Cuomo to Co-Host Tappan Zee Public Meetings With Anti-Transit Ideologues

Governor Andrew Cuomo has invited the region's leading anti-transit advocates to co-host his Tappan Zee Bridge public meetings with him. Photo: ##http://www.newsday.com/opinion/keep-up-tappan-zee-pressure-1.3243937##Angel Franco/Newsday##

Up to now, the Cuomo administration hasn’t shown a great regard for public input when it comes to the new Tappan Zee Bridge. The administration dismissed five stakeholder advisory groups, which had been set up to let interested parties dig deep into the details of the project, and shuttered the public outreach offices located on each side of the Hudson.

Today, the Cuomo administration sent out a press release announcing a new set of community meetings. And the details of these meetings tell you everything you need to know about Cuomo’s take on the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

The two meetings, scheduled for July 25 and 26, are sponsored by the Business Council of Westchester and the Rockland Business Association. Business Council chief Marsha Gordon serves as the president of BuildTheBridgeNowNY.org, which offers this take on Tappan Zee transit:

The reality is that the patterns of most Americans reveals in consumer survey after survey that the overwhelming majority of people prefer to live in a house with a yard, drive a car to work and for shopping.

As such, it’s probably unrealistic to expect a mass migration to mass transit. The latest auto show in Detroit unveiled vehicles that have morphed into smartphones with four wheels and an ever-increasing fuel efficient engine. Even the least expensive cars today are smart, fun and sexy; why would anyone ever want to leave them?

Gordon’s Rockland equivalent, Al Samuels, is also a BuildTheBridgeNowNY.org member, and he has his own unique qualification for hosting public meetings.

This May, he directly criticized anyone who believes transit should have a place in the Hudson Valley’s future:

“Anyone who wants to add to the cost of that bridge is an obstructionist. I don’t care if it’s a political figure. I don’t care if it’s a community activist organization. I don’t care if it’s an organization that says they are champions of mass transit. It’s pure obstructionism.”

As an extra hedge against any spontaneous outpourings of democratic input, the governor has required all participants in its new community meetings to RSVP beforehand.

But don’t worry: the RSVP form promises that parking will be provided.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Caption Contest: Tappan Zee Outreach Gone Fishin’

|
Until last fall, the state’s planning for a new Tappan Zee Bridge was a model of public outreach. It included over 280 public meetings and one outreach center open full-time on each side of the bridge. Under Governor Andrew Cuomo, however, the project has been “fast-tracked.” Transit was axed from the bridge and the project […]

Andrew Cuomo Is Building a Legacy Fit for 1950

|
The Times noted last week that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s infrastructure legacy will be defined by two mega-projects: the replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge and the rebuilding of LaGuardia Airport. Cuomo clearly relishes building big things, but bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better when it comes to infrastructure. These projects will shape the region for decades. New Yorkers should be prepared for some […]

Hasty Vote on Cuomo’s TZ Bridge May Violate Federal Rules [Updated]

|
Now that the Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam county executives have signaled their support for a new Tappan Zee Bridge, the Cuomo administration is again pushing the project forward at a furious pace. So fast, in fact, that it may violate federal rules. Notice went out this afternoon that the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council will […]