Atlantic City Road Diet to Proceed, Judge Finds No ‘Irreparable Harm’

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Posted on: January 27, 2024, 10:00h. 

Last updated on: January 29, 2024, 11:59h.

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The narrowing of Atlantic Avenue successful Atlantic City will continue. A authorities judge ruled nan casino plaintiffs who asked nan tribunal to halt nan task grounded to beryllium irreparable harm.

Atlantic City roadworthy narrowing lawsuitAtlantic City’s Atlantic Avenue astatine Caesars. The narrowing of Atlantic Ave. will proceed aft a New Jersey judge dismissed arguments against nan task raised by 5 casinos connected nan Boardwalk. (Image: AP)

New Jersey Superior Court Judge Michael Blee connected Friday dismissed an injunction petition from 5 Boardwalk casinos and a section wellness attraction system. The plaintiffs based on that reducing nan number of vehicular lanes connected Atlantic Ave. from 4 to 2 would further summation postulation congestion — an unappealing show for arriving casino guests — and could hold emergency vehicles trying to scope AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center to supply life-saving services.

The tribunal does not see nan individual inconvenience of residents and visitors to beryllium irreparable harm,” Blee wrote.

Atlantic City officials, including Mayor Marty Small Sr., judge narrowing nan city’s main resistance successful a “road diet” will amended pedestrian safety. Nearly 10% of nan much than 800 conveyance accidents connected Atlantic Ave. betwixt 2013 and 2017 progressive a pedestrian.

By reducing nan number of vehicular lanes from 4 to two, Atlantic Ave.’s sidewalks will beryllium widened to facilitate easier stepping and forestall pedestrians from stepping onto nan roadworthy to get astir slower people.

Trial Scheduled

Bally’s, Caesars, Hard Rock, Resorts, and Tropicana reason a much congested Atlantic Ave. will further dampen nan presence acquisition for its guests.

The Atlantic City Expressway arrives astatine Baltic Ave. and Christopher Columbus Blvd. Guests proceed consecutive to Caesars aliases make a near aliases correct connected Atlantic Ave. to scope their casino destination.

The Atlantic City Boardwalk casino properties and AtlantiCare are disappointed successful today’s ruling,” said Mark Giannantonio, president of nan Casino Association of New Jersey and Resorts Casino Hotel. “We guidelines patient successful our belief that this alteration successful postulation patterns connected Atlantic Avenue could person very existent nationalist health, safety, and wide use implications.”

Even pinch 4 lanes, Atlantic Ave. becomes highly engaged during summer, pinch marquee events and concerts.

Ocean Casino Resort, nan northernmost gaming spot connected nan Boardwalk, and nan 3 Marina District casinos — Borgata, Harrah’s, and Golden Nugget — are not participating successful nan roadworthy fare litigation.

The lawsuit will caput to a afloat proceedings but apt won’t beryllium heard until February 2025. The road-narrowing task is expected to beryllium vanished by this spring. The task began past period and is already astir half complete.

Blee says if nan proceedings goes nan plaintiffs’ way, Atlantic Ave. tin beryllium marked to return nan roadway to 4 lanes.

Casino Foe, Not Friend

The casinos and AtlantiCare based on that nan roadworthy narrowing needed support from nan Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), which has jurisdiction complete nan city’s Tourism District wherever Atlantic Ave. is being trimmed. The metropolis argued, and Blee agreed, that nan authorities holds last authority and CRDA did not participate successful nan lawsuit.

Blee’s ruling is his latest determination against nan Atlantic City casino industry. In 2022, Blee overturned a woody reached betwixt New Jersey lawmakers and nan casinos that sought to importantly trim nan magnitude of money they salary under their PILOT (payment successful lieu of tax) program.

Blee said nan state’s willingness to region iGaming and online sports betting gross from nan calculation determining really overmuch spot taxation nan casinos collectively salary violated nan authorities constitution. That’s because it provided a taxation use to an manufacture without a “public purpose.”

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