Byrne Takes State Leadership to Task At Joint Legislative Budget Hearing On Transportation
Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,I,Ref-Mahopac) displays a photo of potholes on Route 6 in Putnam County during the Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Transportation on Thursday, January 25, 2018.
At the Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Transportation, his first hearing since being named to the Assembly Committee on Transportation, Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,I,Ref-Mahopac) wasted no time in addressing some of his constituents’ most pressing needs. Over the course of the day’s testimony, Byrne took the opportunity to directly question the leadership of some of New York’s most prominent transportation organizations, including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). With a notable focus on a delayed initiative to repave sections of Route 6 in Putnam County, one of the area’s most heavily-traveled state roads, Byrne demonstrated a commitment to not only standing up for his district’s best interests, but also to holding state leadership accountable for following through on its promises.
In his extended line of questioning with DOT Commissioner Paul Karas, Byrne detailed a project, announced by the governor and DOT in July 2017, which would provide much-needed repairs to pothole-ridden sections of Route 6. Unfortunately, that project has since been delayed until potentially 2019, and Putnam County residents remain frustrated by flat tires caused by the treacherous conditions on this busy road. During the hearing, Byrne, whose previous attempts to get an explanation for this delay from the DOT went unanswered, voiced his concerns that projects like this, as well as similar initiatives to build a graded interchange at Pudding Street and repair dangerously-deteriorated sections of the Taconic State Parkway, might fall through the cracks.
“Our residents need to feel confident that when our state’s leadership says it is going to do something, it can be taken at its word,” said Byrne. “New York’s roads are in a state of neglect, and we cannot allow necessary measures, like the repaving of Route 6, to fall by the wayside. I look forward to continuing my work to improve New York’s roads and hold the current administration accountable for its promises, and I fully intend to follow up with the DOT regarding these important projects.”
In addition, Byrne questioned MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota and Managing Director Veronique Hakim regarding the organization’s progress in delivering positive train control, an important safety measure, by the conclusion of the year.
“The MTA’s services, notably the Harlem and Hudson lines, are important transportation resources that are frequently utilized by members of our community,” said Byrne. “It is extremely important to the safety of these commuters that the installation of positive train control be completed in a timely manner.”
To learn more about Byrne’s work with the Assembly Committee on Transportation, or to inquire about any additional state matters, please contact his district office at (845) 278-2923.