Main Entry: shun·pike
: a side road used to avoid the toll on or the speed and traffic of a superhighway
— shun·pik·er \-ˌpī-kər\ noun
— shun·pik·ing \-kiŋ\ noun
Source: The Merriam - Webster Online Dictionary.
That's what's going to happen if the Bozo - coiffed Governor Jon Corzine gets his way. Motorists will simply avoid the state's toll highways. It's been all over the print and online media for some time now.
Interesting how the debate has shifted, too.
Back in the early 1990's, during the anti-Jim Florio fervor, a movement arose proposing the abolition of tolls on the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike. (This harkens back to the 1890's, when Middletown resident Ovid Tuzeneu fought an anti-toll battle against the toll roads of his day which made the New York Times.) Then, in 2001, gubernatorial candidate Bret Schundler proposed a plan to abolish tolls on the Garden State Parkway; his opponent, Jim McGreevey, felt that E-ZPass was the way to go. McGreevey won and the tolls stayed up.
Now we have a governor so extreme, he is throwing out trial balloons to establish new tolls on other highways. Routes 78, 80 and 440 were a part of this scheme. While 78 and 80 are off the table (for now), 440 is still in play, with opposition.
Interestingly, the tolls were originally imposed to pay off the bonded indebtedness of the roads. Once the debts were paid off, the toll booths were to be thrown down and the roads would become a part of the State Highway System. Unfortunately, the toll road authorities soon learned that by continuing to borrow, they would keep the tolls and their bureaucracies indefinitely. Now Corzine takes it one step further by proposing linking the general state finances to the toll roads, making it well-nigh impossible to ever remove the tolls, even if a future governor or legislature wanted to. Ever.
This is a dangerous man. Corzine poses as a reformer, all the while taking state government to new levels to feed the Democratic behemoth. Case in point: The voters soundly defeated his embryonic stem cell research proposal, which was intended more as a plum for Newark and Camden than anything for science. In spite of defeat, the governor intends to go forward with the scheme.
What is to be done? The state G. O. P. needs first to realize that they are not dealing with Florio or even McGreevey. No, this is a foe who is far more crafty, totally, shall I say it? Machiavellian. Voting no or compromising is not enough.
In the meantime, if you don't like the tolls, take the shunpike.
Sen. Barry Goldwater at The Voice of Reason has a great take on the issue by Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan.