I'm going to geek out on a local issue now, so please indulge me. The plans for replacing the Hudson River spanning Tappan Zee Bridge have been unveiled and, frankly, they stink. The proposed design of the bridge lacks any mass transit component- the current four traffic lanes (during rush hour, there's a movable divider) will be replaced by... four traffic lanes, thus ensuring that the current congestion problems are not solved. Some of the comments on the CBS web page are great, including the observation "They are replacing a 1950′s bridge with a 1950′s bridge." County Executive Rob Astorino's comment was "We can’t build an eight-track bridge in an iPod world." When one replaces a badly-needed piece of infrastructure, it's foolish to hamstring the construction to save money. Why the hell would anyone cripple this project right out of the starting gate?
Personally, I would like to see a light rail line along the entire I-287 corridor, connecting stations in Rockland County to the Tarrytown, White Plains, and Port Chester train stations, linking the three major rail lines and creating a real regional mass transit network. Of course, I would also put in bicycle/walking paths, as Town of Greenburgh supervisor Paul Feiner has suggested (Mr. Feiner is one of my favorite politicians- he has good green credentials and is a tireless promoter of bicycling). Actually, Mr Feiner has introduced a plan to convert the existing Tappan Zee Bridge into a walking/cycling path, which would be awesome (I've ridden my bike across the Tap' during several MS bike-a-thons).
The very idea of nickel-and-diming infrastructure projects until they are "built broken" is asinine. The whole disposable culture has got to end. Remember when things were built to last, and one paid a fairly high price for durable goods? Now, we buy cheap crap that we have to continually replace, which is wasteful and stupid. It's wasteful and stupid when such items as shoes, clothing, and small appliances are concerned, it's tragic and suicidal when major infrastructure is concerned.