July 04, 2015
Updates on Transportation News
It’s time to update you on some of the hot topics we’ve discussed in recent weeks:
MALLOY’S TRANSIT LAND GRAB: Remember the Governor’s stealth proposal for a “Transit Corridor Development Authority”, described by some as “eminent domain on steroids”? Well, the initial idea to allow the state to acquire any land within a half-mile of train stations was modified, then killed in the legislature. I predict it will be back.
BRIDGE WOES: Just as planning begins to replace Norwalk’s 118 year old railroad bridge, which opens but doesn’t close, another ancient bridge is suffering the same engineering arthritis. On July 1st the Devon Bridge in Stratford was raised but wouldn’t close, delaying every train that ran across it for days. Estimated replacement cost, $750 million.
STAMFORD GARAGE: It has been two years since the CDOT tapped Darien developer John McClutchy as their choice to demolish the old rail station garage. (That announcement came ten days after, just coincidentally, McClutchy’s wife donated $10,000 to the state Democrats.) But a final deal has yet to be signed for reasons unknown, so any work is still many months away. Meanwhile in April of this year the old garage was crumbling so badly that the CDOT closed it for safety inspections. Those inspections were completed, but the garage is still closed, displacing 700+ daily commuters.
THIS IS “SAFETY FIRST”?: On June 29th, Metro-North allowed two trains to run toward each other on a single track just south of New Canaan. Fortunately they stopped before a collision and one of the trains backed up and out of the way. When reporters firstthey insisted nothing was wrong. Later, they described the incident as “undesirable train routing”, an amazing euphemism for a near collision.
TAKEN TO COURT IN HANDCUFFS: Is it reassuring to passengers to see MTA conductors and engineers on a “perp walk” for the news media? Thirteen current and