A Reason to Give Thanks: State DOT Won’t Widen the Deegan

This just in: The State DOT will not widen exit ramps from the Major Deegan Expressway, the Mott Haven Herald reports. NYSDOT Region 11 spokesperson Adam Levine confirmed to Streetsblog that the agency will also refrain from adding "auxiliary lanes" as part of its plan to fix a segment of the Deegan along the Harlem River. Instead, the agency has opted to rehab but not expand the 50-year-old roadway.

Opposition to expanding the highway was widespread. Community activists, city officials, and electeds — including Congressman Jose Serrano — condemned the proposal as a threat to redevelopment planned for the Harlem River waterfront. Transportation advocates warned that the project would attract more traffic, negating the promised reductions in congestion.

By choosing the rehab-only option, the agency will save somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million. NYSDOT had previously set aside $266 million for the expansion
option in its five-year capital plan. And the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, which collected dozens
of public comments opposing the proposed ramps and lanes, reported yesterday that NYSDOT had pegged the full cost of the expansion project at $343 million. The rehab-only project, by comparison, will cost an estimated $170 to $200 million, said Levine.

Here’s one suggestion for where to invest some of that savings: Tear down the Sheridan.

  • John

    Here’s a second thought: figure out an administrative way to build car-free “streets” (read: greenway) to better access the waterfront. There are a few decrepit, abandoned lots along the river that have direct water access. What better to look at from a congested expressway than a flock of pedestrians moving faster than you are?

  • Great news! Congratulations to all who fought hard to oppose such a unnecessary and unhealthy allocation of taxpayer dollars. The message from the people is clearly this: Fix-it first.

  • vnm

    Thanks NYSDOT! This is terrific news!!

  • I think the East River greenway esplanade project is about $125m. If that money were just sitting ready to be used, I bet that would help move the City and State to clear up the stupid DEC permit to keep the caisons in place permanently…

  • Developer seeking to maintain highway wall wins for now:

    http://cos-mobile.blogspot.com/2009/11/policymaking-steered-to-maintain-wall.html

    Mott Haven deserves better.

  • great news!

    i’m totally loving it. like a mickey-d’s dollar menu mcdouble! (what?)

    i’d love to see the Sheridan Expressway come down. i wonder if we can chip in support from SF, somehow. any ideas? can we at least write some letters? not sure how much money we have out here — nobody has jobs, here. 3rd highest unemployment in the country, and we’re just getting warmed up. but we have some extra time on our hands! 🙂

    i’d also like to start talking about removing existing highways in other places — all the highways that enter San Francisco, for instance — so they can be used in more healthy and productive ways — ways that actually benefit the city instead of harm it.

    i want to start the process of reclaiming highway space by closing down on-ramps and off-ramps to/from highways that leave from and drop into areas of the city that are particularly congested with ‘soft traffic’ — humans, either walking or biking — often on their way to/from transit. once we manage to make these places more healthy and vital and livable, then we go onto the next area of town that the highway has destroyed. eventually, the re-vitalization process will become self-evident and self-reinforcing, with the utility of the highway greatly diminished with each on-ramp/off-ramp that is closed. in that way, it’ll be similar to what GM did to the electric streetcar networks, but we’ll be helping our cities rather than harming them.

    let the second national freeway revolt begin!

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    Peter: I believe it has begun! Here ye! Here ye! (Now what do we say to the NYS DOT? They do deserve credit for backing down….)

  • Actually, instead of getting rid of on/off ramps, I would propose boulevardization, like West street/9A on the west side south of 65th street with a two way protected bike lane along side!

  • “i’m totally loving it. like a mickey-d’s dollar menu mcdouble! (what?)”

    How telling that you favor artery cloggers!

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