Assemblyman George Latimer has provided the following editorial on the proposed Rye – Syosset Tunnel to MyRye.com:
In every proposed action, there are usually winners and losers. The proposal to dig a tunnel under the L. I. Sound to connect I-287 in Westchester to Long Island has two clear sets of winners: developers of houses and office buildings on Long Island, and interstate trucking companies. The biggest loser, unfortunately, will be Westchester residents of the communities along the I-95 and I-287 corridors, as I-287 becomes the new Cross Bronx North.
Interstate truckers heading from Boston, Buffalo or Bloomington, Indiana, will all benefit from avoiding the current Cross Bronx Expressway, and the Throgs Neck Bridge, to reach Long Island destinations. With I-287 connecting I-80 and I-78 from the Midwest, and I-95 from New England and I-87 from the Buffalo/Upstate New York regions, a truck driver would be crazy not to use the new tunnel. The resulting demand for I-287 in Westchester will make current rush and non-rush hours look like a piece of cake. Commuters traveling between Westchester points on I-287 will have a lot of company next to them. Ditto the I-95 New England Thruway corridor.
The remaining parcels in Suffolk County would have new value for building more homes, office parks, strip malls and the like, once you can reach Connecticut and the Hudson Valley of New York so much more easily.
So, no surprise why L.I. interests would want this. The traffic congestion and resultant impacts – air pollution, noise, etc. – would be Westchester’s part of the bargain. Some number of locals may find The
Hamptons closer to their front door, but that’s hardly a sufficient trade-off. As for the tunnel evacuating L.I. during an emergency: "fuggadeaboutit". It will be hard enough to "evacuate" normal weekend traffic by itself, much less 1+ million people seeking to leave L.I. under some urgent disaster.
In my dealings in the State Assembly, I will urge my Westchester and Rockland colleagues to take a long hard look at the proposed tunnel, and to cast a "no" vote to endorsing the new "Cross Bronx Expressway North", coming through our backyards.
Assemblyman, 91st A.D.