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Transportation Nation

Key Figure in Christie Scandal Held in Contempt After Taking the Fifth

Thursday, January 09, 2014

A New Jersey Assembly commiteee has held in contempt the key figure in the scandal surrounding the politically-motivated closure of two lanes of the George Washington Bridge. The vote came after David Wildstein repeatedly asserted his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent over the scandal.  

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Transportation Nation

Cuomo: New York's Airports are "Inexcusable"

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

New York's governor used a press conference with the vice president to trash the city's airports.

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Transportation Nation

These Are the Domain Names Purchased by the Former Christie Appointee to the Port Authority

Monday, December 16, 2013

Many of domain names disgraced official (and close friend of NJ Gov. Chris Christie) David Wildstein purchased involve New Jersey Democrats.

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Transportation Nation

Top Christie Aide Is Out at Port Authority

Friday, December 13, 2013

WNYC

Two. That's now the number of top Christie aides who have resigned in the wake of a roiling controversy over the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge back in September.

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New Jersey News

Patrick Foye to Testify on GWB Lane Closures

Monday, December 09, 2013

New Jersey Public Radio

The executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is expected to tell what he knows about the unannounced closing of George Washington Bridge access lanes that caused traffic gridlock in September, and whether the disruption was politically-motivated.

Patrick Foye was subpoenaed to appear before the Assembly Transportation Committee Monday.

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Transportation Nation

Report: Controversial Christie Appointee Out at Port Authority

Friday, December 06, 2013

WNYC

A controversial appointee of Governor Chris Christie has resigned from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, just as lawmakers are stepping up scrutiny of alleged politically-motivated closures of the George Washington Bridge by the Christie aide.  The Record of North Jersey is reporting that David Wildstein has said the closures have "been a distraction," and that he's decided to "move on."

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Transportation Nation

NJ Lawmaker Demands Appearance by Port Authority Chief on GWB Lane Closures

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

WNYC

The New Jersey Assembly is subpoenaing Port Authority chief Pat Foye to explain closures on the George Washington Bridge earlier this year which snarled traffic for a week. The Port Authority's shifting explanations have led several state Democrats to charge it was a politically-motivated act of retribution against Fort Lee's mayor  -- who didn't support Governor Chris Christie's re-election.

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New Jersey News

Port Authority Heads Asked to Testify on George Washington Bridge Closures

Friday, November 22, 2013

WNYC

The transportation committee of the New Jersey State Assembly has asked the heads of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to testify in a hearing on the abrupt lane closures to the George Washington Bridge in early September. The legislators are trying to find out whether Chris Christie loyalists backed up traffic just to punish a local mayor who didn't endorse the governor.

 

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Retaliatory Traffic Jam?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Was the traffic tie-up at the entrance to the GWB in September political pay-back?  New Jersey State Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) wants subpoena power to investigate.  She's joined by Sarah Gonzalez, the northern New Jersey enterprise reporter for WNYC and NJPR, to explain what's behind the controversial traffic jam.

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Transportation Nation

NJ Lawmakers Ask Port Authority to Explain Abrupt Lane Closures at GWB

Thursday, November 14, 2013

WNYC

The closures caused huge traffic jams and came as a surprise to government officials, who are usually notified if there are going to be changes in traffic patterns.

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Transportation Nation

A Year After Sandy, Is PATH Ready for Future Storms?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sandy caused $300 million in damage to the PATH system, snarling the commutes of tens of thousands of riders. A year later, the Port Authority says PATH is prepared. But is it?

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Transportation Nation

Port Authority To Review Fort Lee Lane Closures

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The head of the Port Authority says he'll get to the bottom of local lane closures that snarled traffic in Fort Lee.

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Transportation Nation

The Port Authority Needs Sunshine and Oversight, Says Federal Watchdog

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey didn't give the public enough time to comment on its 2011 toll hikes -- which is no surprise to some longtime critics. "They operate like a state," says one New Jersey legislator. "They have a budget bigger than 26 U.S. states."

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New Jersey News

10 Bucks for a Multi-Million Dollar Name

Monday, September 09, 2013

What's in a name?  Well, if the name is as iconic as World Trade Center there's quite a lot to it.

In 1986, the Port Authority quietly sold off the rights to the name "World Trade Center" for 10 dollars. That's according to an investigation by the Record of Bergen County.

