NEW: the NYSDOT has released a Draft Report on the Route 17 PEL Study. This document has numerous problematic findings, information, and analysis. To read our public comment letter, and to sign on please visit our petition page!
The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is currently preparing a Route 17 Transportation Corridor Planning and Environment Linkages Study (Route 17 PEL Study). The study will evaluate the environmental impacts and engineering feasibility of adding a third lane to Route 17 between exit 131 (Harriman) to exit 103 (Monticello) in both directions. This study and project is supported by 17 Forward 86, Inc., a coalition funded primarily by construction/engineering unions and lobbyists.
Catskill Mountainkeeper is concerned about the environmental impacts and necessity of this $500 million project. Congestion on Route 17 is mostly limited to Friday and Sunday (discretionary/recreational travel), which can be better and more environmentally addressed by Transportation Demand Management (TDM) measures, such as ride-sharing and public transportation. A third lane running in each direction would would, in-fact, increase more traffic, more congestion, create urban sprawl, cause millions of tons of CO2 emissions, and result in a six-lane highway running straight into the Catskill Mountains.
We believe there are better ways to spend $500 million that could help the economy while addressing transportation needs in an socially and environmentally responsible manner.
The anticipated timeline of the Study is:
Project kickoff - Fall 2020
Data collection - Winter 2020/2021
Project Purpose & Need and Development of Alternatives - Spring 2021
Draft Scoping/PEL Report - Summer 2021
Final Project Scoping PEL Report - Fall 2021
Come back to this page for the most up-to-date information and reach out to Sam Wright at [email protected] for more information or to get involved.