State GOP: Cuomo’s Transit-Less Tappan Zee Would Be Obsolete on Day One

This item slipped under the radar late Friday afternoon: The New York State Republican Party is calling out Governor Andrew Cuomo for abandoning transit on the Tappan Zee Bridge.

After the feds declined to invite New York to apply for a low-interest loan to finance construction of a transit-less TZB, the state GOP sent out this statement (hat tip to Nick Reisman at Capital Tonight’s State of Politics blog):

County Executives Astorino and Vanderhoef have implored the Governor to include mass transit into any new Tappan Zee Bridge as a way to ensure that the bridge is not obsolete on day one and protects the environment going forward. Governor Cuomo, who has acknowledged the importance of a new bridge, has been conspicuously silent and woefully inert.

The cause of rebuilding New York’s infrastructure will only succeed if it has a champion, and New York’s two U.S. Senators and Governor are the only elected officials with the political capital to get the job done. Today’s news makes clear that they have neither the will nor the ability.

As Reisman notes, even though Cuomo is a Democrat, the state GOP is not in the habit of criticizing him this sharply.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, state legislators Andrea Stewart Cousins, David Carlucci, Amy Paulin, Tom Abinanti, and Ken Zebrowski all signed on to a coalition statement last December which, like the state GOP, calls Cuomo’s TZB plan “obsolete from day one” [PDF via Tri-State Transportation Campaign]. The coalition also includes labor unions and environmental organizations.

So it seems that the Cuomo administration’s current TZB plans are so shortsighted and plainly unpopular in the Hudson Valley (where residents participated for years in a public planning process envisioning transit on the bridge), that both ends of the local political spectrum feel compelled to oppose them. Whether you’re approaching this issue from the left or the right, building a superwide, cars-only Tappan Zee Bridge is a lousy idea.

  • Bolwerk

    Ironic, but they’re probably just being politically opportunistic.  Sociopaths usually don’t like transit.

  • Guest

    If the GOP had come up with the idea first (to go sans transit) they’d be trumpeting it as a cost-savings move in tough economic times and if Cuomo were pro-transit, he’d be spending taxpayer-money at times when “we” can’t afford.

    But they’d rather support transit that let a dem. accomplish… anything.

  • Anonymous

    @3a9cb377ae68ba7b489d30e5eb859747:disqus I  hope the support by Republicans for transit on the Bridge reflects a bipartisan consensus that our roads are clogged, and we can’t build new ones or widen the ones we have because of space, and because it will just induce more driving.
    Strangely, it is a Democrat, Governor Cuomo, who is going against most of the Democrats — at least in Westchester.  With many of the local town councils supporting transit on the bridge, and everyone worried about the size and cost of a new bridge sucking funds from the MTA and Bee Line Bus budgets, you have to wonder about Cuomo’s motivations.  

    He is quite frankly putting his supposed Democratic allies in a very tough spot.  Support a bridge that harms their constituents, or support their governor. 

  • Bolwerk

    @HamTech87:disqus : That would be nice, but it’s very optimistic. It’s telling that this is only coming up now, after the GOP ran about the looniest, most anti-transit candidate in state history. Had they sharpened Cuomo politically, maybe this wouldn’t have happened the way it did. Republikans in NYS are the ultimate opportunists – well, at least after Dems in NYS. :-O  But Cuomo is politically a socially liberal Republican of yesteryear: pro-business, (allegedly) tough on crime, authoritarian, but also somewhat collegial.

    More collegial than Spitzer, anyway.  Still, I get the impression we’re seeing the I’m a f**king steamroller coming out on this one, and maybe it will finally dent Cuomo’s saintly reputation.  A bridge without transit makes no sense.  Hell, the only half of the bridge+transit equation that does make sense is the transit. At that many billions of dollars, the payback period on a new bridge is obscene.

  • Miles Bader

    Hmm, so is there anybody that doesn’t hate Cuomo…?

  • Nathanael

    Wow, the state GOP calling for more transit?

    Well, I guess they’ll take whatever position puts them against Cuomo.