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news release

P.O. Box 600
Trenton, NJ

Contact: Joseph Fiordaliso

RELEASE: April 5, 2004

Lettiere delivers Keynote Address at NJ Association of Counties Spring Conference

(TRENTON)—New 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 remarks:

"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 of life.

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."

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  Last Updated:  May 14, 2004