Thursday, April 3, 2008

Shore Parkway: the Stealth Boondoggle

My most recent post about the $850 million plan to rebuild bridges on the Belt Parkway was featured on Streetsblog today. Streetsblog commenter Hilary, a long time parkway activist, had this to say about the project:

Cap'n Transit - You're the first voice of reason I've heard on the subject of this Shore parkway project - no doubt because it's been kept under wraps for the years in the making (I happened to hear about it at a Historic Roads Conference in Boston. Its consultants told of their strict instructions to keep it out of the public eye.) The replacement of the historic parkway bridges is ostensibly to allow "emergency vehicles," but agency people admit it is a backdoor to opening the parkway to trucks. The first people you need to persuade of the folly of this idea (and the wisdom of yours, to restore it to true waterfront PARKway)are those at Transportation Alternatives, who have the misguided idea that expanding truck capacity is the way to solve truck congestion, and at the expense of parks and greenways no less.

Hopefully Transportation Alternatives will clarify whether this is a general position they have, and whether it extends to the case of the Belt/Shore Parkway in particular.

It looks like Hilary is right about the stealth aspect of the plan. Apparently the City has already been spending millions of dollars to reconstruct other bridges on the Parkway. It's in the City budget, and these seven other bridges are in the TIP for the next five years.

The State budget is what's being negotiated now, but it's too obfuscated for me to figure out. Anyone who understands State budget stuff, please tell us if it's in there, and if there's something we can do to get that money reallocated.

The City budget will be negotiated in the next few months, though, and this will be our chance to ask the City to restore its contribution to the MTA to earlier levels. What we will likely hear is that it's a recession, revenues are down, we're cutting homeless services and CUNY and you want us to give the MTA more money? Just tell the Mayor and your city council member that there's hundreds of thousands of dollars going to bridges that promote sprawl.


Bedford Empress said...
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Unknown said...
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Douglas Andrew Willinger said...

Yes, "Cap'n Transit" knows he is wrong- that is why he delete posts!

Cap'n Transit said...

Doug, I delete your comments when they're abusive or name-calling. Look at the archives - there are plenty of posts where people disagree with me, and I leave them up. Please, grow up.

Cap'n Transit said...

Just a clarification: the two deleted comments above were both posted by Mr. Willinger under pseudonyms.