Back in the day, opposition movements to road projects were on the up and up. We knew who the opponents were, and we knew of their arguments, such as the I-480 Embaradero freeway blocking the view of the waterfront in San Francisco, or the mis-routed 1964 North Central freeway project in Takoma Park, MD and Washington, D.C.
In response, road planning has evolved, with a far far greater deference to local concerns, leading new proposals to include significant design alterations, such as being underground and or designed to include transit. Cases in point in New York- the proposed Cross Sound Tunnel, and the replacement Tappan Zee Bridge project- both involving I-287. The former is a replacement proposal for Robert Moses' Cross Sound Bridge which was never built- canceled in 1973. The latter replaces a span built during the mid 1950s with 6 lanes plus a 12 foot median. Neither the canceled Cross Sound Bridge nor the existing Tappan Zee bridge were designed to accommodate transit asides from buses in mixed traffic.
The concept of tunneling for both links has been studied, and for the Tappan Zee, discarded due to the grade requirements as that crossing involves a high buff on the Westchester side, but adopted for the sound crossing.
The concept of a design for rail transit, not included in the initial 2007 Cross Sound Tunnel proposal was later added by increasing the size of the center maintenance bore. The new Tappan Zee bridge for years was to include a commuter rail line extending from Suffern New York to Rye NY, latter cut back to White Plains and then Tarrytown. The method of including rail upon the new Tappan Zee Bridge included placing it in the median between the proposed twin spans, and better yet, a design featuring space for a lower deck= far superior for providing extra space for separate commuter and FREIGHT rail.
NY has NO rail freight crossings of the Hudson River south of Sedkirk just outside Albany. freight trains must detour 160 miles north then south in order to cross from New jersey into the New York metropolitan
The design with the lower deck would have the best cost benefit ratio, which is essentually why both the George Washington and Verrazano Narrows Bridges were so designed.
The Tappan Zee Bridge replacement designs in 2011 featured the option of the lower deck.
Yet for 2012 the designs were changed, with an EIS that excudes the lowerdeck option from its cost benifot anylysis.
I have been following this project planning for year, and have searched the internet without success to find out about who/what brought this change in planning. Try searching the interest for Tappan Zee Bridge- lower deck or double deck and one will find nothing asides from my blog posts here at Cosmobile. My comments left at various transportation and environmentalist organizations as the Tri State Transportation Campaign, which acquiesced, and even encouraged to this bad planning decision, and to "Riverkeeper" go unansweed.
The town closest to the Tappan Zee Bridge is Nyack.
I have been told that the parties involved with scrapping the lower deck on the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement was the celebrity Rosie O Donnel, who had a house in Nyack and formerly of the tv show 'the View'. Yet nothing so far in any internet search of Rosie O'Donnel, Tappan Zee Bridge, and protests.
Likewise with who ever is getting away with thwarting the proposed Cross Sound Tunnel- despite what has already been noted about this and the concocted former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer sex scandal: aka 'client #9' at a brothel service named 'Emperors Club' from which we never heard about Clients #1-8 and 10+.
This is secreted planning by cloaked elites who KNOW their strident opposition would be laughed at if placed in an open and widespread public light, and is facilitated by a political process in serious need of reform.