Finish the Korean War Veterans Parkway Already

Not to do so is simply inexcusable

I have grown weary of the needless congestion on Staten Island. One major contributor to this situation is the incomplete Korean War Veterans Parkway. Originally intended to connect to the Staten Island Expressway, it was irrationally abandoned halfway through, to remain as a monument to government incompetence and civic idiocy.

I know of no reason why this important artery has to remain incomplete. While the poetic justice of an incomplete highway being dedicated to the veterans of an incomplete war is obvious, that hardly justifies the unnecessary pollution created by cars stuck in traffic for no good reason. The thirteen lanes of traffic on the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge need to connect to an equal number of limited-access lanes on both sides. The Brooklyn side has the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Belt Parkway. The Staten Island side has... the Staten Island Expressway, which only accounts for eight lanes. The missing four lanes will some day have to be provided by the Korean War Veterans Parkway unless Staten Islanders want to choke in smog and bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Politicians and self-appointed environmentalists will be quick to say that the route has been "de-mapped." Big deal. Stop making excuses, re-map it, and get to work creating valuable construction jobs and saving everyone time every day. Re-mapping is an administrative act of the government's will. De-mapping is no more irreversible than anything else if only sensible people have the common sense to force the government's hand. Even the senseless destruction of the already-constructed but never-used interchange at the Staten Island Expressway is not irreversible. (The interchange probably would have needed a rehabilitation by now anyway even if it had been used.) In fact, it probably could be built as simply a single overpass from the westbound expressway to the westbound parkway, omitting the reverse moves.

Finally, just as the Goethals Bridge needed a demolition and rebuild with an increase to six lanes, the Outerbridge Crossing-- almost identical to the original Goethals Bridge-- is equally functionally obsolete and under constant repair. It too will need to be replaced with a new facility with at least six lanes of capacity, but where is that extra traffic going to go? It needs to go to the completed Korean War Veterans Parkway, which will flow into the Staten Island Expressway, which even after all the money that has been dumped into it, still needs extra capacity between the Verrazzano and the parkway. It's high time to eliminate the Staten Island Bottleneck and stop making cowardly excuses about why it can't or shouldn't be done.

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