SITTING in traffic is the worst. It’s frustrating and infuriating. But even the worst jams are fairly forgettable. At some point the congestion clears, riders reach their destination and the story is over. After all, who cares about a traffic jam?
The Department of Justice cares. It cares a lot, at least when the jam in question involves four days of clogged traffic along the George Washington Bridge in September 2013. For 16 months the federal government has been investigating why the Port Authority mysteriously decided to shut down some lanes along the bridge connecting New York and New Jersey, backing up traffic all the way into Fort Lee, a nearby suburb. The jam was extraordinary: police and ambulances had trouble responding to emergencies, children were kept from school and commuters were hours late for work. In January 2014 leaked e-mails revealed that people close to Chris Christie, New Jersey’s governor, were involved. Bridget Anne Kelly, a senior Christie staffer, appeared to signal the closures. “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” she wrote to the governor’s friends at the Port Authority. Fort Lee...Continue reading