Van Drew Bill To Address Long-Standing Route 47 Traffic Problem Approved By Senate

Measure Would Commission Traffic Study to Alleviate Congestion

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May/Cumberland/Atlantic) to address a long-standing traffic problem along the Cumberland and Cape May stretches of Route 47 – a primary route to the shore – was approved today by the full Senate.

The bill (S-1133) would require the commissioners of Transportation and Environmental Protection to prepare a traffic study evaluating the best options for alleviating traffic congestion on the roadway in Cumberland and Cape May counties, as well as in the surrounding region.

The measure would require a written report be submitted to the Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and the Chair of the Assembly Transportation Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee, or their successor committees, within a year.

“Congestion in this area is a problem that has plagued our region for years, yet has remained unsolved largely because of environmental concerns,” said Senator Van Drew. “While those concerns are valid, I think by putting our heads together, we can find a way to resolve this issue once and for all, without harming the environment.”

Van Drew noted that past studies indicated completing State Route 55 and connecting it to the Garden State Parkway would solve the problem. He backs that proposal and is confident the study will find a way for it to move forward in a manner that is environmentally sound.

“Miles and miles of traffic backups not only hamper the ability of our residents to get around during the summer months, but also discourage vacationers from traveling to the region,” said Senator Van Drew. “Finally addressing this long-standing problem would improve the quality of life for our residents, and at the same time ensure sustainability of our tourism industry and viability of our local businesses.”

Late last month, Van Drew sent a letter to Governor Christie requesting that he direct the commissioners to undertake the study immediately, writing that it did not have to wait for legislative action.

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 35-1.