Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Choking on Hypocrisy

NY 1 is reporting that Assemblyman Peter River has introduced a bill that would address the city's growing asthma problem. The law would "require schools to stop vehicles from idling outside school buildings and would allow more access to asthma medication."

Rivera is a conscientious legislator who has a genuine concern for his borough where asthma is epidemic. At the same time, however, it is important to deal with root causes and not superficial symptoms. The root causes in this case, causes that has led the EPA to call NYC's air "the dirtiest in the country", derive from the sheer volume of vehicular traffic, particularly diesel trucks powering through the Bronx.

This is why the approval of the Yankee Stadium and BTM/Gateway deals is so egregious. If, as the Alliance's consultant has observed, the BTM traffic study is the "worst he's seen in thirty years" than the Deegan corridor will be choking with traffic and so will the local streets as consumers and Yankee fans look for shorcuts to the mall and the stadium.

To cavalierly allow developments to proceed when traffic and air quality concerns are not adequately addressed is to mask the root causes of the boroughs health problems. Any ex post facto "solution" is reduced to hypocritical posturing.