The following is a letter published in The Journal News in response to “State must fix Route 59 mess in Monsey,” May 22 Community View:
“I applaud the vision of Mr. Brachfeld. The improvements he proposes for Route 59 are desperately needed. I can’t understand, though, why he feels that taxpayers should pay to clean up the mess that real estate developers like him created, and in the process enrich his real estate enterprise.
According to Mr. Brachfeld, The Statewide Transportation Improvement Program “already contains sufficient funding.” Where does he suppose this funding came from? Taxes. Public money earmarked for infrastructure improvement should be given to communities that have exhibited responsible and sustainable growth. The overcrowded and dangerous conditions of Route 59 in Monsey and Spring Valley were caused by a free-for-all of overdevelopment enabled by a regime that now sits awaiting sentencing on multiple counts of fraud and corruption. Mr. Brachfeld ironically writes that he and his fellow businessmen are putting in the work “in absence of coordinated, productive planning” from local authorities. Too little, too late.
My premise is simple: If you make a mess, clean it up.
Here is another simple premise: Those who stand to benefit financially should pay the tab. Just in case you thought Mr. Brachfeld is being altruistic, the improvements he suggests would be a boon to his planned 600-unit housing development on the site of the old Rockland Drive In on Route 59.
Of course those improvements to Route 59 would also be a great benefit to the community. The taxpayers should pay a small share, but Mr. Brachfeld and the real estate developers who profited from the overcrowding of Ramapo need to do a lot better than 1,300 linear feet and a “portion” of the cost of a bypass. Perhaps all of the developers and Realtors who gorged themselves in the Ramapo real estate feeding frenzy could pass around a hat.”