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.