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Build a Better Bridge: Why the Hudson Valley Wants Transit on the Tappan Zee

New York State is on the verge of one of the largest transportation projects in the nation - the replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge. Hudson Valley residents, business owners, elected officials and environmental advocates participated in the State DOT’s ten-year, 280 meeting planning process. Through these meetings and millions of dollars of State studies, a consensus emerged that transit was a vital component of the Tappan Zee Bridge project.

According to the State’s own documents “Without major transit investments, already unacceptable levels of congestion are forecasted to occur in the corridor far into the future.”

In the fall of 2011 Governor Cuomo reversed course, deciding that the bridge project would move forward without transit. The State now proposes to build a $5 billion bridge that is twice as wide as the current bridge and provides no relief to the increasing traffic congestion that threatens to constrain the region’s growth and diminish quality of life in the villages and towns along the I-287 corridor.

Local leaders are joined by over 20 environmental, good government and labor groups in calling on Governor Cuomo to put transit back into the Tappan Zee Bridge project. This video shows how they are fighting for this once in a lifetime opportunity to relieve congestion in the I-287 corridor and local roads, improve air quality, achieve sustainability goals, and reduce motorist travel time.

The state is accepting public comment on its Tappan Zee DEIS until March 15th. You can find more information on upcoming public hearings on this project and to tell the Governor to put transit back into the project at www.brtonthebridge.org.

Robin Urban Smith is a multimedia storyteller who prefers to go by bike.

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  • Bill R. WASHBURN

    Glaringly missing from this video are human-powered transit routes across the Tappan Zee.

  • JamesR

    Very nice work on this video. I'm guessing that you reached out to State DOT but that they weren't willing to speak about the project. Didn't someone once call Andrew Cuomo 'the dirtiest, nastiest political operator out there'? If the history of NYS infrastructure projects is any guide, he may very well get what he wants. I'm seeing lots of support for TZB transit by the grassroots and by local pols, but what this really needs is someone on the level of Schumer or Gillebrand to oppose the transit-free bridge proposal. My impression is that Cuomo does not see the local pols as peers in any way and thus their pleas on this issue will continue to go ignored without the backing of some heavy hitters. 

  • Guesto Gusto

    Bill,

    I believe there is a ped-bike path proposed/included for the bridge.

  • archie

    Transit will never "relieve" congestion. It can, however, provide a competitive, safe, and socially just alternative to congestion.

  • Tallycyclist

    If they do put these in, I hope it'll be more than just a very small handful of people ever walking/biking the bridge.  Otherwise it could reflect badly on future proposals to install similar type facilities elsewhere.  But I'm not familiar with this area, so it may very well host a high rate of both.  

  • http://twitter.com/JaredRodriguez Jared Rodriguez
  • http://twitter.com/JaredRodriguez Jared Rodriguez

    The bridge does not lend itself to a high volume of pedestrian activity. The bridge is very long (3 miles) and the traffic noise will be extremely unpleasant next to the bike/ped path. The path will likely only serve dedicated cyclists, walkers and joggers - not those looking for foot-based commuting options. The bike/ped path is a necessity, but it will not take drivers off the road. There are other options, like restoring the West Shore Railroad and increasing cross-Hudson ferry service to MetroNorth railroad/bus connections. http://haverstrawlife.com/2012/02/15/tzb-transit-alternative-expand-ferry-service/

  • http://walkbikejersey.blogspot.com/ Andy B from Jersey

    Hmmm....

    That was the same negative thinking about putting bike/ped on the Ravenel Bridge in South Carolina.  Today the 2.7 mile, 12 foot wide bike/ped lane is a critical link for the East Coast Greenway and is a major destination for local bicyclist, joggers and walkers.

    Read this interesting article!
    New study: Ravenel Bridge encourages exercise
    http://www2.counton2.com/news/2009/mar/26/new_study_ravenel_bridge_encourages_exercise-ar-544234/

  • http://twitter.com/JaredRodriguez Jared Rodriguez

     I would love to see a bike/ped path on the bridge (I will use it), but I do not believe it take drivers off the road. The path should and will be included in this bridge either way. Rockland County residents are very committed to their cars unfortunately.

  • tpzneedstransit

    FWIW, the State's DEIS already includes a bike/ped path on the bridge. Hence this film focuses on transit, which has been totally cut out of the plan.