The Port Authority and Bridgegate

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Executives from the Port Authority, including Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni (far right) and Executive Director Patrick Foye (third to the left) Executives from the Port Authority, including Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni (far right) and Executive Director Patrick Foye (third to the left) (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Andrea Bernstein, metro editor at WNYC News, talks about how the structure of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey contributed to the "Bridgegate" scandal and reform efforts.

Comments [13]

The culture of fear is alive and well at the Port Authority, because crime, corruption, cover-ups & retaliation is the Port Authority way. Believe me, I know firsthand and I have the evidence to prove it. General Manager of the George Washington Bridge Robert Durando’s testimony at the New Jersey State Assembly Transportation Committee on 12/9/13 exposes the culture of fear that exists at the Port Authority, he is fully aware of what happens to whistleblowers at the Port Authority.

Sadly, Durando and his boss Cedrick Fulton, along with many other Port Authority employees decided to put tens of thousands of lives in jeopardy just to save their own jobs. They are all cowards, nothing more than highly paid puppets of the Port Authority. Every single one of them must be fired & prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for aiding and abetting this criminal activity.

Intentionally gridlocking traffic on 9/11 for the sake of a "traffic study," a day that terrorist use to cause mayhem is absolute insanity, what’s next, the Port Authority giving all TSA airport screeners the day off on 9/11/14 to see if that speeds up the "screening process study?” I guess that makes as much sense as the Port Authority’s illegal written policy of throwing lost passports in garbage & letting their supervisors steal from the Lost & Found Dept. at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. The new investigatory panel should investigate these well documented crimes as well.

Jan. 15 2014 01:00 AM
Kirk Barrett from NJ

I hope WYNC will keep focusing on the big picture of bridgegate -- the need for reform of the Port Authority.

Jan. 14 2014 08:35 PM
KevinH from Union County, NJ

Thank you for focusing on the Port Authority aspect of this issue. Not that the NJ gov. & his admin. should get off the hook but the Port Authority organization enabled it.

The "war" on bureaucracy of the last 40 years, where everyone of every political stripe would complain of "red tape" is finally coming home to roost.

Where are the bureaucrats and technocrats, career civil servants all, who would require the paperwork, the preliminary meetings, and the authorizations to be signed off (in triplicate!) before a "test" that would drastically inconvenience thousands of citizens be put in place?

Now, some political hack has the power to initiate such an action with a single email?

Jan. 14 2014 11:49 AM
lj from nyc

The Port Authority is the largest and highest profile, but all of these authorities are corrupt sinecures for political hacks. They are not answerable to the voters, only to those who appoint them. They are overpaid and incompetent. New York has over 700 authorities, which only exist as slush funds for passing out cash stolen from the public (i.e.,see $15 bridge and tunnel tolls). If there is any reason for any of their functions to exist, they should be government functions, paid at government scale, with full oversight and transparency. Enough!

Jan. 14 2014 10:47 AM
Pordy from Madison, NJ

BL: "There is a name for that" using citizens for political gains- what is it?

Jan. 14 2014 10:43 AM
Nick from Brooklyn

I had to deal with the Port Authority when working for a nonprofit that had a small presence at the WTC site. When discussing options for relocating once the Freedom Tower construction began, the Port Authority employee I was dealing with insisted that we meet at a fairly nice restaurant and told me something to the effect of "where I'm from we have a tradition of giving a little gift to help get things started". I was stunned that even on such a low level there would be this suggestion of quid pro quo put forward in such a bumbling way.

Jan. 14 2014 10:43 AM

BL: "Using civilians for political (reasons). There's a word for that."

Thank you for insisting on thinking big, and out of the box. There is only one BL , unfortunately

Jan. 14 2014 10:42 AM
mr nyc

All of this goes back to RM, politics, and putting cars before public transportation. The history and reality of transportation in the NY/NJ region is a scandal in itself.

Jan. 14 2014 10:40 AM
antonio from baySIde

Can't this kind of politics go back to Robert Moses? In Caro's book RM seemed to be the grand daddy of consolidating power and making these feudal kind of machinations? RM is the reason why we have no connections to airports, limited mass transit to poorer neighborhoods, as well as racist sculptures in the uptown parks...

Jan. 14 2014 10:37 AM
10027 from NYC

What about the governor of New York not discussing this matter until it became news? I'm sick of this political pandering by our elected officials. The last thing on any of their minds seems to be the interests of the people they serve.

Jan. 14 2014 10:35 AM
Robert from NYC

Pretty sad to hear about a government institution that worked so well without political dirty hands involved to have gone "bad" even if only "more or less" so.

Jan. 14 2014 10:34 AM
Pamela from Manhattan

What about Christie rejecting federal funds to build another tunnel for trains to go from New Jersey to Penn Station? That also seemed more political and mean spirited than pragmatic.

Jan. 14 2014 10:30 AM

The Port Authority has been hidden from public view for so long.

I still can't believe that the Twin Towers was built by absconding with toll fees, earmarked for public transportation. Let alone rebuilt with the money needed for the Hudson Tunnel.

Thinking people have been waiting for this conversation for 50 years. Thanks, Christie!

Jan. 14 2014 09:56 AM

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