Lettiere delivers Keynote Address at
NJ Association of Counties Spring Conference
Jersey Department of Transportation
Commissioner Jack Lettiere today delivered
the keynote address at the New Jersey
Association of Counties Spring Conference.
The conference was a comprehensive assessment
of the needs, current trends, and future
of New Jersey’s transportation
system. Lettiere gave the following
"My theme today is a concept called
reaching the productive center.
The individual entities we are responsible
for all have set boundaries. We each
have our own specific jurisdictions.
But our problems extend into each other’s
boundaries. Traffic congestion. Unbridled
growth. And these create more problems,
just like dominos: Environmental problems
like air and water quality and health
problems as well.
All of these problems lead to the same
result—a deteriorated quality
Solutions to these problems, therefore,
must reach across our boundaries and
jurisdictions. We have to view ourselves
differently than we have in the past.
So how do we cross boundaries to reach
a productive center?
For starters, we bring the poles defining
the boundaries closer together. Increasing
Transit Villages, integrated Transportation
and Land use plans, and more specifically,
projects like the Route 206 project
in Byram Township in Sussex County or
the Interstate 295 and Route 38 project
in Burlington County, are all examples
of bringing our boundaries closer together.
Admiral Rickover, the father of the
nuclear navy, once said: ‘Good
ideas are not adopted automatically.
They must be driven into practice with
courageous patience.’ Clearly,
reaching a productive center will require
patience and forbearance.
But it is by no means difficult to achieve.
If we seize the opportunities presented
to us now, rather than later, here’s
a few things we’ll end up with:
Quality projects that shape growth,
rather than react to it, sustainable
growth, long term reductions in traffic
congestion, more open space, and more
cost-effective use of limited funds.
Again, we only have to bring the boundaries
separating us together. Closer to the
middle. Closer to the productive center."