Brett Johnson |

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Bicyclists make their way through Salt Lake City traffic. Officials are pushing to promote more walking and biking as the Wasatch Front population is predicted to double in coming decades.There’s a reason some of Silicon Valley’s major companies have based their marketing operations in New Jersey. As Choose New Jersey’s Michael Chrobak will tell you: It’s an exceptional market.

And that has global resonance; Chrobak said more than half the calls his organization gets from companies interested in setting up in New Jersey are foreign businesses.

But for each business interested in entering the Garden State fray, many more of New Jersey’s workers exit.

How the state’s transportation options (or lack thereof) play into that dilemma was the subject of a symposium Wednesday in Iselin. The event was hosted by New Jersey’s chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.

Any discussion of the state’s residents leaving in droves has to begin with the costs, which was State Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s message in his keynote speech.

“Primarily it’s the middle class leaving because they can’t afford to live here anymore,” Sweeney (D-West Deptford) said. “There needs to be a solution for that, and it can’t be a partisan one.”

But the transportation funding crisis, currently a major priority for Sweeney and other state leaders, has to be part of the conversation as well. Read more