Groups oppose New Jersey toll road leasing

| 12/20/2006

In New Jersey, two groups have come out in opposition of the idea of leasing state toll roads to private companies.

A report recently commissioned by the state said the New Jersey Turnpike, the Expressway and the Garden State Parkway are all good candidates for so-called “privatization.”

But the state’s Sierra Club and the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group, or PIRG, told state officials on Tuesday, Dec. 19, that privatization is a bad idea.

PIRG spokeswoman Abigail Field told “Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio that private investors don’t necessarily have the public’s interest in mind.

“Investors want three things,” Field said. “They want high and constant toll increases, they want limits on building or improving roads near the toll roads so that nobody avoids paying the high tolls, and they want this to continue for generations.”

Field is urging all truckers who live in New Jersey to write to their lawmakers and local newspapers to express their feelings.

– By Reed Black, staff writer