The Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance issued a press release today condemning New York City’s “decision to radically alter its work-plan and omit the ‘Sheridan removal’ option from consideration in the Sheridan-Hunts Point Land Use and Transportation Study (SEHP).”
Congressman Jose Serrano, who was pivotal in securing the TIGER II grant for the study and whose district encompasses the study area, issued his own press release:
“I stand with the community in saying that taking any option off the table at this time is premature,” said Congressman Serrano. “When we helped secure the grant for this study, we envisioned a full study of all the options, not one where a challenging option like the removal is quickly discounted. We know that there are difficulties with removing the Sheridan, but we are interested in knowing how that could be accomplished, not hearing that it is too difficult to even continue studying. I urge the City to reconsider and resume studying all options for the Sheridan Expressway.”
“This is grossly premature and unjustified, and I’m calling on the City to continue studying the Sheridan removal options,” said Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo, who joined the Alliance in its release.
The SEHP is a TIGER II-funded planning study intended to determine, amongst other things, how the removal of the Sheridan Expressway would impact transportation, housing, land use, environment, and the economy. Despite the promise of a comprehensive traffic network analysis, the city eliminated the Sheridan “removal” scenario and relied on worst case traffic assumptions. The city has not fully shared its analysis with the community working group, and without a complete understanding of the variables underlying the analysis, the Alliance must challenge the conclusions that rely on them.
The Alliance is committed to ensuring a transparent process that fully examines all the various scenarios of a “removal” option and the impacts to “…affordable housing, local retail services and supermarkets, jobs (existing jobs and job creation), open space/parks, the Bronx River Greenway, schools, industrial businesses, transit access, and pedestrian safety issues, and potential brownfields in the area,” considerations described in the study’s original planning process.
The Alliance, Congressman Serrano, and Councilwoman Arroyo are calling on the city to continue studying the Sheridan “removal” option as part of the more comprehensive and transparent process originally imagined.