Friday, March 19, 2010

Bad to Tabone: Ramping Up the Opposition

When we were growing up on the streets of New York, the highest accolade was, "Man, he's bad!" So, here's a hat's off to our good buddy Vinnie Tabone who's running for the state assembly and calling out for an independent review of the Willets Point ramps. As his letter in the Flushing Times states: "On behalf of the Northeast Queens Community Action Network, I am writing to join with the National Resource Defense Council as well as other concerned citizens and groups in expressing concern over discrepancies in study results that could mean greater effects on traffic mobility, noise and air pollution and congestion than anticipated.Our understanding is that the Environmental Impact Statement prepared by New York City pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act projected significant traffic effects while the draft Access Modification Report showed minor effects. This divergence in results gives one pause as to the reliability of the underlying study methodology as well as the adequacy of proposed mitigation measures."

And in this same vein, Willets Point United went to the John Bowne Civic Association last night in its ongoing effort to enlist the public in uncovering the EDC coverup-one that will cost the citizens of Queens big time in delayed travel and greater social costs. As Tabone says: "Notwithstanding the same, there is a significant and inexplicable divergence in results and given the potential effects and amount of public investment contemplated, it stands to reason further study is called for to ensure mitigation measures, design, etc., are optimized.To this end, the NEQCAN joins with the NRDC in calling for full independent environmental review pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Review Act of the proposed access ramps and their effects on the Van Wyck Expressway."

Next week it's Bay Terrace, and the other Queens groups are being lined up-but we're still waiting for the East Elmhurst Corona folks to weigh in. They are acutely aware of the extent to which their neighborhoods could well become the welcome mat to an overdeveloped Willets Point-with everyone wiping their feet on their community roads in accessing the new Queens jewel. Or, in the words of the old Jerry Reed song, Willets Point will get the gold mine, while East Elmhurst Corona (along with the Willets Point businesses) will get the shaft.