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Movies Made Here: BRT On The Bridge

A timely edition of our regular series looks at a five-minute film starring Tarryown Mayor Drew Fixell and other regional officials on behalf of a mass transit option for the new Tappan Zee.

 

As we anticipate on the environmental impact of a new Tappan Zee Bridge, the loudest outcry has still been against its lack of a mass transit option.

With Bridge on the Brain this week, we thought we'd take an unusual spin with on feature and get – dare we? – a little political.

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign in partnership with Streetfilms made a five-minute film full of local bigwigs and, we might argue, starring Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell and Tarrytown itself. Everyone is talking on behalf of Rapid Bus Transit as an affordable, adaptable and necessary mass transit solution to our problematic rebuild.

Click this link to watch the film

Among other choice soundbytes from officials in politics and transportation on both sides of the bridge, there's Fixell speaking to the unique impact the bridge has on our Village and why he wants mass transit.

  • “It provides certain benefits but it's also an enormous burden.”
  • “From a financial/economic perspective you lose the opportunity for growth and economic value that mass transit really does bring and could bring if it's done right.”
  • “If you plan it from the beginning you have a whole lot better chance of doing it better and doing it more effectively. If you tack it on afterwards, the likelihood is it'll cost you more...if you ever do it.”

Assemblymember Thomas Abinanti spoke about how Tarrytown is a destination for so many commuters en route to New York City, who come over the bridge, crowd along “narrow route 9” and pack themselves into our train station.

A buzz word for the new bridge plan is “crossing.” In fact that's the new official name of the project: The Tappan Zee Hudson River Crossing. But officials say such a crossing will only provide more congestion and pollution if we don't do better than such a car-centric vision.

“It enables everybody to move more quickly if we can get some substantial number out of their cars and into mass transit," Fixell said.

Without mass transit, said Astorino, as the movie concluded with its simple but effective instrumental music, “you've got red tail lights and exhaust fumes as far as you can see and that's what we've got now.”

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According to the press release announcing the film:

Many of the sentiments expressed in the film are also enshrined in the project’s official document archives at http://www.tzbsite.com/, but the state nonetheless continues to move forward with a transit-less project.

Several local communities, including Hastings-on-Hudson, Croton-on-Hudson and the 14 Westchester municipalities that are members of the North Westchester Energy Action Consortium NWEAC) have now passed resolutions calling on the state to put transit back into its plans.

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign reminds New Yorkers that the public conversation is not over yet. Public meetings on the project’s draft environmental impact statement are set to take place on February 28 [tonight] and March 1. The film, along with more details about the public meetings, can be accessed at www.brtonthebridge.org.

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The Hearings:

Rockland County
For story see Nyack Patch here

Westchester County
Thursday, March 1, 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Westchester Marriott
Grand Ballroom
670 White Plains Road, Tarrytown

wanda March 01, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Nice photo of the Mayor .what the hell is he on?
Krista Madsen (Editor) March 01, 2012 at 02:40 PM
It's a screenshot from a short film, so hard to get a shot that's kind when someone is talking.

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