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Tappan Zee Bridge

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League Supports Mass Transit on New Tappan Zee Bridge

The League of Women Voters of Westchester (LWVW) welcomes the publication of the Mass Transit Task Force report on the new Tappan Zee Bridge and commends the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) and Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) for organizing the effort and the Task Force members for their work on this critical problem.

League Supports Mass Transit on New Tappan Zee Bridge

The League of Women Voters of Westchester (LWVW) welcomes the publication of the Mass Transit Task Force report on the new Tappan Zee Bridge and commends the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) and Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) for organizing the effort and the Task Force members for their work on this critical problem.

We are pleased, first, to see that the Task Force has built on the basis of the Tappan Zee Bridge-287 Corridor Study conducted by NYSTA, NYSDOT and Metro North Railroad (MNR), in which we participated from 1999 to 2011. The Task Force appears to have gone on to develop a simpler, more workable, less costly product. Its recommendations are broken into three phases: short-term, from February 2014 to opening of the new bridge in 2018; mid-term, up to 15 years after completion of the bridge and long-term, 15 years from completion of the bridge. They call for three Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes between Rockland and Westchester County, three routes within Westchester and one route connecting Westchester and the Bronx, all operating under a unified fare system. A transportation center (TransCenter) at the White Plains Railroad Station, funded by a $1-million grant from the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council to the City of White Plains would underpin this regional, multimodal transportation system and maximize economic development around the station. It could also help integrate the new system with existing bus and rail systems. A management entity for the whole is foreseen.

The three proposed Westchester routes are: the Navy, running from Tarrytown, mainly along Route 119, to The Westchester in White Plains; the Platinum, running from the TransCenter, mainly along Westchester Avenue, to the MNR station at Port Chester; and the Gold, running from The Westchester, mainly along Central Avenue south to the Bronx at Bedford Park Boulevard. A Purple Route would run south from the TransCenter to the Medical Center in Valhalla. With pre-boarding fare payment at sheltered stops, modern branded buses servicing fewer stations than in the previous study, dedicated BRT lanes and innovations such as ramp metering and queue jumping -- both of which would control traffic signals to favor the BRT buses -- the system could well provide an appealing, rapid travel system that would encourage residents to abandon their cars for mass transit.

Commendably, the recommendations reflect sensitivity to environmental concerns, although the tough choices here are reserved to the mid- and long-term. Reportedly, the members have had a good give-and-take with the State. Going forward, the Task Force calls for the local input that would make the plan successful if it were to be put into effect.

Not surprising in the current financial climate, however, in the end the members have come up against the same hurdle faced by participants in the previous study: that of cost. This remains unspecified, although possible sources of funds for implementation of the plan are listed. As the Task Force notes, progress on the overall plan will depend on the sources of any funding.

The League urges the Task Force participants now to press their recommendations on the State and all who might aid in realizing their plan and to vigorously pursue funding, so that --true to Governor Cuomo's commitment -- mass transit can be in place when the new bridge is completed in 2018.

March 13, 2014

February 19, 2014 The TZB Replacement Project - An Update.

Speaker: Brian Conybeare, Special Advisor to the Governor, The New NY Bridge Project, New York State Thruway Authority Sponsored by: American Association of University Women- Westchester Branch

LWVW Cosponsored November 15, 2013 Symposium

Tappan Zee Bridge: LWVW Cosponsored Nov. 15 Symposium on "Exploring the Potential for Bus Rapid Transit and Transit-Oriented Development in the I287/Tappan Zee Bridge Corridor" The symposium touted BRT's potential in the I-287 corridor. For details click here.

http://blog.tstc.org/2013/11/18/symposium-touts-brts-potential-in-the-i-287-corridor/

TZB Update June 2013

Over the course of the past month activity surrounding the new TZB has been on-going. Construction on the new bridge has begun. There will be a community meeting to discuss aspects of the bridge construction as well as potential traffic delays on June 28, 2013, at 9:30am. The meeting will be held at Dominican College, The Lawrence Room in Rosary Hall, 470 Western Highway Orangeburg, NY 10962 and is open to the public. Some of the significant accomplishments over the past month are listed below. The TZB study committee will continue to monitor progress throughout the summer months.

May 3, 2013 -- Westchester Temporary Trestle Construction Scheduled to Begin This is the first of the temporary work trestles to be constructed as part of the TZB project. The trestle is a work platform that will support a crane for the construction of the easternmost 1000 feet of the new bridge.

May 10, 2013 -- State-Of-The-Art Environmental Monitoring System Online These devices will record the level of sound, vibration and air quality and the data will be available to the public online at http://www.newnybridge.com as part of the New York State Thruway Authority's commitment to openness and transparency.

June 7, 2013 -- Hudson River Test Borings for the New NY Bridge Completed The New York State Thruway Authority announced that test boring operations in the Hudson River have been completed.

June 14, 2013 -- Large Cranes Start To Arrive On the Hudson River Next Week Two large barge-mounted cranes that will be used to place permanent piles for the substructure of the New NY Bridge Project will arrive throughout the next two weeks. Upon arrival, crews will start to assemble each crane and moor them until the test pile operations begin in mid-July. The cranes will be moored on the north side of the bridge closer to the Rockland County side of the Hudson River.

June 22, 2013

LWVW Comments on Tappan Zee Bridge Project

The League of Women Voters of Westchester (LWVW) commends the process pursued by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) and MTA Metro North Railroad (MNR) during consideration of the Tappan Zee Bridge-I-287 Corridor Project in the past few years. Discussions with the stakeholders advisory groups (SAWGs), on which League members served, were thorough, open and inclusive, and those in charge were responsive to suggestions made. We hope this process will continue under the Federal Highway Administration and the NYSDOT with the Tappan Zee Hudson River Crossing Project unveiled locally on October 25, 2011.

