Traffic Congestion Getting Worse in NJ [POLL/AUDIO]
A new report finds as the economy picks up steam, traffic congestion in New Jersey is getting worse.
The report, compiled by the traffic congestion tracking firm INRIX, finds gridlock rose 6 percent last year, and the average Garden State driver spent at least 47 hours sitting in traffic.
"Congestion is a function of the economy, and when the economy does improve more people are making trips particularly to work," said Martin Robins, the director emeritus of the Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University.
He said we simply don't have the resources to build new highways because that would cost billions of dollars, but a blue ribbon panel put forth a series of congestion relieving suggestions more than a decade ago that have been largely ignored.
"They made several proposals, such as building more overpasses, widening some ramps on major highways, creating more left turn lanes, improving signalization, but money was never allocated for the work. So I think we'll have this conversation again and again, and the situation will be getting worse and worse," Robins said.
Without raising the gas tax in New Jersey, road improvement and congestion relieving projects will be a major challenge in the future according to Robins. "You don't get something for nothing - there has to be a price paid."