Politics & Current Events

Jersey Gov. Christie Shuts Highway Toilets to Save Money


 

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wants to shut the last two rest-stop bathrooms on non-toll roads in the most densely populated U.S. state after this year to save $270,000.

?We just don?t have the money for the bathroom facilities,? Christie?s transportation commissioner, James Simpson, told members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations committee today during a hearing on his department?s $1.24 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The bathrooms scheduled to close under Christie?s plan are on Interstate 80 at the Pennsylvania border and Interstate 295 at the Delaware border. Parking areas at the rest areas will remain open for truckers under Christie?s plan, Simpson said. The closings will eliminate 18 maintenance positions, according to the department?s written response to questions from the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services.

?Lavatory and tourism facilities will now be closed on all of the state?s non-toll roadways,? the response says.

Drivers will still find bathroom facilities on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. Those are two of the busiest toll roads in the U.S., according to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Christie, a Republican who took office Jan. 19, last month proposed a $29.3 billion budget that includes $10 billion of spending reductions to help close a $10.7 billion deficit. The legislature, which is controlled by Democrats, is holding hearings on the proposal. A budget must be approved by July 1.

Simpson told lawmakers he is hoping to coax federal officials to give the state an exemption that would allow a private vendor to operate a cafe at the sites where the rest rooms are scheduled to close Jan. 1, enabling the bathrooms to stay open.

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Re: Jersey Gov. Christie Shuts Highway Toilets to Save Money

  • I think it's funny that you have to pay a toll to get a public restroom on NJ roads.  Typical.  ;-)

    Honestly though, I don't stop at public rest stops on the road - just heard too many scary stories.  Money's tight - drivers should just go to the nearest McD's or gas station and use the facilities there.  And yes, pay for a cup of coffee or pack of gum when you do so. 

  • [insert Jersey-smells-like-pee joke here]
  • Eh, none of the roads we drive on in New Jersey have public restrooms.  Public rest stops are convenient, sure, but I don't think they're necessary.

     

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  • image berry25:

    I think it's funny that you have to pay a toll to get a public restroom on NJ roads.  Typical.  ;-)

    Honestly though, I don't stop at public rest stops on the road - just heard too many scary stories.  Money's tight - drivers should just go to the nearest McD's or gas station and use the facilities there.  And yes, pay for a cup of coffee or pack of gum when you do so. 

    This was my first thought as well.  I tend to avoid public rest stops like the plague.  It's not always easy, as we travel quite a bit up and down 95 to visit my family, but we do it.

  • considering the huge cuts that were made in schools here- i couldn't care less about some toilets. People can plan ahead- or get off at one of the million "EXITS" to find a potty at the local McDonalds or gas station. No biggie.  Non-Issue if you ask me.
  • I thought the state of New Jersey is a toilet? 

    I kid, I kid!  Seems like a reasonable money saver to me too.

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  • image Smittenkitten05:
    Wow, desperate much?

    yes- pretty much --- years of democratic control in the state has put us in the sh!tter.

  • I agree that that closing of the restroom won't hurt travelers so much.  But my immediate thought went to those 18 maintenance workers that are now out of a job, who will be collecting unemployment.

    Isn't this just shifting the expense, or am I missing something?

  • $270k is kinda like putting a bandaid on an amputation
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  • image MRSmandc:

    I agree that that closing of the restroom won't hurt travelers so much.  But my immediate thought went to those 18 maintenance workers that are now out of a job, who will be collecting unemployment.

    Isn't this just shifting the expense, or am I missing something?

    You can't just keep unneeded positions because they might be collecting unemployment for 26 weeks. 

  • But but but...where are Gina and Big Mike going to find and make passionate love now??? And leave a record of the occasion on the wall for all of posterity?
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  • Rest stops have been closed in CA for about a year or two now to save cash so i don't see this as any big deal.

    I also have an "Iron Camel Bladder" or so I've been told

  • image berry25:
    image MRSmandc:

    I agree that that closing of the restroom won't hurt travelers so much.  But my immediate thought went to those 18 maintenance workers that are now out of a job, who will be collecting unemployment.

    Isn't this just shifting the expense, or am I missing something?

    You can't just keep unneeded positions because they might be collecting unemployment for 26 weeks. 

    If a maintenance worker makes 25K, that = 450K.  Divided by 2 for 26 weeks equals 225K.  Minus the taxes they pay (even if they get a refund they still pay into FICA, etc), plus the cost of any additionaly services they need due to loss of income (like food stamps); minus the revenue and sales tax they're not putting back into NJ's economy.....sounds like NJ will probably lose money on this. 

    image
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