As to the substance of the new project, the League has strong reservations about it as it now stands.

Dear Westchester County Voter,

Since 1920, the League has encouraged citizens to become informed and to actively participate in government. Local candidates have come to rely on us for unbiased conduct of candidates' debates, and our constituents, for monitoring the legislative process and for formulating recommendations, and programs on issues including, but by no means limited to, the environment, election reform, the county budget and healthcare.

We register citizens to vote, defend voting rights, educate and inform our electorate.

The League of Women Voters is a grassroots, non partisan organization, open to men and women, and conducts all its policy formulation and decision-making by consensus amongst our members.

Please consider joining us in our endeavors and thank you for your attention and your support. This is YOUR government!

Sharon Lindsay

LWVW Statement on the Current Tappan Zee Bridge Proposal - 3/15/2012

In its fall 2011 statement on the current Tappan Zee Bridge proposal, the League of Women Voters of Westchester commended the transparency of the process. We were pleased to see the amount and quality of the information offered and the number of venues provided for public comment on the project. We are still of this view.

The LWVW recognizes the importance of getting a new bridge built. A new bridge will be safer, and it will meet higher environmental standards, provide much-needed employment opportunities and take advantage of the fast track being offered by the Federal Government.

However, we are disappointed that the authorities have thus far been unresponsive to the reactions of critics of the proposal. Despite numerous thoughtful and well-fashioned comments delivered throughout the process by local dignitaries, the League and other good-governance groups and concerned citizens, the New York State Department of Transportation and its partners have still not included a mass transit component in the proposed final project design. We believe it is crucial that rapid bus transit (BRT) in the form of a dedicated eastbound and westbound lane be a part of any new bridge from the start-up. Only by providing such an alternative to automobile traffic can we hope to avoid the traffic congestion, air pollution and double disruption that will otherwise occur if and when mass transit is put into place at a later time. BRT lanes could also provide auxiliary repair or parking lanes in the event of an emergency. The authorities should cost out such a component, complete with the necessary infrastructure on both sides of the bridge, and build it into the proposal now.

The League understands the short-term appeal of jobs and an early infusion of capital. But we believe we must look to the long-term residential, environmental and economic development of the entire region. Let us structure a bridge that will work and that we can be proud of in the long term.

March 15, 2012

LWVW Comments on Tappan Zee Bridge Project

The League of Women Voters of Westchester (LWVW) commends the process pursued by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) and MTA Metro North Railroad (MNR) during consideration of the Tappan Zee Bridge-I-287 Corridor Project in the past few years. Discussions with the stakeholders advisory groups (SAWGs), on which League members served, were thorough, open and inclusive, and those in charge were responsive to suggestions made. We hope this process will continue under the Federal Highway Administration and the NYSDOT with the Tappan Zee Hudson River Crossing Project unveiled locally on October 25, 2011.

As to the substance of the new project, the League has strong reservations about it as it now stands.

A Tappan Zee Bridge that improves and expands car traffic without encouraging mass transit and making related east- and west-bound highway improvements is inconsistent with our needs. As many have already said, it is backward looking at a time when we are increasingly aware of the problems of urban sprawl, new environmental considerations and growing economic inequalities. We appreciate the fact that a bird in the hand -- with the prospect of quicker federal approval and the creation of jobs -- is inviting. But such effects are short-term, while the limitations of this particular project would be with us for the foreseeable future. We must and can do better.

Accordingly, the LWVW urges the Federal Highway Administration and NYS authorities to rethink and revise the proposal to accommodate a mass-transit component. Then, we could proceed to build a bridge we can live with for the long term. Hopefully, sufficient engineering and planning has already been completed to permit prompt modification to the current proposed structure and enable us to take advantage of the accelerated federal process.

Tappan Zee Bridge Environmental Impact Statement Phases Explained - August 2009

There have been several questions pertaining to the Environmental Impact Statement Study (EIS) surrounding the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement. There are eight different phases to the EIS. The DOT and its partners have just finished the fifth phase, the Scoping Update. It is now available on the TZB website and describes the Project purpose and needs, in addition to describing the alternatives to be studied in the next phase as well as the scope for the environmental and engineering studies. The report will incorporate the public comments and involvement programs along with outcomes. The report concluded with an updated schedule for completion of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement with the expectation it will be completed next summer, in 2010.

Tappan Zee Bridge EIS phases chart:

The LWVW Tappan Zee Bridge Study Committee will continue to monitor progress as well as review presented reports throughout the remainder of the project.

Tappan Zee Study Committee, August 2009

LWV of Westchester Statement on Tappan Zee Bridge Proposal of Fall 2008

In April 2001, with the Tappan Zee Bridge moving beyond its projected life of 50 years and traffic congestion increasing on Route I-287, the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) and MTA Metro North Railroad (MNR) formed a partnership to undertake a comprehensive study of transportation needs and mobility on the corridor. The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) joined the team as coordinator in 2005. In the spring of 2007, this team formed stakeholders' groups (SAWGs) to participate in discussion of its plans. The Westchester League of Women Voters (LWVW) participates in two SAWGs.

The LWVW has also hosted several informational meetings for the public on the Tappan Zee/I-287 project. In March 2007, in cooperation with the Rockland League of Women Voters, we held a particularly well-attended meeting at Kendal-on-Hudson in Sleepy Hollow. That meeting featured speakers from the NYSDOT, the Westchester Planning Department, the Rockland County Legislature and the Westchester Rockland Tappan Zee Bridge Task Force.

Then, in September 2008, the NYSDOT - now the lead agency of the project - presented new plans for the project. As many area residents are not yet familiar with either the past or current proposals, we thought it might be useful to offer a set of pros and cons for discussion.

Janet Zagoria May 2009