Monday, May 01, 2006

Demolition Derby

The NY Times has taken note of the dust-up on Staten Island over the plans to build a NASCAR track and, oh yes, 620,000 sq. ft. of retail space as well. As the paper reports "Until last week, the project, which would cost up to $600 million in private funds and take until 2010 to be completed, seemed to be inching forward."

What happened last week was unusual, even for New York. At a DCP meeting on the Island a rowdy crowd of thousands turned up and the meeting degenerated into a shouting match, with a union official getting physical with Councilman Andrew Lanza. Maybe we should say that the project has started to "inch" backwards (even with the former SI BP being paid thousands of dollars a month to lobby for the development).

The key point here is that the "traffic nightmare" on Staten Island must be addressed first before any major new projects are approved. This means that deals such as NASCAR and Wal-Mart need to be shelved until the Island's road infrastructure is improved.