Gowanus Lawsuit Launched
by T.A. and Community
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In late November,
Transportation Alternatives and a coalition of West Brooklyn community groups
filed suit in Federal Court demanding that the Federal Highway Administration
and the State DOT obey Federal law by performing a Major Investment Study
(MIS) before the planned one billion reconstruction of the elevated the
Gowanus Expressway. T.A. and friends are represented in the case pro bono by
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and Arnold and Porter. The suit will
take at least 9 months to resolve and could take over a year.
The goal of the suit is to
win a Major Investment Study which has three key provisions:
- Public Participation in
setting the transportation, economic and social goals of the project and
selecting and comparing alternatives for carrying people and goods and
- A collaborative goal
setting process in which business, community and other public interests
work together to determine what Brooklyn, the region, and the State
ultimately want from their billion dollar plus investment in the Gowanus.
- A public scoping process
in which the full social, economic and environmental costs and benefits of
each alternative are weighed over the course of that alternative's entire
life cycle. For instance a Gowanus tunnel might cost much more at the
onset, but last longer and require far lower maintenance costs.
Additionally, the social and economic benefits of a tunnel to the
surrounding community, as well as reduced harms, could prove enormous over
In addition to strong
community support, a Major Investment Study is supported by U.S.
Representatives Nydia Velazquez and Jerrold Nadler.