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New Jersey Herald - November 17, 1949 issue

Highway, Railroad Officials Give Views On Transportation

State Commissioner Outlines Plans For Roads Here; Lackawanna To Study New Station

What Sussex County can expect by way of improvements in transportation facilities, both highways and rail, was outlined last night by state Highway Commissioner Spencer Miller, Jr., and by Robert H. Taylor, division passenger agent, of the Lackawanna Railroad, at a dinner meeting of the Branchville Business Men's Club at McKeown's Culvers Lake Inn, Route S-31.

Specifically, Commissioner Miller said improvements are planned for Route 23, widening of Route 6A between Lafayette and Ross Corner, and increasing the width of several bridges. He said that the state highway department will continue to improve the existing road system, and would, in the future, consider a spur highway to connect the county with one of the parkways which the state is now planning.

Taylor, on behalf of the railroad company, promised to investigate the possibility of building a station on the main line of the road at Roseville near Andover to provide fast service to Hoboken and New York. He made it clear that railroad operations in Sussex County in the past have not been profitable, that passenger traffic here in the past five years has decreased sharply. He added that the company is willing to co-operate and will give full consideration and study to any request or suggestions made for improvement of the service.

Commissioner Miller devoted the main portion of his speech to explaining the "transportation revolution" caused by the increased use of motor vehicles in the past 30 years. He emphasized that New Jersey urban sections of the state, where the density is greatest, will receive first attention. He outlined the state plans for the construction of parkways and freeways and said it will take 20 years to modernize the state highway system.

The Commissioner said the problems of Sussex County are "very much in mind", but these problems must be met by a complete over-all plan for the whole state.

Taylor was introduced by A.M. Bimson, assistant general manager in charge of personnel of the Lackawanna railroad. Bimson, who owns a home near Lake Owassa, said that the management of the railroad is open minded, and if the business is to be had in Sussex County, the company wants to get it. Taylor spoke briefly on the modernization program of the railroad company and then threw the meeting open for a general discussion.

When Assemblyman Amos Dixon criticized the company officials for an unco-operative attitude, Taylor assured him that officials are now ready and willing to listen to any new suggestions and act on them as far as possible. In response to a question by State Sen. Alfred B. Littell, Taylor said he did not think a motor railcar shuttle service between Sussex county and Dover would be satisfactory or practical. When Douglas Roy complained about engines belching soot and smoke in Branchville, Taylor declared the situation is controllable and promised to take action to correct it.

Michael Hudson, one of the operators of the Northeast Coachline spoke briefly of the service his line offers between Sussex County and New York and said that it will be improved in the near future after the bus starts using a shorter route.

Samuel Silverman, president of the club, presided over the meeting.