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State of New Jersey
Executive Order #128

Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco

WHEREAS, when the New Jersey Highway Authority (the "Authority") was first established in 1952, it was widely understood by the public that tolls on the Garden State Parkway (the "Parkway") would only be necessary until such time as the bonds financing the cost of the construction of the Parkway could be retired; and

WHEREAS, the Parkway has been a toll road for nearly 50 years and there is no existing plan or timetable to either permanently retire the bonds of the Authority or to phase out tolls on the Parkway; and

WHEREAS, the Authority was established and authorized to take, construct, maintain and operate the Parkway to facilitate vehicular traffic and remove the then existing handicaps and hazards on congested highways, and now the Parkway's toll barrier plazas constructed for the collection of tolls by means of periodic main line toll barriers is economically inefficient, directly impedes and interferes with the free flow of traffic, increases energy consumption, and contributes to the creation of traffic congestion and delay; and

WHEREAS, the Authority and the State will fully and affirmatively honor its financial and other obligations to its bondholders, and further, will honor its financial and other obligations as part of the electronic toll collection consortium, it must also be affirmatively stated that the first priority of the Authority is to serve the citizens of the State of New Jersey and the Parkway users; and

WHEREAS, the institution of a 24-hour, one-day, toll holiday on Labor Day 2001, which is a peak summer travel day, whereby the Authority would permit the passage of vehicles on the Parkway without the imposition of a toll or charge, will contribute to the free flow of traffic and provide much needed traffic congestion relief; and

WHEREAS, the institution of a discounted charge for EZ-Pass users will encourage greater utilization of the EZ-Pass electronic toll system, which will also contribute to the freeflow of traffic and provide traffic congestion relief; and

WHEREAS, the public expects and demands relief from the continued inconvenience of the imposition of barrier tolls on the Parkway;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD T. DiFRANCESCO, Acting Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. The Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation (the "Commissioner") is directed to prepare a Garden State Parkway Congestion Relief Plan, which will phase out toll barrier plazas on the Parkway over a stated period of time not to exceed ten (10) years. The Parkway Congestion Relief Plan shall address all issues related to the phase out of toll barrier plazas, including, but not limited to the engineering and planning, financial, and legal implications. The Commissioner may retain such consultants as are necessary for the preparation of said plan.

2. The Commissioner shall provide the Parkway Congestion Relief Plan to the Governor no later than sixty (60) days from the effective date of this Executive Order.

3. The Commissioner, who serves as an ex officio member of the Authority, is directed to request that the Authority institute a 24-hour, one-day, toll holiday on Monday, September 3, 2001. On such date, the Authority shall permit the passage of vehicles on the Garden State Parkway without the imposition of a toll or charge.

4. The Commissioner is further directed to request that the Authority offer a discounted charge for EZ-Pass users.

5. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal
this 31st day of May in the Year
of Our Lord, Two Thousand and
One, and of the Independence of
the United States, the Two Hundred
and Twenty-Fifth.

/s/ Donald T. DiFrancesco
President of the Senate,
Acting Governor
{seal}

Attest:
/s/ James A. Harkness
Chief Counsel to the Governor

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