Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Subject: Henry Hudson Parkway: questions about the process
Date: 22-Dec-04 6:27:16 Eastern Standard Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)


December 22, 2004

In the next few months the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) will begin developing the corridor management plan for the Henry Hudson Parkway as a prelude to its possible designation as a New York Scenic Byway. Members of Manhattan Community Board 9 (Harlem) raised important questions about the role of community boards and the public in the process, especially in the current organizing phase. Answers were provided by Gerry Bogacz and Aizaz Ahmed, NYMTC staff overseeing the project, and Nancy Alexander, director of the NYS Scenic Byways Office. They are summarized here by Hilary Kitasei for the Henry Hudson Parkway Task Force.

Q: Can the community board participate in the development of the scope of the RFP (request for proposals) and the selection of the consultant?

A: Not directly, for the reason given below, but their input is welcome and important.

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Committee (NYMTC) is the agency that is funding and developing the corridor management plan. It is a regional council of governments which is funded by the federal government and hosted by New York State government, making it subject to the regulations of each.

The RFP is governed by the New York State Administrative Rules. NYS rules prohibit outside participation in the process of awarding contracts. Nevertheless, NYMTC welcomes community boards and other stakeholders to provide the selection panel with suggestions about their priorities and concerns. They welcome relevant information about a community’s experience with consultants and/or prior projects.

Q: Who will be on the selection team?

A: Typically, a team is made of up NYMTC’s member agencies. In this case, they will likely include New York members, like NYC DOT, NYS DOT, MTA, PANY&NJ (Port Authority), and City Planning. The members may also invite others to participate on the selection team, such as representatives of non-member agencies that also have jurisdictional interests in the parkway (e.g., NYC Parks, NYS Parks, NYC Art Commission, NYC Landmarks Commission, NY Economic Development Corporation, Department of Environmental Conservation, etc.) or representatives of the public.

Q: How can the community board participate in the development of the Corridor Management Plan itself?

A: After the consultant team is hired, NYMTC will organize a Stakeholder Advisory Committee. Community boards and elected officials will likely be asked to nominate representatives for the Committee. NYMTC members can nominate stakeholders as well. Stakeholders include anyone with a clear interest in the future of the parkway corridor. This might include individuals or organizations outside the geographic area that have an interest in protecting its resources: e.g., the river, the historic parkway, landmarks, etc.

All stakeholder committees are consensual, as opposing to formally-voting bodies. Their recommendations are provided to steering committees, which make decisions for planning projects.

Q: Who will be on the steering committee?

A: This will be determined by the members of NYMTC.

Q: To whom is NYMTC accountable? What authority does it have to implement or enforce the Corridor Management Plan?

NYMTC is accountable to its member agencies (for a complete list, see Its staff, who serve as facilitators on projects, report to NYMTC’s board members.

NYMTC is a regional body charged by federal regulations to coordinate transportation planning for the tri-state metropolitan area. Its role is to capture the maximum federal funds available to achieve the goals of the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), Regional Transportation Plan (RTP)and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).

Only improvements identified in these long-range planning programs are eligible for federal transportation funding, without which no major project by any agency can be funded through Federal sources. In this way the Corridor Management Plan will identify needs in the corridor for which member agencies can then sponsor specific projects (not only pure transportation funding but also “quality of life” projects, or enhancements.)

In addition, the Corridor Management Plan will also identify other sources of funding for projects for which other entities, both public and private, would be encouraged to apply. These might be very large (e.g., environmental bond money) or relatively small (e.g., public and private grants for specific projects that enhance the goals of the scenic byway.)

A major goal of the Corridor Management Plan is to establish design guidelines for the parkway, as well as a plan for their implementation and enforcement by all agencies with jurisdiction.

Q: Will there be an entity, like a Scenic Byway Commission, created to manage the parkway, and will it make decisions about funding priorities for the corridor or future scenic byway? And since the Scenic Byways Office is part of New York State DOT, does that mean that the Commission would come under NYS DOT?

A: The steering committee will make the recommendation regarding any new framework or entity to oversee the parkway. There are many possible models to be studied.

The New York State Scenic Byways Office encourages and assists communities in creating byways. It does not manage them. However, a requirement for becoming a state scenic byway is having a corridor management plan that addresses the issue of implementation. In the case of the Henry Hudson Parkway, given its complex city-state multi-agency jurisdiction, a natural choice for coordinating or managing the corridor might very well be NYMTC.

In short, every byway is unique. The best outcome can be achieved by consensus of stakeholders in the most creative, open-minded process.

Remember: byways are created to help protect the resources that are valued by the communities they pass through. This is why we need YOU to tell NYMTC what those are.

Please feel free to contact Hilary Kitasei ( ) or Aizaz Ahmed ( with additional questions.

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