by Jim Epstein
May 08, 2014
While Gov. Chris Christie’s office has taken most of the heat for the Bridgegate traffic jam that choked the city of Fort Lee, New Jersey last September, another directly responsible party has so far dodged most of its share of the well-deserved blame. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the government agency that ordered up the punitive gridlock, is a bastion of power, patronage, and bureaucracy that violates commuters and taxpayers on both sides of the bridge every day. It’s just the latest example of how an organization that was supposed to rise above politics became a tool for politicians to act out their worst impulses. The Port Authority—and the countless public authorities it inspired nationwide—demonstrate the lasting folly of the Progressive Era ethos that good public policy is all about entrusting smart people to run things.