The name was sold to a non-profit organization which the Port Authority now pays thousands of dollars every year to use.

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WNYC News

"World Trade Center" Naming Rights Sold For $10 in 1986

Sunday, September 08, 2013

What's in a name?  Well, if the name is as iconic as "World Trade Center," there's quite a lot to it.

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Transportation Nation

Port Authority Installing Flood Barriers at PATH Stations

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

In an attempt to ward off flood damage for the upcoming hurricane season, the Port Authority is installing stackable metal flood barriers at PATH stations, stockpiling spare parts, pre-positioning pumps and generators, and getting thousands of sandbags in place.

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WNYC News

With Spire Installed, WTC Tower Becomes World's 3rd Largest

Friday, May 10, 2013

The silver steel spire was installed atop One World Trade Center on Friday – making the 1776-foot structure the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

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Transportation Nation

Three New York Area Bridges to get Massive Overhaul

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The three bridges linking New Jersey and Staten Island will be getting major overhauls, including new pedestrian walkways and the ability to accommodate transit at a future date. But is transit-ready as good as an actual transit plan?

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Transportation Nation

PATH Service Restored Between Hoboken-World Trade Center

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hoboken's PATH station (photo by Sean Marshall via flickr)

For the first time since Sandy struck the Northeast 13 weeks ago, PATH trains will roll once again between Hoboken and the World Trade Center.

Governors Christie and Cuomo announced service between the two hubs will be restored in time for the Wednesday morning commute.

This marks the first time PATH service will return to its normal weekday schedule since Sandy. The PATH system suffered $700 million worth of damage during the storm (PDF), and the Hoboken station was particularly hard hit. It took seven weeks just to open the station, and partial overnight service was restored on January 9th. Meanwhile, NJ Transit just reopened the Hoboken Terminal waiting room Monday.

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Transportation Nation

NY's Airports So Old, Millionaire Is Putting Up Private Fortune to Lobby for Renovations

Monday, January 14, 2013

LaGuardia Airport (photo by Alex Goldmark)

Real Estate mogul Joe Sitt knows how to court the jet set. He's the head of Thor Equities, one of the city's biggest landlords for high end retail and offices. And as he sees it, New York's aging airports are holding the region back. "The experience [in our airports] is pitiful," Sitt said.

And he's putting up $1 million of his personal money to change it.

His campaign to overhaul New York area airports launched last week isn't an expensive personal quest for a better travel experience. It's an unusual lobbying campaign in the public (and also self) interest.

A 2011 report by the Regional Plan Association found that NY area airports need to expand and upgrade air traffic technology if they are to keep up with forecasts of air travel growth. Average flight delays at NY area airports are already twice the national average. A 2008 study (pdf) by the Partnership of New York City estimated that if New York's airports aren't modernized, it could cost $79 billion in losses to the regional economy between 2008 and 2025.

"What's one of our business fears? Businesses moving out of the city," said Sitt, the landlord of about 40 buildings, many in tourist hot spots like 5th Ave and Meatpacking. "I love New York City. It is creative. Every tech company should want to be here. But from an infrastructure, transportation, airport [perspective], no offense, versus San Francisco, we fail. They put us to shame out there."

His group the Global Gateway Alliance will lobby all levels of government to invest more in infrastructure for air travel.  "I think government needs some prodding. This needed somebody to carry the torch," Sitt said.

It's not the first time business leaders and planners have called for investment -- the RPA launched the Better Airports Alliance in 2011 -- but Sitt's $1 million of seed money makes the new effort more serious from the start. "It's really the first time we've had a comprehensive, well funded effort to focus on the great need for airport improvement," said Kathy Wylde of the Partnership for New York City, who has joined the board of the Global Gateway Alliance. Lobbying, she said will pressure all levels of government and could include public messages like TV commercials.

The agency that runs NY airports concedes upgrades are needed.  “We recognize that some of our facilities are aging and in need of capital infrastructure investment to ensure the continued economic growth of the region," said Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye. "The Port Authority and our airline partners invested over $1 billion in 2012 on infrastructure projects at our region’s airports, which includes construction of high speed exit taxiways, terminal improvements, and runway rehabilitation. Additionally, the Port Authority is in the process of establishing a public/private partnership to invest $3.6 billion on a new Central Terminal Building at La Guardia.”

 

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