Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bush visit led to NJTP problems on Wednesday

Traffic Report...

The president coming to New Jersey was a big thing for some people in the GOP. It's a nice thing the president showed up for them in a fundraiser. But in the meantime, areas of the NJ Turnpike were completely shut down, causing more than a few traffic delays along the turnpike today.

If Mr. Bush needs that much space and privacy (which really isn't readily available in the Greater New York Metropolitan Area in a functional way) then the question of the overall wisdom of the trip has to be asked. The turnpike is already maxed out every day. There really isn't enough room for anyone, president of the U.S. or anyone else, to get their own lane, without creating an even greater traffic hazard for everyone else.

This trip was a fundraiser, not some matter of state. Putting New Jerseyans throughout North and Central Jersey into disarray because of some chicken dinner is ridiculous and dangerous to the driving public (which I was today to and from the city).

The whole city of New York was shut down during the GOP convention in the last presidential contest. I was in the city during the convention then. It was not an overall positive experience for residents, business people, students or most vacationers. Business suffered, the law enforcement issues and general disruption were not welcome to people that regularly travel the city on business. New York is not just another city. It is the busiest city on the planet. If someone needs to shut down whole areas of the city, ruining commerce and fostering a heavy handed police presence, it would be easier to pull something like that off in Nebraska or Oklahoma...or just somewhere else. Not here.

Enough with the drama: New Jersey needs to keep its major thoroughfares open to the public, business and travelers, and not afford star treatment nonsense to celebrities of any caliber, other than perhaps heads of state on the people's business. If someone of such status cannot travel in a reasonable way through the area, maybe they just shouldn't show up. This is true of Mr. Bush, Mr. Romney, Mr. Gore, Mrs. Clinton, or whoever else.

This isn't a partisan thing as much as it is a common sense idea. The safety of the public and commerce first; political fundraisers somewhere lower on the list.

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