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Debating Options for the Goethals Bridge

The following is a debate of issues surrounding the expansion of the Goethals Bridge.
Newsgroups: nyc.transit
Subject: Re: Goethel's Twinning [was Re: Shoddy journalism]
August 1995
mlomark@nyc.pipeline.com (Mark Odegard) writes:

> This is actually a project that should be built. First, it's 
> cost-effective.
Depends on how the statistics are milked. More importantly, is it THE MOST cost effective option. I don't think so. Of course, the PA hasn't put any seriously contending options up against it, so how can anyone tell.

> 2nd, part of the plan is to have a commuter rail link into Jersey.
Why second? Why not first? Because the Port makes a mint on cars and trucks. Will the transit ever be built? I'll say more on this later...

> I would like to see a light rail line ("street cars") coming from 
> Newark Airport (with connections to the Northeast Corridor, etc),
> via the Goethals, the old North Shore line, the Verrazano Bridge,
> the BQE to the 8th Avenue Sea-Beach line station, where it would
> meet the subway, then continue east via the LIRR right of way and
> then, **someway** link into JFK was well as Jamaica Station.
This is a good idea. Another good one is building tunnel that can handle rail freight also. I'd like to see the LRT continue onto the Hell Gate and into the Bronx. None of these options were put head to head with the twinning of the Goethals.

> Most of this would be paid for by the Port Authority itself 
> out of bridge tolls and airline ticket surcharges. It can be 
> built because the funding is *there*.
That's not a good reason for doing something.

> The problem is NIMBY. Very little work would be done on the 
> SI x-way beyond widening the approach to the Goethals. The 
> capacity is there already. The cars and trucks are there  
> already. They just jam up at rush hour pumping wonderful 
> fumes into the air of Staten Island. The project would not 
> so much *add* capacity as speed the flow of traffic. The 
> opposition here is more ignorant yahooism than anything else.
You are mistaken. The new bridge would add significant capacity, which would "speed the flow of traffic" thus inducing a major increase in vehicle miles traveled.

> This is one of the few cases were a major highway project would
> BOTH benefit mass transit and improve auto traffic flow without
> actually adding more physical capacity. It's having your cake and
> eating it too. But the try and convince Guy Molinari of this.
It seems you've bought into the PA hype. First, no highway project helps mass transit, sorry. Second, as I mentioned above, it IS adding new capacity (how you can construe doubling the roadway surface as not adding capacity is beyond me). Third, the idea of putting a light rail line on the new bridge is silly and a waste. A rail bridge already exists just north of the Goethals.

The PA is telling us, "hey, let's build the road and we'll do the transit later." Let me say, flat out, they are freaking liars. They have no serious intention of building any transit facilities. Even if the transit was built later, the new highway capacity would dissolve its ridership base. Build the transit now and don't build the highways. That is the answer.

> A swing bridge, as I understand it. Unsuitable for regularly scheduled
> commuter trains.
No. It is a high level lift bridge. As I understand it, most vessels crossing under it are petrochemical barges and do not require the bridge to be lifted.

> The PA has zero motivation to build one unless it gets a new bridge 
> thrown in.
And travelers will have no motivation to ride the rail line if the new bridge is built, because it will be easier to drive.

> If one can get a new commuter line as a result of building a new bridge
> that is otherwise justifiable, then I'm all for it. If it's a new bridge
> with NO commuter line, fie on the PA.

> A twinned Goethals would pay for itself, along with the capital outlay
> necessary to construct a JFK-Newark link via the Verrazano and Goethals.
> The ONLY way to get it built is to bribe the PA with a new bridge to do it.
> It'd be a well placed bribe too, in my opinion.
One of the primary reasons for creating the Port of New York Authority, now the PA of NY & NJ, was to have it build a rail freight tunnel from Bayonne to Bay Ridge. If the PA hasn't built it in all these years since it was formed, I have no faith that they ever will. Since then, they've built four bridges and 5 roadway tubes. As far as bribes go, the proposal for a new rail line in association with the Goethals twinning is being used by the PA to bribe the public. And I assure you, this IOU will never be paid.

Newsgroups: misc.transport.urban-transit Subject: Re: SIRT extension/reopenings? August 1994 ptang@is.morgan.com (Peter Tang) writes: > It's actually intended to be more of a convenience in the other direction, > SI-->Manhattan. I've also read in the local papers that the idea has been > kicked around to build a subway extension (tunnel) to SI but the main argument > against it was that crime would increase significantly due to the "easy > access" provided by the subway.
BULLSHIT! Crime isn't going to increase. Yeah, I'm going to go to SI, heist a house and hop on the train back to Brooklyn. Right. And on the way back, I'll mug someone else. I'm not flaming the person who posted this, just the silly yahoos on Staten Island.

From: danielc@panix.com (Daniel Convissor)
Newsgroups: rec.railroad
Subject: Re: SIRT-NYCTA Connection
Date: 24 Jun 1994 23:58:13 -0400

Linking Staten Island with Brooklyn and Manhattan via rail is a very important proposal. Trans-Hudson rail links are experiencing revived discussion. US Representative Gerald Nadler is pushing hard in congress for a tunnel from Greenville Yard, Jersey City, or St. George on Staten Island to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The Port Authority is studying river/harbor crossings for freight and passenger service. Tunnels being considered include a trans-Hudson -- sub-Manhattan around 57 St -- trans-East River -- Sunnyside Yard link and a cross harbor tunnel mentioned above.

As an alternative to rebuilding the Gowanus Expressway, Transportation Alternatives is proposing a surface roadway with light rail linked to Staten Island via the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. The proposal is now a part of the alternatives analysis being done by NY State DOT. DOT's consideration is due, of course, to major pressure form neighborhood and regional organizations such as Transportation Alternatives and the Gowanus Coalition.

The Verrazano LRT proposal is also part of a plan for a regional circumfrencial rail line, put forth by George Haikalis for the Environmental Defense Fund. The radial system, including the Bay Ridge Freight Line over the Hell Gate Bridge was later included the Tri-State Transportation Campaign's regional plan as well as being promoted by the Committee For Better Transit.

If New York is ever going to reestablish itself as the world's premiere city, all road expansion must be scrapped while moving forward with these bold new rail projects.

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