Thursday, June 16, 2005

Queens Politicians Cautious in Support of Stadium

Albor Ruiz has an interesting column in today’s Daily News pointing how Queens pols, though supportive of the Olympics coming to New York and the attendant new Mets stadium, are striking a cautious tone.

Our community deserves careful planning and consideration for the environmental impact that the project would have on our children, and the infrastructure adjustments that must be put in place," warned Councilman Hiram Monserrate (D-Corona).
Councilman Tony Avella added:

"Before I can support the Queens Olympic stadium proposal, I need to know how the city intends to deal with the huge traffic problem that will be generated not only by the actual Olympic events but also with almost eight years of construction activity."
Ruiz points out that others want to insure that the community has a voice in and benefits from the proposed development:

"I've been talking to the Mets for over two years about a community partnership agreement. And for two years, they've been balking at the opportunity," said Assemblyman José Peralta (D-Corona). "Now is the time for Wilpon to step up to the plate and work not only for the Olympic stadium, but for the long-term benefit of the community."
Both of these issues – mitigating the side-effects of new development and making sure that the surrounding communities are involved – reinforce the need to fairly deal with the 500+ Willets Point merchants who would have to be relocated when redevelopment occurs. It also highlights the inadequacy of the current Bronx Terminal Market redevelopment where there has been no community input and no plan to preserve existing merchants.