Two Counties, One River, Many (Transit) Options

Not happy with mass transit solutions presented several months earlier, our neighbors across the river held onto hope for a Tarrytown interchange at Friday’s transit task force meeting.

Westbound on the Tappan Zee Bridge, circa July 2008/Courtesy of Ian C. Ligget

Westbound on the Tappan Zee Bridge, circa July 2008/Courtesy of Ian C. Ligget

Rockland County said its commuters need to meet trains there, and County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef resuscitated the ramp idea rejected in August.

Tarrytown does not need a structure looping off the new bridge, traveling under it, and connecting to a road en route to Metro North. Save time, and avoid crowded Broadway, by reviving the bus transfer station idea: passengers bussed from Rockland would debark, and take an elevator to a new station — or platform stop — under the bridge.

Trent Lethco, AICP, principal at ARUP engineering, proposed two bus routes in Rockland County, and three in Westchester County, that would expand the TappanZEExpress service to White Plains Train Station. Either, or, and why not consider both?

One of the largest cities in Westchester County, White Plains is a hub for riders heading to New York City or to northern areas, and its revitalization presents opportunities.

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign /Courtesy of Ian C. Ligget

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign /Courtesy of Ian C. Ligget

“We need to focus on mass transit in the I-287 corridor and a one-stop ride from Rockland to New York City,” former Westchester County Transportation Commissioner Larry Salley said in February. “We need to find innovative ways to finance whatever alternative is needed.”

And when ideas were presented, Rockland balked. For example, a bus route was proposed for Route 59 — try it, people may like it, was the message.

Let’s talk politics for a moment.

County executives’ seats in both counties are up for grabs in two months. Election outcomes will determine if the transit task force loses two or four members; hopefully the group can agree on, and submit, recommendations.

Thruway Authority Executive Director Thomas J. Madison stressed the importance of focusing tightly on a regional management system at the October meeting. If the committee concludes its year with — and makes recommendations based upon — that report, then the project will be in ARUP’s hands.

“We resolved the issues we were presented with,” Lethco said in June. “BRT isn’t always lines painted on the road.”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2013

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