AC Expressway toll hike meeting happening, even if you can’t go in person
TRENTON — The New Jersey agency that operates the Atlantic City Expressway has scheduled a public meeting for Wednesday to consider toll increase despite the governor's order for residents to stay home during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The South Jersey Transportation Authority has two meetings planned for Wednesday and a third on Thursday to consider capital projects financed by average toll increases of 57 cents at most. The authority is also considering automatic toll increases of at most 3% annually beginning in 2022.
An Associated Press story Monday said it was unclear how the public is expected to attend the meetings amid the coronavirus outbreak and given Gov. Phil Murphy's March 21 order that people stay home. The South Jersey Transportation Authority has since said remote public hearings will be broadcast live on the Internet at sjta.com
The toll money would be used for capital projects, including roadway resurfacing and changes to lighting, according to the public notice about the meeting.
A trip on the expressway that starts in Camden County in suburban Philadelphia and ends in Atlantic City currently costs $3.75.
The proposed toll increase come just weeks after the New Jersey Turnpike authority held similar meetings, which were livestreamed for so the public could watch, to consider toll increases. The turnpike authority wants to raise tolls by up to 36% on the turnpike and up to 27% on the Garden State Parkway.
More than 13,000 people in New Jersey have tested positive and 161 have died from COVID-19.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.
A look at other developments:
Murphy, a Democrat, said in a tweet that 300 ventilators are on their way to New Jersey from the national stockpile.
Murphy said he spoke with the White House about the need for the equipment in multiple conversations. He said they are the state's No. 1 need.
LIQUOR STORE REOPENS
A liquor store that was inundated with residents of Pennsylvania, where the state has closed the wine and hard-alcohol shops it runs, has reopened, the store's manager told NJ.com.
Johnny Canal said he decided to close the Pennsauken store last week after it was swamped by residents from Pennsylvania over concerns that customers were not adhering to social-distancing precautions.
The store reopened after it updated a sign outside saying that “Social Distancing Saves Lives,” and employees directed customers where to stand in line.
OCEAN CITY RENTALS
In Ocean City, Mayor Jay Gillian said he has spoken with leaders of the resort's real estate community, who agreed to halt all short-term rentals.
He asked private property owners to do likewise, citing an executive order by governor prohibiting online marketplaces from offering rentals during the virus outbreak.
In a message to residents issued Sunday night, Gillian, who has tried to avoid being drawn into disputes between year-round and summer residents over whether owners of second homes should stay away from Ocean City, said: “Although Ocean City ordinarily welcomes all visitors, at this time we must take all available steps to enforce social distancing recommendations and limit nonessential travel to Ocean City.”
(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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