Former NJ Governors Warn of American Dream Traffic Impact

Rendering of American Dream Meadowlands. The project will bring serious traffic impacts to an area that already has significant congestion. | Photo: www.americandream.com

Bipartisanship does exist. Well, at least when recognizing that American Dream Meadowlands is going to be a traffic nightmare.

Former New Jersey Governors Brendan T. Byrne (D) and Tom Kean (R) highlighted this in a recent Star-Ledger column when they were asked about their thoughts on the northern New Jersey megamall project:

Q: The current Meadowlands developers say their theme park will be up and running by late next year. Could something good come out of what, to this point, has mostly been a mess?

BYRNE: I think it’s going to be a greater mess if they complete it. We’re not in a position to handle the amount of traffic it would generate. Anyone who reads this column and travels in New Jersey knows we haven’t even kept up with the transportation needs for what we have.

KEAN: Can you imagine trying to get to a Jets or Giants game with a huge shopping center and amusement park next door? It’s going to take four hours to park. This hasn’t been a good idea from Day One, and it wouldn’t be happening if every lobbyist in the state hadn’t been supporting it.

The project is estimated to add 55 million annual visitors to the Meadowlands, an area that is already plagued by traffic woes, and no adequate traffic study concerning the addition of this many people to the area’s roads has been conducted. Meanwhile, the project’s developers expect NJ Transit to add bus and rail service to the development even though the agency is already facing financial challenges that are leading to reduced service. Tri-State has called on the project’s developer to fund public transit to the site, which would ease traffic and make the destination attractive to those without cars.

Even in the face of these facts and the opposition to the idea by the former governors and others, Deutsche Bank recently granted the project’s developers a $700 million loan.

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