By Harold V. Kane, Monroe Township
In the editorial page of October 12 Paul Mulshine, correctly, continued to question the ARC rail tunnel. Inadvertently, the Star Ledger business section supported Mr. Mulshine’s position.The business section (page 7) stated that there is almost 40M square feet of office space available in NJ. 40M square feet of space will support 200,000 employees, at an average of 200 square feet per employee. The ARC supporters refuse to consider that NJ residents would actually prefer to work near their homes in NJ, rather than commute to NYC. Even if they had to take a pay cut to work near home, it would be worth it. As a former commuter I can make this statement.
Governor Christie was correct to cancel the tunnel. It will be New Jersey’s version of Boston’s “Big Dig”. One major difference between the two projects is that Massachusetts was forced to pay the lion’s share of the cost as the cost spiked from $8B to $24B. But, in this case the benefit accrued to Massachusetts and the Mass. construction unions. In the case of the ARC tunnel all of the benefits accrue to NYC, with NJ getting the cost overrun tab. If you do not think that there will be cost overruns, then you know nothing about construction-related activities in NYC.
New Jersey needs to get out of this 1960s mindset that states that anything that the public sector proposes has merit and must be done. A great first step in this direction would be to stand by the decision to cancel the tunnel and to implement tax and economic policies designed to fill up these 4M square feet of empty space.
Harold V. Kane is the GOP candidate for Middlesex County Clerk