Yonkers, Greenburgh, Dobbs Ferry Vote Unanimously For Tappan Zee Transit

On the Westchester side of the Hudson, three municipalities voted unanimously to support transit on the new Tappan Zee Bridge. Image: ##http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tappan_Zee_Bridge.jpg##Wikimedia##

Last night, hundreds of Rockland County residents gathered at the Palisades Mall to tell the Cuomo administration that a transit-free replacement Tappan Zee Bridge isn’t acceptable. In Westchester, too, support for transit across the bridge is running high. Three more local governments have passed unanimous resolutions supporting Tappan Zee transit: the city of Yonkers, the town of Greenburgh and the village of Dobbs Ferry.

The Yonkers City Council, representing the fourth-largest city in New York, passed its resolution yesterday by a unanimous vote of 6-0. In its resolution [PDF], the council noted that every alternative developed over a decade of public input included public transportation and that if transit infrastructure isn’t built now, history suggests it won’t be added later.

“New York State and the Federal Highway Administration should not repeat the mistakes of the past by locking in automobile- and truck-only infrastructure in this important Corridor for decades to come,” the resolution states.

Yonkers called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to restore transit to the plans for the bridge and pledged to join with its neighbors in a restored public planning process for the new bridge.

In Greenburgh, a similarly worded resolution passed unanimously yesterday, by a vote of 12-0. Dobb’s Ferry’s Board of Trustees voted 7-0 in support of Tappan Zee transit.

The three municipalities join a growing list of local governments demanding that Cuomo restore transit to his plans for the Tappan Zee Bridge. Previously, resolutions have come from places like Croton-on-Hudson, Hastings-on-Hudson, and the 14 municipalities of the North Westchester Energy Action Consortium.

The county executives on both sides of the river, Westchester’s Rob Astorino and Rockland’s C. Scott Vanderhoef, continue to be strong advocates for transit service across the bridge. Most recently, the two signed on to a Tri-State Transportation Campaign statement [PDF] questioning the Cuomo administration’s environmental review for the bridge, which appears to have wildly inflated the cost of providing bus rapid transit on the I-287 corridor.

Even as citizens rally and representatives organize in favor of transit, however, the New York Times continues to ignore the story entirely. The Times’ editorial board is the latest to swallow Cuomo’s greenwashing attempt hook, line, and sinker, writing a gushing piece about the governor’s offer to study a proposal to turn the old structure into a walkway. That proposal, while exciting, wouldn’t do anything for the region’s transportation challenges. The walkway may be nice to have, but the Times editorial board, which is known for strong stances on environmental and good-government issues, ought to know where the real action is.