Response to Endorsement of ‘Smart’ Alignment for S. Jersey Rail Extension
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 18, 2009
Peter Kasabach (609) 393-0008 ext. 104
Rick Sinding (609) 393-0008 ext. 109
New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach today issued the following statement regarding the State Planning Commission’s adoption of a resolution supporting the extension of train service from Camden to Glassboro along an existing rail line:
“New Jersey Future commends the State Planning Commission, and the staff of the Office of Smart Growth, for weighing in on this critical transportation investment decision. We are particularly pleased that their decision furthers the smart-growth principles of open-space protection, center-based growth and greenhouse gas reduction.
“The recommended route—along an existing rail line, rather than a new line down a highway median—will connect older traditional towns, act as a catalyst for centralizing and expanding job growth, reduce highway congestion and counterbalance the forces of sprawl.
“This area of southern New Jersey represents one of the last frontiers for large-scale development in the state, and the rail alignment selected will be integral in shaping growth patterns in the region for decades to come. Running the line down a highway median will simply encourage more development in low-density, auto-dependent areas. In contrast, the route endorsed by the State Planning Commission will connect many of the region’s major employers, including Rowan University and Underwood Hospitals, to the walkable centers of the region’s historic downtowns, creating new transportation options for thousands of South Jersey residents.
“The unanimous recommendation of the State Planning Commission—which includes representatives of the state departments of Transportation, Environmental Protection, Community Affairs and Treasury—represents an important step toward aligning state policies and investments with the goals of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan. We urge those agencies that are ultimately responsible for choosing the alignment to follow the commission’s recommendation.”