Garden State Parkway Reconstruction Still Impacting Locals

Photo courtesy Ocean County Scanner News
Photo courtesy Ocean County Scanner News

It has been over five and a half years since the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) began the destruction of the area of the Garden State Parkway between mile post 95 and 89. This negatively impacted the lives of thousands of Brick, Howell and Lakewood residents.

With the destruction and creation of many of the exits they lined the pockets of lobbyists, power brokers and some politicos. The new exiting ramps and the roadway expansion of the Garden State Parkway is a financial windfall for the insiders and bureaucrats that run those Big Government Bureaucracies like the NJTA.

The NJTA has said they did not expand the Parkway and move the roadway closer to the homes in Evergreen Woods but this is semantics used in a manner that distorts the true meaning of roadway expansion and exiting lanes. A lane that begins north of the southbound mile marker 103.0 ends in its last half mile as a lane that exits into the Exit 91 toll booths cannot truly be called an exiting ramp by any normal, honest definition. If they were being honest they would have done the “RIGHT” thing five years ago.

What is needed on the Garden State Parkway adjacent to Evergreen Woods, Primrose Gardens, Greenbriar, Birchwood Park, Sutton Village and other places in Brick Township is increased forestation as well as a 14-foot pollution, safety and noise wall to curtail some of the damage caused by the illegal actions of the commissioners of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. Over the past years, it has been brought to the attention of the NJTA, the statehouse, the county government and the Township Council here in Brick that the illegal actions of the NJTA on the Garden State Parkway have caused harm to the residents. Many studies brought before the council and the NJTA have shown how the toxins associated with the Garden State Parkway traffic have caused a variety of health ailments, but nothing moves the powerful greed-driven commissioners, directors and lobbyists of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

The one benefit I have received over the last 65 months, speaking before the council, is that I have met many people who I did not know before and people I have may not have spoken to in many years. These new and former associations have been created by the inaction of the NJTA because over that period hundreds of people have stopped to talk to me about the problems they have had since the NJTA committed to this project without concern for our citizens. Many have stated that they could never stand up before the council and speak up against the government inaction. All but a few said they wished me well and can’t believe I have the stamina to continually show the council the problems associated with the destruction. Even today, I again was stopped by two people and told they watch me on TV and said they are happy I go before the council because they would have given up a long time ago.

I told them, that is what governments and bureaucracies do. They drag things out, they ignore problems and they hope you go away. It is a well-used technique that works more often than not and when it doesn’t completely work then the governments and bureaucracies appease in part. The NJTA tried that a few years ago with a small group of trees planted in Evergreen Woods but that hardly helped the residents of EverGreen Woods and did nothing for the thousands of other residents. Often people say that the people in government will never stand up and fight with you because they will say they are volunteers (despite having health benefits or other compensation). In reality, some of this is true. Remember the first council that existed during the initial destruction? They said if the NJTA didn’t do the “right thing” they would stand here with the people and once they were out of office, they disappeared.

I always mention that our local government tries to help. I usually get the feedback that they would rather talk about getting a meal in some restaurant, or attend a play, or march in a parade than they would stand up and speak out, as well as take legal action against the Big Business – Big Government Cartel. A wall and increased forestation is the minimum that is needed but the thousands of impacted citizens can’t do it while the more influential just sit back and smile.


John Sluka


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