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9th District Delegation Urges Turnpike Authority to Address Residents’ Concerns on Jimmie Leeds Rd. Access

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Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove, representing the 9th Legislative District, issued a letter to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) on the tremendous concern among Galloway residents regarding access from Jimmie Leeds Road in Galloway Township to the commuter service area located at Garden State Parkway Interchange 41.

The 9th District Legislators recently met with residents of the Four Seasons Community in Smithville during which several objections were raised about access from Jimmie Leeds Road. At their “meet your legislators” event held at the Galloway municipal building in late February of this year, the Delegation spoke with residents about the pressing need for South Jersey to have a stronger voice on the Turnpike Authority Board after similar complaints were raised on how this interchange project will negatively impact the access from Jimmie Leeds Road.

The Delegation is sponsoring legislation (S-1654/A-2250) to require that at least one member of the Turnpike Authority Board be a resident of Atlantic, Cape May County, or Ocean County. In March, S-1654 was released by the Senate Transportation Committee and was placed on Second Reading meaning the legislation is in a position for a full floor vote. Presently, A-2250 is awaiting action in the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee on which Assemblyman Rumpf currently serves as the ranking minority party member.

The Delegation’s letter to the Turnpike Authority follows:

May 11, 2012

Ms. Veronique Hakim, Executive Director
NJ Turnpike Authority
Garden State Parkway Division
PO Box 5042
Woodbridge, NJ 07095

Dear Executive Director Hakim:

This communication is in regard to the growing concern among local residents regarding access from Jimmie Leeds Road in Galloway Township to the commuter service area located at Garden State Parkway Interchange 41.

We recognize this issue was discussed during the April 10th meeting held at our 9th District Office. As you will recall, we requested the meeting in response to concerns raised at a town hall meeting. More recently, our Delegation attended a function in Galloway attended by more than 100 residents when, again, heightened concern was expressed by local residents about accessing the commuter parking area before, during and after the construction of the State Police Barracks. This aspect of the project, as we understand, is scheduled to commence in the beginning of next year.

It has become readily apparent that even as additional information on the project becomes public, a large segment of the local population remains steadfastly opposed to the forthcoming loss of access to the commuter parking area from Jimmie Leeds Road. Residents not only feel that this will cause a disruption to their daily commute but, moreover, feel their concerns are not being taken into consideration within the scope of the project as currently constituted. Accordingly, we are urging the Authority to address residents’ concerns and to modify the project’s construction plans so that residents maintain access from Jimmie Leeds Road.

Thank you, in advance, for your immediate attention to this important communication. We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

CHRISTOPHER J. CONNORS
Senator – 9th District

BRIAN E. RUMPF
Assemblyman – 9th District

DIANNE C. GOVE
Assemblywoman – 9th District

Cc: Galloway Township Mayor and Council

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