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Local Motorists Cite Deteriorating, Dangerous Roads

In a recent letter to Governor Chris Christie concerning route 208, a New Jersey resident complained bitterly about the condition of roads in the state. "The sight is horrible," the writer complained. "This is the 'Garden State.' At this exit, it looks like the 'Dump State.'"

So far this year, Bergen and Passaic county motorists have reportedly filed several hundred complaints concerning road conditions to the state's Department of Transportation. Many are concerned with the look of things - weeds, uncut grass, garbage along the shoulders - but many others are focused strongly on dangerous conditions that increase the likelihood of car and other motor vehicle accidents.

A Paramus man, for example, wrote the governor concerning grass "so high that smaller cars cannot be seen until it is too late, leading to the chance of a severe accident." Concerning a similar situation on Route 17, another writer asked the governor to "please so kindly let me know who my attorney will need to contact with my lawsuit when I am in an accident."

These comments are not mere grousing. Across New Jersey last year, hundreds of drivers sustained tire and vehicle damage, for example, when they struck potholes. For the record, collecting on a claim for reimbursement is close to impossible; statewide in 2009, only eight out of 643 motorists prevailed against the government, which is strongly protected by state statute against money claims.

Transportation officials concede the problem, and say that deteriorating conditions in what is already the most congested state in the country are further exacerbated by shrinking resources brought on by current economic challenges.

Related Resource: "State of Bergen, Passaic County roads leads motorists to lodge hundreds of complaints" October 13, 2010

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