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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Gateway Corridor Citizen Advisory Committee Chair Speaks Up on the Fundamental Flaws of the Project

Authored by Linda Stanton:

I have been a member of the Citizen Advisory committee for the Gateway for over 1 ½ years now and am the current Vice Chair, so I've been to all the hearings and meetings; heard the plans and the positives and negatives of the corridor.
The Gateway Corridor project only favors select groups of workers: county government, planners, consultants and construction workers and only addresses the needs of possibly 2% of the travelers in this area whereas 98% drive cars.
We already have a very successful Express Bus service in Woodbury that is well used. The Gateway Corridor duplicates the Express Bus services at a very high cost of $450 Million and that does not include the future cost of maintenance, repair and replacement.
The Express bus could be supplemented by the extension of selected bus routes or a circulator at much less cost.
The Gateway does not address the improvement of roads and bridges.
It will take 30 minutes to get from Manning Avenue to Union Depot – which is not a competitive time compared to auto travel even in traffic.
Other challenges:
· Studies show that about half of the people who do not have cars, don’t ride transit, but drive a borrowed car, car pool, walk or bike to where they need to go.
· Research shows that people are more upwardly mobile when they drive a car. A fixed guide way bus along Hudson road will not benefit a resident who needs to get to a job in a timely fashion that is not directly along the corridor. It will keep people “transit dependent” who could improve their economic status better by driving a vehicle, thus giving them the ability to travel to higher paying jobs. (Transit Link and other services can help those who are unable to drive).
· Much of the development, if any, that happens will either be already planned or subsidized by the government.
· The tax dollars spent on the Bus Rapid Transit will not be available for other programs and will add to our overspending problem.
· What about the traffic slowdowns that will be an everyday occurrence due to not being able to make a left turn in front of the bus or out of a driveway?
AS you can see, I favor the addition of lanes for cars and the select extension of regular route buses over the excessive spending of the Gateway Corridor. I hope the Legislature will reconsider it's support of this wasteful spending project.

Linda Stanton, Woodbury resident

(WCW stock photo of Stanton)