InTransition Magazine
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InTransition Magazine : Transportation Planning, Practice & Progress

Archive Edition

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From the Chairman's Desk

The impacts of Superstorm Sandy served as a stark reminder of just how crucial a stable, well-functioning transportation network is to our economic health. More importantly, the aftermath of Sandy combined with the devastation of Hurricane Irene a year earlier essentially has provided us with a “to-do list” of what we need to be looking at in terms of how we plan for the future of transportation.


Matthew Holt

Chairman, North Jersey

Transportation Planning

Authority

Think of all the ways travel was impacted when so many basic services were suddenly taken away—roads under water, bridges washed away, rail lines damaged as never before, and port facilities swamped by flooding. Strengthening our infrastructure and our transportation network will strengthen our economy. And that means we have to invest in the system.

The devastation of these storms provided us with an opportunity to gain insights that we can use to rebuild stronger and smarter. The NJTPA and its partner agencies are working to analyze the data to do that. In many areas, we don’t simply need bridges or roadways that meet our basic transportation needs. We need bridges and roadways with the potential to withstand the kinds of extreme weather events we witnessed. It’s no easy task and certainly not an inexpensive one. 

How does all this get paid for? Our answer and our focus should truly be on ensuring a viable long-term federal transportation funding solution. When MAP-21 expires in mid-2014, we’ll have seen nearly a decade with flat federal funding for transportation. 

The fact is, at our current funding levels, we barely have what we need to cover the costs of maintaining the infrastructure we already have. 

We need to be investing in a transportation system that is resilient and ready to meet the demands of a growing economy. The time to start working toward this is now. The NJTPA will continue to be a resource in this effort, and we look forward to working with all of you to get this done.  

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