by Patricia DuBow
Here are South Nyack Mayor Patricia DuBow’s remarks about the proposed Tappan Zee Bridge, delivered at a Feb 28 public hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project.
It’s 1952 all over again. Once again, the state plans to bulldoze South Nyack.
The original Tappan Zee Bridge project had a devastating effect on South Nyack, cutting it in two. The state now claims that the impacts to South Nyack of replacing the bridge are ‘€œinsignificant.’€
This is ridiculous.
In 1952 New York State destroyed over 100 South Nyack homes and our entire business district in order to build the Tappan Zee Bridge. Now, 60 years later, they plan to take more homes away from South Nyack citizens. This reduces South Nyack’s tax base and means everyone else’s taxes will have to go up. And for this sacrifice South Nyack gets nothing in return.
It is unconscionable to expect South Nyack to bear the burdens of this project, especially when the replacement bridge will do absolutely nothing to alleviate traffic congestion, noise, or air pollution. And with the elimination of mass transit, it also does nothing to address the original goal to ‘€œimprove mobility.’€
After ten years of talks, it is now apparent that the public input has been met with lip service. The state is studying only two bridge alternatives. Both affect South Nyack identically! There have been no serious discussions with South Nyack of alternatives to support the local community’s needs.
We in the river villages deserve better.
South Nyack has promoted a practical plan to reconnect our village and bring jobs and economic sustainability to the river villages region. Smart planning would integrate the new bridge with our local development project. This is consistent with the New York State Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Act, which requires projects to ‘€œpromote sustainability by strengthening existing communities.’€ It is also consistent with the bridge project’s own stated goal to ‘€œmaximize the public investment.’€
Our village officials are preparing a written response to the DEIS, which will be submitted shortly.
The Village of South Nyack is absolutely committed to seize this opportunity to bring lasting benefits, jobs, and sustainability to the river villages region.
We deserve no less.
Patricia DuBow is the mayor of South Nyack, NY.