Submitted by ub on Sun, 05/04/2014 - 15:56

Multiple local media outlets were notified of a major announcement, except for City Island Images. However, it did not stop us from breaking the story and providing our thousands of readers with the latest, most accurate and up to date news on The City island Bridge.

As first reported here on City Island Images this morning, NYC DOT, along with elected officials met on City Island at high noon to announce an update on The City Island Bridge project. NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg joined NY Senator Jeffrey Klein, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, NYC Council Member James Vacca, and NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer today to announce an update to the City Island Bridge replacement project. DOT says it has come up with a new design, and included the following conceptual renderings of a new causeway style bridge.

There was apparently a Friday meeting, where DOT presented some of these renderings posted above of a new causeway style bridge, which apparently received widespread support from City Island "community leaders".

The new proposal for this 113 year bridge is designed by Tutor Perini It is said to be clean and simple, with minimal impact on the waterway below, featuring unobstructed views of Pelham Bay Park and Eastchester Bay.

City Island Images asked elected, as well as appointed officials when folks initially voiced concern about the initial bridge design? Why all of this had to occur at the eleventh hour? What were these people doing over the past few years, while the planning process was taking place? None of them would answer these questions and one suggested we look forward, not backwards. Therefore we will focus on the future, but without specific cost estimates. Only a 2017 completion date, with a "more flexible design" and a promised $5 million dollar savings?

On Tuesday, May 6, 2014, NYC Planning is scheduled to hold its ULURP hearing regarding our City Island bridge. Richard Jannaccio , publisher of 1100+ strong City Islander and Friends wonders "Is this merely a scheme to create a cover for City Planning to now say "Yes" when the community boards and borough president have said no? Shouldn't a new plan require going back to Square 1, i.e. the community board as opposed to this 2-card monte trick? Where is the opportunity for the community to evaluate and have input with this new slam-dunk approach? " In another post he goes on to say " t would be nice to be able to applaud at this point, only two days before a hearing with City Planning, or at least to be fully informed, but there are too many unanswered questions after this last-minute slam dunk approach. Nothing like inviting the public to a hearing and keeping us in the dark about the details of the proposal to be discussed." Richard ends saying, " In any event, the only responsible course of action is to disapprove of the familiar closed-door, 11th -hour process, reserve judgment until all the facts emerge, and hope that the details, when they are revealed (hopefully tomorrow?), will be miraculously laudable."

So much for transparency and leadership in the sunshine. The very least the these people should have done was to publicly notify everyone that there was a meeting scheduled and not that Friday session some agreed to participate in. Also, there was no public mention that there would be a Sunday announcement until City Island Images broke the story on our website:

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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 05/05/2014 - 15:32


Having now read, heard or seen six (6) accounts of this story in the local media so far, this news story in is the only one -- at least so far -- that goes beyond regurgitating the same DOT press release and staged comments at yesterday's photo-op event to announce a new bridge design.

The newest City Island bridge design has been described as "plain vanilla" but when it comes to informing the public and allowing input, the process remains a "rocky road." There is no substitute for democracy in a society that purports to value democracy, especially at the most local levels of government. And while the sketch of the new bridge is less imposing than that of the old, the details remain a mystery a day before a scheduled public hearing.

Experience has taught me that good results are more likely to come from good processes. The best process, the only process that should be employed here, is the democratic process of public access to information, and public inclusion and participation in proposing and endorsing a plan.

Sadly, once again, that has not happened with the latest City Island Bridge replacement plan. On the contrary, once again, it appears that Democracy has been deliberately short-circuited.