Monday, March 11, 2013

Ending Defeatism in Lower New York

" But the traditional model of urban expansion followed by new roads has created a vicious spiral where new roads beget more cars, which beget the need for more roads." - the typical defeatism that sadly appears in the schedule for the upcoming event -

What the New York Times and others need to examine.

#1- the lower deck of the replacement spans for the Tappan Zee Bridge.  Scuttled by the Cuomo Administration and by an EIS neglecting even a cursory review of the cost and benefits, the lower deck would potentially serve three separate modes of rail: passenger-commuter, freight, and even light rail at some point in the future with a far more developed I-287 corridor.

#2- the political nonsense stopping the I-287 Cross Sound Tunnel (or bridge with tunneled land approaches), that is wierdly tolerated even after 911.  Must be built with somewhat greater diameter to accommodate adding railway.

#3- the failure to construct the highway and augmented rail corridor for the I-287 link from existing LI Route 135 to the Belt-Conduit Avenue corridor, and onward via a new LIRR Bay Ridge multi-model tunnel across Brooklyn and beneath New York Harbor to New Jersey I-78.  An updated version of the late 1960s proposed Linear CityProject, with the tunneled highway and railway to New Jersey is totally justified.

#4- the long over-due modernization of the Cross County Parkway (CCP) from its interchange with I-87, westward to a new bridge crossing the Hudson River, from downtown Yonker's "Bridge Street" to Alpine New Jersey with a cut and cover extension towards the New Jersey Turnpike.

#5- the eastern extension of the Cross County Parkway (CCP) via a tunnel starting beneath Willow Avenue to beneath Rochelle Park to connect with I-95, plus improvements to the CCP east of I-87, at least bringing it up to 8 lanes, and preferably with dropping its grade in Mt. Vernon to make much of its trench into a coverway.

#6- the upgrading of the various tunnel corridors connecting Manhattan to the outside world to 8  lanes, particularly the Lincoln and Holland.

#7- the construction of tunneled replacements for the previous proposals for the Mid Town Manhattan, Lower Manhattan and Bushwick Expressways, combining cut and cover with drilled segments to preserve and enhance areas as historic SoHo and minimize real estate displacement; plus a continuous primarily cut and cover expressway tunnel for the West and East Sides, perhaps as a "Beachway" to provide a much needed pedestrian promenade.

#8- the completion of an I-95 link in western New Jersey to roughly the southwest corner of I-287, to facilitate an around the New York City bypass relief for the Cross Bronx Expressway, which is limited by the capacity of the George Washington Bridge. and the lack of express service roads that in Manhattan would be facilitated by reopening the 178th and 179th Street tunnels.   This failure to complete I-95 is a classic textbook example of environmental fraud by entities as Princeton University against wealthier areas having to share the traffic burden.

#9- Reconstruct the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (including the Gowanus) augmented with tunnels for a minimum of 5 lanes in each direction.

#10- Reconstruct the I-87 Major Deegan Expressway with a minimum of 4 lanes in each direction, except the segment beneath the crossing of I-95 with 3 lanes per direction.  Include extra decking in the northern area- demolish that one particularly stupidly placed building, and construct south of Yankee Stadium segment much like Cincinnatti's I-71 Fort Washington Way with new Cromwell Avenue 'Boulevard' to better facilitate traffic and waterfront development.  Resist short-sighted development plans for new cul de sac style waterfront development.

#11- Spot improvements: such as an extra lane from the southbound Clearview to eastbound GCP, and then the southbound Belt, requiring replacing some overpasses on the latter, but way cheaper than a tunneled extension of the Clearview; and continuing the 4th lane on I-95 past the Pelham Bay Parkway and the HRP to the vicinity of Bartow Avenue at Co-Op city.

#12- Explore light rail extensions from the 'subway' system into Westchester County and elsewhere, including perhaps along the old right of way for the 'NY, Westchester &; Boston railway', Mt Vernon, and even up to Yonkers Raceway, the CCSC and Central Avenue- good for future corridor development densification over the next 100 or so years.  Suitable corridors include I-287 are suitable, given the real estate development potential of the existing footprint of the automobile friendly regional mall and office park for future densification.  What's happening with Tyson's corner just outside Washington D.C. in northern Virginia will happen here to.

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