Congressman José E. Serrano today joined with community groups in asking that the Sheridan-Hunts Point Land Use and Transportation Study (SEHP) continue to include the "full removal" option for the Sheridan Expressway; an option which had been deemed unfeasible by the City Department of Transportation and removed from further study on May 10th. Serrano, who helped secure the TIGER II grant to fund the study and the community engagement, called the decision "premature" and "not in keeping with the aims of a full, realistic study of all the options."
"I stand with the community in saying that taking any option off the table at this time is premature," said Congressman Serrano. "When we helped secure the grant for this study, we envisioned a full study of all the options, not one where a challenging option like the removal is quickly discounted. We know that there are difficulties with removing the Sheridan, but we are interested in knowing how that could be accomplished, not hearing that it is too difficult to even continue studying. I urge the City to reconsider and resume studying all options for the Sheridan Expressway.
"This process is about finding creative solutions to potential problems and moving towards a plan that the community and the City and State can agree is in the best interests of all involved. We do need to preserve truck access to Hunts Point even as we work to reduce the numbers of trucks moving through our borough. We must ensure there are not more trucks or traffic on side streets. This may take some difficult problem-solving. It may involve new construction in order to free up the community from the threat of increase truck and vehicle traffic. But our borough deserves a fair shot at reclaiming the land under the Sheridan and we should not have any options taken off the table in these early phases of serious study.
"Our community has spent years dealing with the burden of much of the unwanted activities from other parts of the city. We have begun to reclaim natural spaces and to improve the physical spaces in the Bronx. This study of the Sheridan Expressway is an integral part of that movement towards equity for our borough in our environment. It is not right to remove a potentially life-changing option from this study. I urge the City to put that option back in and work towards solutions and positive outcomes. Our borough deserves no less."