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As Others See Us

As Others See Us: NPR on the TZB

Governor Andrew Cuomo, in Tarrytown on 11/15/2010. Photo Credit: Andrea Bernstein, TransportationNation.org/WNYCNyack, Nov 16 — A day after the public comment period closed on the scoping plans for a new Tappan Zee Bridge, WNYC published a story called “When ‘€” and Where ‘€” Did Transit Over The Tappan Zee Bridge Go?” documenting how nine years of planning and rationale about mass transit mysteriously disappeared. This story, complementing an earlier article by StreetsBlogNYC, points the finger at one particular elected official for the demise of planned BRT and CRT transportation options in the I-287 corridor project. Starting in 2002, a big part of the bridge rebuild rationale was additional capacity and reduced congestion. But last month, those arguments disappeared replaced by a new emphasis on construction jobs. According to WNYC, the turning point was the election of Andrew Cuomo as governor.

The report includes a fairly damning actuality from the Governor-elect simultaneously promoting mass transit and then hedging on its prospects. “Could you actually improve transportation in the region with a replacement bridge that could include rail, for example,” said Cuomo on Nov 15, 2010 in a photo op in Tarrytown. “The flip side is the cost of a new bridge, the planning, the delay, so those are issues that are going to have to be weighed.’€

Local officials, previously involved in the process, say they were blindsided by the governor’s surprise announcement  last month on 10/12. “We couldn’t get any information from anybody ‘€” from the state or the federal government,” said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. “All of a sudden we saw that the new design would not entail bus rapid transit or mass transit.”

Although the official public comment period for the new bridge plan is over, if WNYC’s theory is correct, there’s still one public official who’s mailbox is still open for comments.

Source: When ‘€” and Where ‘€” Did Transit Over The Tappan Zee Bridge Go? WNYC.org, 11/16/2011

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