Friday, June 25, 2010

What a Difference a Ramp Makes

Earlier in the week we speculated about the effort by Queens BP Helen Marshall to prevent EDC from closing two ramps off of the Van Wyck Expressway: "What a difference a ramp makes-at least when it comes to Helen Marshal's feelings about a different set of ramps off of the Van Wyck Expressway. Remember that Marshal has been one of the biggest cheerleaders for the proposed Van Wyck ramps that would supposedly facilitate the Willets Point development-although we believe it will do no such thing.

But when it comes to a pair of off ramps in Jamaica, the Queens BP weighs in against-claiming that it would have a negative impact, particularly in the ability to access Jamaica Hospital: "A plan to speed traffic to JFK Airport by closing down two exit ramps on the Van Wyck Expressway is facing tough opposition from Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and three community boards. Under the proposal, crafted by the city's Economic Development Corp. and Department of Transportation, the Jamaica Ave. off-ramp on the northbound side would be closed along with the Liberty Ave. off-ramp on the southbound side."

Well, we were at a meeting last night of the College Point Civic and Tax Payers Association, and a question from a woman at the meeting about the propriety of EDC's involvement in this ramp closure got us to thinking. In our earlier post we kind of jocularly wondered whether EDC was looking for ways to relieve Van Wyck congestion because they knew that their Willets Point ramps proposal will seriously clog this key arterial. The more we think about this, however, the more our paranoia feels like there is really someone out to get us.
As our College Point questioner pointed out, shouldn't it be DOT that is involved in this kind of traffic planning? And why does EDC-in reality a non governmental agency-have a role in any of this? We believe that the Jamaica ramps need to be an added agenda item when the state senate holds hearings on the Willets Point ramps. And Helen Marshall-along with NYSDOT-would make an extremely attractive witness.