Tunnelgate: Whose Problem Is It Anyways?

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

In early February, our video team posted a short documentary on Amtrak’s Gateway Program, aimed at repairing a troublesome spot on the New England corridor. In the video, transportation experts and annoyed commuters alike make the case for the project:

One reader objects to the headline we used (“New York City Needs to Fix Its Trains”):

New York City needs to fix its trains ... which are in New Jersey? That’s an interesting theory. I’m sure Chris Christie will be glad to hear that he bears no responsibility for PATH and NJ Transit.

Christie’s stance on the tunnel has been controversial. In 2010, the New Jersey governor “stunned other government officials and advocates of public transportation” when he brought to a screeching halt plans to build a commuter tunnel under the Hudson River, the New York Times reported.

The tunnel situation isn’t Christie’s only problem back home. Today, the editorial board of the Star-Ledger, along with five other New Jersey papers, called for the governor’s resignation. In a separate Star-Ledger editorial, Tom Moran cited Christie’s “cancellation of a new Hudson River tunnel, or your neglect of our decaying transportation infrastructure, even now”—along with a host of other complaints, including Bridgegate—in a list of positions the paper did not support.

Maybe infrastructure landmarks just aren’t Christie’s thing.