As you no doubt are aware, the coalition known as CURES (Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions), of which Juniper Civic is a founding member, has been advocating for cleaner rail operations, against idling, noisy, polluting trains, and for upgrades to locomotives owned by freight lines. CURES also partnered with the railroads to beautify areas alongside railroad property. The efforts of the people involved with CURES have been successful in getting a lot of what they asked for. So what is the logical response from the powers that be? Create an “anti-CURES” group.

“Rail New York” is a completely web-based “organization” that advocates for the railroads to be able to do whatever they please, and attacks CURES volunteers when they don’t like what they say or do. They will not admit that rail can be made cleaner and safer, and of course, they are pro-Cross Harbor. Rumor has it that Congress Member Jerrold Nadler, the main proponent of Cross Harbor, is behind Rail New York, but no one at the supposed group will admit who they really are. They certainly do have a professional-looking website, not one that a railroad enthusiast would put together, but one which costs a lot of money. Where did the money come from?

Posts and comments on the Rail New York Facebook page have devolved into name-calling of CURES leaders. One photo that they doctored featured Mary Parisen, CURES co-founder. Across this photo, the words, “The louder you have to be, the more no one cares” appear with “” printed across the bottom. Then the fans of this phantom group proceeded to make misogynistic comments about Mary that will not be reprinted here. The ironic thing was that in the photo chosen, Mary was speaking at the dedication of the Keep America Beautiful and NYC’s Love My Block Grant project where a rail corridor in Glendale was revitalized with beautiful shrubs and plants. She was actually at the microphone thanking New York & Atlantic Railway and Waste Management for their participation, not giving them a hard time.

Now take a look at this latest posting from this group. Say, you don’t like the Cross Harbor Rail Tunnel or the filthy, antiquated state of rail freight in NYC? Do the right thing. Sell your house or find a new apartment and move! This is actually what is being suggested by this Cross Harbor Tunnel advocacy organization. 

What is really selfish, shameful, and embarrassing is the way public money continues to be spent on Cross Harbor consultants who produce plans that have no financing, no customers or private railroad investors lined up, can’t do what they say they will, and spawn truck traffic in the outer boroughs with no plans for handling it. Even with Cross Harbor’s fantastically optimistic projections,* their rail tunnel removes only “700 to 900 trucks per day, or 2 to 2.5 percent, across all bridges crossing the harbor and Hudson River in the 23-county analysis region in the eastbound direction.” Another Cross Harbor option, the rail tunnel with truck access, gets 3,000 trucks off the “eastbound direction on all crossings,” but dumps 8,000 more trucks on Brooklyn and New Jersey. That’s getting less than two week’s truck traffic off bridges and simply transferring traffic overburden at a cost of $7-11B? And you should move to accommodate this? Talk about things that are dumb! 

*Quotes above are from the Cross Harbor Freight Program Their 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement, page ES-11, “Changes in Volume on Hudson River Crossings.”