Atlantic City Casinos Sue State Due to Traffic Concern

01/05/2024
Industry
Online Casino New Jersey

Highlights

  • Casinos feel the traffic plan will harm emergency services.
  • Welfare implications could be at play with the planned lane decrease.
  • The city apparently did not fill out an application with the CRDA to change the roadway.

The new year is not kicking off in the best way for New Jersey casinos. A lawsuit has been filed by a group of casinos in Atlantic City in response to a planned road diet for Atlantic Avenue. Officials are planning on cutting the roadway from four lanes to two, with the project already begun the restriping process to showcase the new traffic pattern.  

The casinos feel the change will result in a negative outcome in several ways, detrimental to visitors' and residents' health and well-being. A hearing will take place on January 26 with Judge Michael Blee to review the matter.  

Traffic Congestion Will Be An Issue 

The road diet will limit the four lanes to two and will create a center turning lane and bike lanes on the side of the road. Parking places are also set for the roadways. Casinos in Atlantic City are fearful that the change will lead to increased traffic congestion. This will in turn, lead to issues with emergency service response and the ability for the public to access the local casinos.

The casinos sent a letter to the state, via their attorney Keith Davis, that pointed out the major issues with the plan. Casino Association of New Jersey and Resorts Atlantic City's Mark Giannantonio commented that the change in traffic patterns could create a real concern for the health and safety of the public.

Ambulances typically use Atlantic Avenue to access the AtlanticCare Regional Medical Center, and the ease of access is needed to provide lifesaving treatment to the public. The roadway is also a coastal evacuation route if a serious storm threat were to occur and is the main pathway for NJ Transit buses.

All of this creates major issues in New Jersey if the plan moves forward. Giannantonio also says that the city started the road diet without filling out an application with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which is required for such changes.

Road Diet Not Stopping  

While the NJ casinos may not be happy with the traffic change, it’s going to continue. Attorneys for the casino have pointed out that the road diet must have a traffic study completed by a traffic engineer before it can move forward. The mayor apparently does not agree.

In a statement, Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. said that powerful people have been trying to stop the traffic plans since the inception of the project. The mayor says the project is being done for safety of residents and visitors, and tax payers do not have to pay anything to see the streets paved or synchronized traffic lights.

Small says that Atlantic Avenue is one of the most dangerous streets in New Jersey, and the city is making every effort to change that. The goal is to provide a cleaner and safer street for 2024.

The special counsel for the city has stated they will provide improved navigation for emergency vehicles on the roadway as the project begins. The project will cost $24 million to complete and improve lighting and synchronization of street lights for better traffic flow. With reduced lanes, Atlantic City can qualify for federal and state funding to pay for the road project.

The plans move forward for now, but the casinos will have their day in court at the end of the month. If the casinos can prove that the city began the project without taking the proper steps, it could cause a halt in progress. We will see in a few weeks if the roadway change will continue or if it will be stopped in its tracks.

Having started in 2005 as an online writer, Sadonna has focused on the online gambling industry, with a keen knowledge of various subjects. Sadonna has followed the growing US-based gambling industry for decades, covering all the legal changes in the nation as well as information on land-based and online casinos. She enjoys updating fellow gamblers on new games, casino bonuses, and additional information for premium gaming services. In her spare time, Sadonna loves spending time with her family and singing on Smule. Sadonna hopes to continue working in the online gambling industry and building quality articles for players to learn more about the US market.