Cuomo to Co-Host Tappan Zee Public Meetings With Anti-Transit Ideologues

Governor Andrew Cuomo has invited the region's leading anti-transit advocates to co-host his Tappan Zee Bridge public meetings with him. Photo: Angel Franco/Newsday

Up to now, the Cuomo administration hasn’t shown a great regard for public input when it comes to the new Tappan Zee Bridge. The administration dismissed five stakeholder advisory groups, which had been set up to let interested parties dig deep into the details of the project, and shuttered the public outreach offices located on each side of the Hudson.

Today, the Cuomo administration sent out a press release announcing a new set of community meetings. And the details of these meetings tell you everything you need to know about Cuomo’s take on the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

The two meetings, scheduled for July 25 and 26, are sponsored by the Business Council of Westchester and the Rockland Business Association. Business Council chief Marsha Gordon serves as the president of BuildTheBridgeNowNY.org, which offers this take on Tappan Zee transit:

The reality is that the patterns of most Americans reveals in consumer survey after survey that the overwhelming majority of people prefer to live in a house with a yard, drive a car to work and for shopping.

As such, it’s probably unrealistic to expect a mass migration to mass transit. The latest auto show in Detroit unveiled vehicles that have morphed into smartphones with four wheels and an ever-increasing fuel efficient engine. Even the least expensive cars today are smart, fun and sexy; why would anyone ever want to leave them?

Gordon’s Rockland equivalent, Al Samuels, is also a BuildTheBridgeNowNY.org member, and he has his own unique qualification for hosting public meetings.

This May, he directly criticized anyone who believes transit should have a place in the Hudson Valley’s future:

“Anyone who wants to add to the cost of that bridge is an obstructionist. I don’t care if it’s a political figure. I don’t care if it’s a community activist organization. I don’t care if it’s an organization that says they are champions of mass transit. It’s pure obstructionism.”

As an extra hedge against any spontaneous outpourings of democratic input, the governor has required all participants in its new community meetings to RSVP beforehand.

But don’t worry: the RSVP form promises that parking will be provided.