Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Government Closes Two Out of Three Lanes Heading On To George Washington Bridge (For a Week!)....

to see what would happen. Duh!

They got huge traffic jams. WSJ reports:
Police and elected officials in Fort Lee, N.J., say they weren't given warning that the Port Authority planned to reduce the number of local access lanes directly from Fort Lee to the bridge from three to one—causing traffic to back up in the borough—and are still puzzled by the official explanation that the agency was conducting a study of traffic patterns.

After the two local lanes handling Fort Lee traffic were closed, cars and trucks quickly clogged streets used by local travelers to reach the bridge and New York City. Local officials said the backup led to long delays for Fort Lee buses traveling for the first day of school Monday.[...]Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat who was first elected in 2007, said he found out about the lane closures Monday morning when the borough was turned into what he called "total gridlock."

The borough hall was flooded with hundreds of calls from angry motorists, Mr. Sokolich said.

"I get that the Port Authority tries different things. I'm very, very grateful that once they realized that this change was causing traffic gridlock, they ended it," said Mr. Sokolich, a local attorney. Mr. Sokolich said it still wasn't clear to him who ordered the closures or why.

Fort Lee police said they learned of the lane closures when traffic began backing up, down the north-south artery of Palisade Avenue, Deputy Chief Timothy Ford said.

"We called their police and they were like, 'We can't help you, it's coming from [our] higher-ups,'" he said. When the local police tried to ask the Port Authority leadership what was going on, he said, "They weren't returning our calls."[...]

"I've been here 33 years, and in all that time we've always had three lanes dedicated to the Fort Lee traffic," he said. "And then on this Monday morning, with no prior warning, they decided to try something new."

The Port Authority issued the following statement:
The Port Authority has conducted a week of study at the George Washington Bridge of traffic safety patterns. We will now review those results and determine the best traffic patterns at the GWB. We will continue to work with our local law enforcement partners.


  1. The central planners have screwed up the busiest road HWY 280 in Birmingham Alabama as well.

  2. In Southern California, the city planners took 4 plus years to complete a Rosemead Blvd. Construction Project that covered less than 2 miles of road. Rosemead Blvd (or Hwy 19) is a main thoroughfare drivers use to get to the freeways. The funds for the project must have come from the Shovel-Ready TARP funds. The results were gaudy. What did residents get for their money? Multiple and obviously redundant lamp-posts on both sides of the street as well as on the island that runs down the center of the boulevard. The island now prevents people from making emergency U-turns, which makes it more difficult for folks to escape those DUI checks. The landscaped island that requires on-going maintenance created long-term contracts for their friends. Then there were 4 years of impossible congestion. City revenues increased by snaring motorists taking alternate routes where motorcycle cops waited in recessed areas unfamiliar to the new motorists. Immediately upon the completion of this project, the city announced that it was completing an additional 2 miles of the project. Don't know for sure, but I think the funding for these projects is structured through a consortium of city governments ( to bind other cities.