck will begin in October and be completed by May 1, 2004. An existing parking lot at the site now serves NJ TRANSIT and private bus carrier customers.
West Orange is just one of five initial locations that are a part of the Governor’s Park & Ride program created in Executive Order #43, which will increase park and ride spaces from 95,000 to 115,000 over the next five years.
The Governor also announced today the creation of additional park and rides at the following locations: Atlantic Highlands Ferry Station (400 spaces), Waterview Boulevard in Parsippany (275 spaces), Montclair State University Station (1,500) and 13 stations along the South Jersey Light Rail Line (3,121 spaces) – Trenton, Bordentown, Roebling, Florence, Burlington City, Beverly/Edgewater Park, Delanco, Riverside, Cinnaminson, Riverton, Palmyra, Pennsauken and Camden.
Since taking office, the Governor has already announced Park and Rides at Union Rail Station (480 spots), Washington Township (300) in Gloucester County, Hamilton Rail Station (320 spots) and Route 46 Mount Arlington (235 spots) in Morris County.
“In recent years, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of people who rely upon public transportation,” said NJDOT Commissioner Jack Lettiere. “Some spend years waiting for parking spaces. Governor McGreevey’s plan not only addresses commuter needs by expanding parking by 21 percent, but also provides the opportunity to remove 20,000 more vehicles from our state’s overcrowded roadways.”
Over the past year, the McGreevey Administration has taken action to expand and improve mass transit, including addition of nearly 17,000 rail passenger seats, purchase of 100 bi-level rail cars and 29 powerful ALP-46 locomotive engines; extension of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service; refurbishing and rebuilding of existing bus terminals and rail stations.