Cuomo Admin Silent as Media Questions Tappan Zee Fuzzy Math

A new print advertisement from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, running in the Westchester Journal News, illustrates the fundamental incompleteness of the Cuomo administration's transit-free plan for the Tappan Zee Bridge. For a larger version, ##http://www.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/TPZ-Print-Ad-FINAL.jpg##click here.##

As advocates for transit on the Tappan Zee Bridge take to the airwaves, the media are starting to ask questions about the Cuomo administration’s ever-shifting and unexplained cost estimates for the project.

Over the weekend, Crain’s called attention to the state’s hard-to-believe estimate of the cost of running a new bus rapid transit system across the bridge:

“The state hasn’t told the group why it projects the cost of a bus component to be as much as $5.3 billion, compared with an earlier $1 billion projection that Tri-State transit wonks called inflated to begin with.

Inexplicably, the state now says commuter rail service would be cheaper than the bus option. Typically, rail projects are several times more expensive.”

Then, yesterday, the Observer’s Matt Chaban pointed out that the cost of the transit-free bridge, too, is already inflating. “Meanwhile the bridge may cost an extra $1.4 billion and take longer than expected to complete,” wrote Chaban. “With all that in mind, why not take a little time and get it right.”

There’s a growing chorus of voices calling for transit across the Tappan Zee. A slew of local politicians, including the county executives on both sides of the Hudson, and an ever-growing list of towns have demanded the inclusion of transit on the new span.

The Cuomo administration, however, is doing everything it can to make an informed debate impossible. Crain’s had no more success getting information from the state than Streetsblog has.

By pumping up the cost of transit without explanation and changing its projection for the cost of the bridge itself to suit any given purpose, the state is denying its citizens the information they need to weigh the costs and substantial benefits of Tappan Zee transit. Is the state afraid of what New Yorkers might find?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Questions Linger Over Cuomo’s Tappan Zee Transit Plans

|
On Monday, Governor Cuomo announced that the state would provide $20 million for transit service across the new Tappan Zee Bridge, and is applying for a federal grant as well. While this first step is welcome news, there are still more questions than answers about what this money will pay for and how the rest of […]

Tappan Zee Draft EIS Underscores Cuomo Admin’s Disregard for Transit

|
The Cuomo administration’s latest thinking on the new Tappan Zee Bridge, contained in the draft environmental impact statement it released yesterday, reinforces the state’s commitment to building a sprawl-inducing, highway-only bridge. The document not only dismisses bus rapid transit, but also clears the way for an enormous expansion of automobile capacity and makes a mockery […]

Caption Contest: Tappan Zee Outreach Gone Fishin’

|
Until last fall, the state’s planning for a new Tappan Zee Bridge was a model of public outreach. It included over 280 public meetings and one outreach center open full-time on each side of the bridge. Under Governor Andrew Cuomo, however, the project has been “fast-tracked.” Transit was axed from the bridge and the project […]

American Planning Association Chapter Demolishes Cuomo Tappan Zee Claims

|
The New York area’s urban planning community issued a striking rebuke to the Cuomo administration over its plans for a new Tappan Zee Bridge last week. In a letter to the state Department of Transportation [PDF], the regional chapter of the American Planning Association, which represents 1,200 professional planners, challenged the Cuomo administration’s claims about […]

Cuomo Deal Could Clear the Way for a Transit-Oriented Tappan Zee

|
Regrettably, this was an April Fool’s Day post. It should be noted that Streetsblog’s prior April Fool’s Day stories have a way of coming true, at least in part. A little-noticed piece of legislation, passed along with Albany’s budget deal at the Cuomo administration’s request, seems to open the door to building a Tappan Zee […]