Archive for the ‘Thruway Authority’ Tag

So Much Secrecy in the Bridge Project’s Cache

View from the EarthCam® construction camera in Tarrytown Dec. 16, 2014, at 9:30 a.m.

This is getting old.

Thruway Authority Records Access Officer Jill B. Warner repeated her sing-song reply to me years after the batch plant accident, when no one wanted the truth known that the second mobile concrete mini-factory was doomed to malfunction so it, too, was immediately shut down.

Sources told me the governor’s office reviewed each project-related FOIL request with a fine-tooth comb.

I’d asked for information about the oh-so-many-months-ago call for proposals from artists to create a mural and bicycle racks for the bridge that was to have opened five years and two months after the project began. Path’s still not open.

“The Thruway Authority acknowledges your correspondence dated January 13, 2020 which, pursuant to FOIL, requested,” Warner’s email said.

What is the agency hiding? It mocks the FOIL request by saying it is “performing a diligent search for records” about projects it initiated and “will notify (me) of (its) progress by February 19, 2020.”

When I got too close for comfort last time, one of its lawyers called me to try and silence me: going to any length to hide the truth. Small consolation knowing other reporters and contractors working on the bridge project were also stalled by the agency.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2020

Status of Art Proposals for Bridge Landings is ?

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock.

Sources told me Governor Cuomo’s office reviews each project-related FOIL request with a fine-tooth comb. Yesterday I received an email saying the executive chamber doesn’t maintain records for other state agencies and isn’t the custodian of records I recently requested through the Freedom of Information Law.

Fair enough: I started at the top by mistake.

The letter containing this information was addressed Dear Janie Rosan. REALLY. How difficult is it to correctly retype a six-letter last name spelled out in front of you at the bottom of said request or to highlight and copy the name?

* * * * *

Six silent months passed since ArtsWestchester and the Thruway Authority called for proposals for a permanent mural for an underpass on Rockland County landing of the new bridge’s shared use path and bike racks for the Rockland and Westchester landings.

I want to know why and resubmitted my requests. The email receipt said they were forwarded to the agencies I selected, and the Records Access Officer for each will contact me directly for further processing within up to five business days.

Due to my previous experience sending a FOIL request to the Thruway Authority (one of those I contacted), I’m curious about its response.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2020

On My Mind: New Year, Unanswered Questions

Socks, sneakers and wheels indicate a sign of the path to come/NYS Thruway Authority

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2020!

I’ve been asking about artwork on the new bridge since silence enveloped the projects after a Request For Proposal (RFP) last summer. Deadlines for submitting those proposals, and the deadline for installing one of them, were months ago. The next installation deadline comes in the spring.

Patricia Gallagher Newberry, Society of Professional Journalists national president, said, “Censorship has stalked a horrific path through history. This is another instance. It is heartening to find another way to fight this trend toward silencing public employees, which SPJ has identified as a grave risk to public welfare.”

This situation reminded me of a call I received five years ago during my quest for information about a failed silo on one of the two floating concrete batch plants that had arrived months earlier. Why did the contractor also shut down the batch plant that didn’t mechanically fail unless it, too, would experience the same issue at a later time?

An attorney responded, and then I received a call from one of the governor’s then-special advisor not long after about “tidying up” matters. Someone wanted me to stop asking, I’m sure. It took nearly a full year for someone to tell me “the Thruway Authority doesn’t have that kind of information in its records.”

I’d sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the New York State Thruway Authority, whose public information officer stalled me. One year later I learned my hunch was correct. Back then I asked: Would it have been a matter of time before that same malfunction occurred in the second batch plant although both were prepped, inspected and tested identically?

A project source told me: yes, the second plant would have malfunctioned, which I suspect was why the agency stalled, then refused to provide the documents I sought in the request.

One year after that accident, Governor Cuomo ruled on Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). His office reviewed each project-related FOIL request with a fine-tooth comb, sources told me as the FOIL request hit snags that were more like stone walls.

Never stop asking questions.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2020

Pieces of TZB Steel will be used in Arts Project

See how nicely I accented winter sunsets? Thought I’d be gone forever when the new bridge opened, didn’t you? Think again!

You have not seen the last of me because there’s another contest about me! It’s been a long time coming, too, after the bridge art show was ages ago.

“Remnant steel salvaged from the retired Tappan Zee Bridge” — that’s ME! — “will be made available to the two winning artists to incorporate into their sculptures.” (This is from a press release earlier in the week.) Which pieces of me will they be?

“These future sculptures will not only enhance the new twin-span crossing but provide residents and visitors opportunities to connect with the history, culture and spirit of the beautiful Hudson Valley,” Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said.

History, culture and spirit of the beautiful Hudson Valley = Tappan Zee Bridge.

Anyway, here’s the plan.

ArtsWestchester, the Thruway Authority and the Arts Council of Rockland seek a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) that invites artists to submit their statements, work samples and a vision statement by January 11, 2019, via https://artswestchester.org/. Artists chosen will then be invited to submit their full proposals for the sculpture in early February.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

Bridge Name Stands, and New Bus Lanes Enforced

The day after the elections tells Hudson Valley residents the new bridge’s name will not be changed any time soon. If “New York’s immigrants are at the heart of our state’s rich civic and social diversity,” as the state’s website says, then why did Governor Cuomo erase their important and significant representation?

* * * * *

Last Sunday I was in Nyack and watched one new Hudson Link bus nearly clip my car as its driver made a left turn from South Broadway. I moved past the curb at a red light on the single-lane side street because a car parked on the other side of the street added to the driver’s difficulty. What will happen when the streets are crowded with people and cars in a hurry?

Here’s what you need to know per the press release if you commute by car:

“State Police will be responsible for enforcing the proper use of the bus lane. The first violation will carry a fine of $150, and the penalty would escalate for any repeat violations within an 18-month period.”

Let’s hope the new bus line is effective for Westchester and Rockland commuters. Westchesterites say it offers no opportunities for transit-oriented development; Rocklanders aren’t happy about the new bus stop locations and routes.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2018

%d bloggers like this: