Those Opposed to the Tunnel Need to Speak Up Now
One of the pleasures of living in Rye is Rye Town Park and the access it provides to the beaches and waters of Long Island Sound. Even on an overcast spring afternoon, a leisurely stroll across its broad lawns and along its sandy beachfront paths is a welcome antidote to the hustle and bustle of our thriving community.
I wonder, however, how long this tranquil scene will last. Specifically, what will happen if the tunnel connecting Westchester and Long Island proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo is built? Our area roads and highways are already congested. Have you been on I-95 lately? To say nothing of the danger posed to the fragile ecology of the Sound and the recreational opportunities it offers by such an intrusive and alien structure.
Back in the 1960s another New York governor, Nelson Rockefeller, was a proponent of a similar project, a bridge across the Sound connecting Rye and Oyster Bay. But, the idea generated a firestorm of protest and eventually was abandoned.
What’s scary about “Soundlink” is how little controversy it has produced so far, even as a multi-million-dollar feasibility study has been approved and the plan seems to be gaining momentum. Is it because, this time, it’s an underwater tunnel that’s recommended instead of a more visible bridge? Or, are we just so overloaded with other concerns, from local issues to the chaos in Washington, to notice?
Whatever the explanation, it’s important for Rye residents opposed to this scheme to speak up now.
— John E. Stafford