Transportation officials say they are re-evaluating the $3.6 billion Atlantic City regional transportation master plan in light of Atlantic City’s shrinking market and the state’s shrinking resources. (Who didn’t see that coming?)

And with little support from Gov. Chris Christie for a gas-tax increase to replenish the state’s Transportation Trust Fund, expect those state transportation resources to continue to shrink.

Still, taking a step back isn’t all bad. Apparently, plans to convert Atlantic and Pacific avenues into one-way streets is the first idea to get shelved. Transportation gurus have continued to push this plan for ages, in spite of the fact that Atlantic City politicians have refused to consider it because of pressure from the jitney drivers and whatever other local interest happens to be against it at the time. However sensible the one-way idea is, just give it up.

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Also at the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce forum yesterday, DOT Commissioner Jim Simpson called Atlantic City International Airport a “hidden gem” and suggested that airport officials court air-cargo carriers.

And I’ve also been hearing ACY described as a “hidden gem” for decades. When does it stop being a secret and reach its full potential?

Sure, there have been plenty of improvements, and the airport has been considerably updated over the years. But a lot of people still believe its underused and underserved by airlines.

Airport improvements are included in the$3.6 billion transportation plan too — including Aa road that directly connects the expressway to the airport and rail service. 

That might help. But it will be expensive. And funding for the state’s Transportation Trust Fund remains a huge question mark.


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