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REPEAT: “Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Extension into Bergen County is not a “Luxury; it’s a Necessity”

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Hackensack NJ, almost two weeks after Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco said, “Let me make this crystal clear: the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail extension into Bergen County is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. This project, which is critically important for the residents and businesses of one of the most densely populated regions in the nation, holds the key to alleviating congestion, meeting the ever-growing mass transit demands of our community, and ultimately fostering a healthier and sustainable environment for all,” said County Executive Jim Tedesco.

Congressmen Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Rob Menendez (D-NJ-08) woke up  and issued the following joint statement regarding the decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation to halt progress on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) Northern Branch Corridor Project pending revisions to project design and a new environmental impact study:

“The Federal Transit Administration is wrong to add another hurdle to the Northern Branch Corridor Project by demanding a new environmental impact statement. The impacts and benefits of this project have been clear for decades. All levels of government must come together to build on the success of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail with this project to expand access to public transportation, cut commuting times, and promote mobility for North Jersey residents, commuters, and visitors. The Northern Branch project would promote important economic development and connect communities that we represent – spanning from Bayonne to Ridgefield – that have been isolated from one another.

“There have certainly been missed opportunities by the state to prioritize the Northern Branch. But it is especially unfair for the U.S. Department of Transportation to treat our project so harshly while giving New York a free pass with their congestion pricing scheme. Not requiring New York to submit a full EIS despite preliminary reports indicating that it will increase air pollution in New Jersey is just icing on the cake. Once New Jersey Transit revises the EIS, the Department must expedite its review to prevent further delays of this essential project. We stand ready to work with local, state, and federal officials to get this project back on track.”

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