September/October 1997, p.8

Metropolitan
from Mobilizing the Region

Long Island: Giuliani Can Still Put Brakes on Queens HOV
A setback in the fight against highway expansion, the NY State Supreme court ruled in favor of the State DOT, supporting its right to build HOV lanes on the Long Island Expressway in Queens. The plaintiffs, State Senator Frank Padovan and Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, whose constitutents have been staunchly against a widened LIE, may appeal the decision. Justice Arthur Price said he could only rule on whether the DOT had taken a "hard look" at environmental issues and alternatives to widening the highway, and not on whether or not it was right appropriate to build HOV lanes.

Mayor Giuliani, also a plaintiff in the suit against the project, could stop the project dead by vetoing its inclusion in the Transportation Improvement Program, the list of proposed regional projects funded with federal, state and local dollars.

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Westchester: Republican Slams Westchester HOV
Ted Dunn, Republican candidate for Westchester County Executive, issued a press release in early August proclaiming, "HOV is wrong for Westchester." The release said the road project is bad for the environment and would not solve 1-287 's traffic problems. Dunn's stand came as welcome news to The Federated Conservationists of Westchester, the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund and Scenic Hudson, all of whom have been fighting the proposed HOV lane for five years. Since Dunn's announcement, his Democratic challenger has also voiced his opposition to the project, along with Westchester Co. Planning Board members, the White Plains Common Council and the Mayor of White Plains.

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New Jersey: Trenton Citizens Revolt Against Waterfront Highway
A South Trenton resident's organization, with support from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, NJPIRG Citizen's Lobby, and other environmental groups, has filed a lawsuit challenging NJDOT's plan to construct a highway (Route 29) along 1.7 miles of Trenton's Delaware River waterfront. The DOT has avoided conducting a Major Investment Study (MIS) for the route, which would cut off access to the only remaining segment of waterfront available for recreation.

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In the Subways: $15 Million Back Where it Belongs
Restoring cutbacks made in 1995, the MTA capital program agreed upon in July will return $15 million to transit. The money, originally earmarked for improvements in service and maintenance, may also go to other subway and bus problems found by transit advocates in and out of government. Transit Workers Union Local 100, whose members had jobs at stake, fought hard to get back funding. Governor Pataki may have been eager to demonstrate his support for transit after being chastised in the press for trying to take credit for the free bus-subway transfers now in place.

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Connecticut: Cops Launch Giant Bad Driver Crack Down
According to recent propaganda in the New York Times, Connecticut State Police are employing dozens of unmarked cars in groups to catch hundreds of speeders and aggressive drivers on a given day. The cars are not identifiable as police vehicles and their widespread use is intended to make motorists unsure of where the police are. It will be interesting to see if the strategy works and is lasting.