Bayshore Heritage Byway

There is a new coastal trail being proposed to snake through Cape May, Cumberland, and Salem counties here in southern New Jersey.

The Bayshore Heritage Byway is a route through unique natural and historically significant landscapes along southern New Jersey’s “western shore.” The proposed Byway through Salem, Cumberland and Cape May Counties offers travelers a multitude of destinations to explore the Bayshore’s natural, historic and cultural assets.

Offering views of the Delaware River and Bay, marshlands, wildlife, farm fields, historic architecture and evidence of past and present industries inextricably tied to land and water, the Bayshore Heritage Byway is seeking nomination for designation as a New Jersey Scenic Byway through the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). Funding for this project was provided through the Federal Highway Administration’s National Scenic Byways Discretionary Grant Program.

This sounds wonderful.  I am definitely among the target audience of such a trail.  I favor it . . . in theory.

I would love for this project to succeed.  The problem is that New Jersey cannot afford the project.

Notice who the participants include:

  • Delaware River Bay Authority
    Policy and Planning
  • NJ Department of Agriculture
    Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • NJ Department of Agriculture
    Development Committee / Farmland Preservation Program
  • New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Green Acres Program
    Planning & Information Management
    Division of Fish & Wildlife
  • NJ State Park Service
    Southern Region Office
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/
    Cape May National Wildlife Refuge
    NJ State Historic Preservation Office
  • NJ Department of State
    Division of Travel and Tourism
  • Parvin State Park
    NJ Park Service
  • Pinelands Commission
    South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization

All taxpayer-funded agencies.  There are more on the list.  The big one who is spearheading the project is the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Recall dear reader, that the DOT is broke. So broke that Governor Corzine indebted us for 30 years to fund it for five years. Those five years are coming to an end and Corzine has other ideas to fund it like raising the tolls on New Jerseys highways significantly.  Recall that most New Jerseyans are not in favor of that plan.

The alternative is not to add to the spending of the DOT.  Rather, it is to cut costs.  The Bayshore Heritage Byway is a cost that needs to be cut.  New Jersey taxpayers cannot afford such a project.

Would it be wonderful?  Indeed.  But severe financial issues need serious attention.  We need to say No to new spending.  This is new spending.  Say No, no matter how much you want it.

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