When the American Dream Mall opens, how will people get there?
The much-delayed American Dream (nee Xanadu) Mall is scheduled to open in the fall (finally!), but many New Jerseyans question what effect it will have on local roads and trains. In an article on NJSpotlight.com, it is pointed out that the new mega-mall is expected to attract as many as 150,000 visitors on its busiest days, with a total of 50 million a year.
The stress that number of people would put on area roads could be absolutely paralyzing, especially on the already heavily traveled Route 3. Considering the nightmares people experienced at the Super Bowl and Wrestelemania, can New Jersey Transit really be counted on to handle that many passengers on a regular basis? Right now, you have to go to the Secaucus hub and ride the single track spur to the Meadowlands complex and that configuration has not handled large crowds well.
There is also concern over what effect the additional passengers on the spur would have on the rest of the NJ Transit system. According to the NJSpotlight article, the current mayor of Secaucus, Mike Gonnelli, is not happy with the arrangement that the developer of the American Dream, Triple 5, has struck with the city and would like Governor Murphy to step in. The mall developer pays a yearly $100,000 “impact fee” to Secaucus that rises to $200,000 after the first two years, but the mayor says that was based on previous, smaller, plans for the facility. He told CBS2 in New York that if Secaucus can’t get more money from the developer or the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority for the additional police, EMS, and traffic control, he will sue.
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