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Monday, December 22, 2014

MTA will get say on greenway

By Shant Shahrigian
Posted

Community Board (CB) 8 moved earlier this month to include the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in discussions for building a path along the Hudson River that many Riverdalians have sought for years.

Board members voted 21-18, with one abstention, to table a resolution calling for a path to be built just west of Metro-North railroad tracks running alongside the Hudson River through Riverdale. The resolution marked a different approach than plans by the New York Metropolitan Council (NYMTC) calling for the path, known as the greenway, to be built in stages. NYMTC has proposed building an “interim” route going through Riverdale streets before building a path along the Hudson River itself.

Charles Moerdler, a member of both CB 8 and the MTA’s board, urged the former body to table its resolution on April 8 so the MTA could weigh in on the matter.

Mr. Moerdler echoed widespread criticism of NYMTC’s plans, which call for the path to go over the Henry Hudson Bridge, as costly and inconvenient. He called for the path to go over the structure known as the Spuyten Duyvil swing bridge, which is run by Amtrak.

Mr. Moerdler said thanks to CB 8’s April 8 move, Metro-North President Joseph Giuletti and members of his staff with meet with members of CB 8’s Parks & Recreation and Transportation Committees to discuss use of the swing bridge and other matters in May.

“This is the very first time in recent years that a Community Board group is having that kind of input with the MTA directly in the formation of planning,” he added.

Mr. Moerdler said the MTA does not have enough money to make the kind of changes that would have to take place to incorporate the swing bridge into the greenway. He called on Sen. Chuck Schumer, who previously announced he will seek millions of dollars in funding for the greenway, to include money to work on the swing bridge.

CB 8 Chairman Robert Fanuzzi was among the significant minority of board members who voted against tabling the resolution.

He said, “I voted against the tabling because I don’t think the Community Board should be elevating itself into a negotiating party with MTA for their capital expenses.”

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