Un-numbered update: It's now officially BridgeGate!

Here's something I found while perusing the 'data dump' of 'BridgeGate' documents released today. Find the whole dump here:

BridgeGate Data Dump

Basically, there was a study already scheduled, called the 'Center & Lemoine Traffic Data'. A consultant (Hardesty & Hannover) had been hired to install traffic cameras to study the NORMAL traffic flow in order to plan traffic diversion for a future project called 'Center & Lemoine Avenue Bridge Deck Replacement'. Here is one of the e-mails in the data dump:


Now look at 2 e-mails from 9/11/13 between people involved in the REAL traffic study:

In the last e-mail, the engineer complains that, because of Wildstein's 'TL24 test', '... we are getting skewed traffic data in this area.'

It's pretty obvious that Wildstein's 'TL24 test' was not authorized or planned through normal channels - certainly none of the real traffic study people knew anything about it beforehand.

In other documents, it is clear that the first clue that bridge operations people knew about Wildstein's 'TL24 test' was on the afternoon of Friday 9/6/13, conveniently leaving nobody any time to deal with it before Monday morning.

As for the incomplete PDF that purports to show some sort of results - perhaps from the 'TL24 test' - I'm still looking at that. It's difficult to figure it has any meaning, other than someone hurriedly, and after-the-fact, trying to cobble together enough garbage to fool people that it was the results of a real traffic study.

Sorry for the crude presentation of this diary. I'm trying to get this out quickly so everyone interested can understand more about the details of this debacle.


UPDATE: How David Wildstein planned and carried out the retribution

I've been wondering how he did it, and why it took so long (from the 8/5 e-mail from the deputy c-o-s to 9/9 implementation).

Here's some traces and what I think is a plausible explanation:

Wildstein asked Peter Zipf, presumably the boss of Jose Rivera (Chief Traffic Engineer), for some scenarios to possibly modify the traffic flow out of Fort Lee onto the GWB. Rivera presented 3:

The date on this e-mail is 8/28 (sorry, my crude screen capture missed it)

So it took 3 weeks for Wildstein's request to work its way through the Port Authority. Remember, Wildstein needed some sort of 'cover', he couldn't just call up on 8/5 and say 'close those lanes tomorrow'.

Next, we see another e-mail from Zipf to Waldstein (apparently the request mentioned was by phone - no e-mail appears to exist)

And here is what Jose Rivera added to the e-mail above that had 3 options. Apparently none of the 3 was restrictive (read punitive) enough for Wildstein:
So the Chief Traffic Engineer (of either the GWB or PA) was given a seemingly innocuous task: look at possible modifications to traffic flow for the Fort Lee bridge entrance. He did that, then added an even more restrictive one at the behest of Wildstein. At that point, this was all apparently just academic - there is no mention anywhere of actually doing any of these options.

I'll have another update shortly, relating to the implantation.

UPDATE 2: When did PA Traffic Engineering find out about 'TL24'?

Here's the e-mail that let Traffic Engineering know about the planned lane closures:

So at 8:10am on Friday 9/6, Wildstein pulled the trigger. Nobody knew that this was going to happen, and as other e-mails above show, news of the planned closures didn't really circulate until late in the afternoon, too late to really do anything about it.

I agree that none of this is a 'smoking gun' that implicates Gov. Christie. I'm merely trying to figure out some of the timeline and actions that occurred.

UPDATE 3: Evidence this wasn't a legitimate 'traffic study'

For those who might think Wildstein's 'TL24 Test' was somehow a normal traffic study, let's take a look at Director Foy's letter of early 9/13:

This is totally unambiguous. He references this 'hasty and ill-advised decision' multiple times - which is not the way one refers to a legitimate engineering study - and in the penultimate paragraph, details what is required for any future changes in actual traffic patterns.

Reading that paragraph, I got the feeling that he was mainly reiterating existing policies for changing traffic patterns.

This tells me that the 'TL24 test' was completely unauthorized and failed to follow policy.


Originally posted to databob on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 05:11 PM PST.

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