How Stupid Can You Get? Plenty Stupid.
So, the Tappan Zee Bridge — an unloved but critical transportation link which is rapidly falling into disrepair — is turning out to be a black eye for regional planning. Can you imagine planning a new bridge across the Hudson in the greater NYC area, in 2012, without any provision for mass transit?
Tappan Zee Bridge Plan Draws Complaints and Questions - Peter Applebone via NYTimes.com
Financing for the $5.2 billion bridge remains a riddle, with sharp, unpopular toll increases likely, and environmental groups are concerned about what will be the biggest dredging project in the history of the Hudson.
But the biggest complaint, one that comes from the executives of three area counties, local mayors and state legislators, and from transportation and planning groups, is that the state is building a second misconceived Tappan Zee by dropping plans to include mass transit as part of the construction.
The Westchester County executive, Rob Astorino, commended the governor for moving the project forward. But he said that a bridge without mass transit would look back to the 1950s instead of to the future. “In an iPad world, an eight-track bridge will be hopelessly obsolete before construction begins,” Mr. Astorino, a Republican, said.
The criticism has irked Mr. Cuomo, whose advocacy helped get the Tappan Zee on a list of 14 projects chosen by the Obama administration last fall for expedited review.
Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, said that the bridge would be built with the potential to add mass transit, and that the decade-long delay and criticism now were emblematic of the inability to build almost any major public works program. More to the point, he said in a phone interview, mass transit could double the project’s cost, and he added that the region could not afford more delays on an unsafe, deteriorating bridge that could cost $1 billion to maintain over the next decade.
“There are a lot of nice ideas out there that you can argue should be done but for the money,” Mr. Cuomo said. “I know, but that’s life.
“If we only had an additional $5 billion we could do this, but we don’t,” he said, referring to bus service. (Adding rail would cost billions more than that.)
Mr. [Charles] Komanoff [an economist and policy analyst] said a mammoth bridge without transit would create perverse incentives to increase car traffic, with its costs in pollution and carbon emissions.
“The problems of paying off the debt, I think, are going to be so severe they will instill a powerful incentive to generations up and down the Hudson Valley to pump up the traffic levels over the Tappan Zee,” he said.
And what will it cost 15 years in the future to retrofit the bridge for mass transit? $25 billion?
Of course, it might be resolved when the existing bridge falls into the Hudson, since the project started three governors ago and no construction has begun: in fact, the funding sources aren’t even settled.
Note that the bridge is costing at least $100M per year in maintenance, and was the planned overhaul was selected for expedited review by the Obama administration last year.
Here’s a chance for Andrew Cuomo to take on a long-term project that will create tens of thousands of jobs, and to create a real legacy of his time as governor, and he is falling way short of what we need him to do.
beaconstreets reblogged this from underpaidgenius and added:
[crossposted from underpaidgenius] So, the Tappan Zee Bridge — an unloved but critical transportation link which is...
slashslash reblogged this from underpaidgenius and added:
So, the Tappan Zee Bridge — an unloved but critical transportation link which is rapidly falling into disrepair — is...
- underpaidgenius posted this