Monday, April 12, 2010

Flushing More Gridlock

Speaking of the Flushing Times, the paper has an article on the recent approval of Flushing Commons: "Community Board 7 voted 35-2 Monday night to support the construction with stipulations of two major mixed-use developments, the construction of which would permanently change the face of downtown Flushing.The $800 million-plus Flushing Commons project would create an urban plaza to anchor the downtown area, while the Macedonia Plaza project would offer 140 new units of affordable housing."

Not that Board #7 wasn't aware of the traffic issues we have already commented on-and a number of stipulations that were added dealt with traffic and parking fixes-quite a shocker. But Chuck Apelian, the board chair, laid all of this out for the FT: "CB 7 Vice Chair Chuck Apelian emphasized Monday the importance of ensuring the non-binding recommendation the board passes to Borough President Helen Marshall and City Councilman Peter Koo (R-Flushing) outlines its concerns about the projects’ shortcomings. The board considered the projects as a single entity for much of the night.“This is different than any other project we’ve ever had,” he said. “This is right smack in the middle of everything so it’s got to work. If it doesn’t work, we’re dead.”

We're unsure why the board didn't take into consideration the fact that the entire logic of the project's EIS was built on one way traffic on Main Street-maybe that was why stipulations were added. But let's be clear, this project's traffic-along with the unaccounted for Willets Point overflow-will certainly challenge the mayor.

But for his part, Bloomberg remains hypocritically upbeat: "Today’s approval of Flushing Commons by Community Board 7 is an important step in the transformation of a 5-acre parking lot into a vibrant urban center that will offer new housing and retail options, hotel or office space and more parking,” Bloomberg said."

So when it comes to development-any development-Mike Bloomberg sets aside his environmental resume and sways sensuously to the development beat; so taken with the music and the melody that he forgets all about sustainability and green jobs. But, just maybe, Flushing Commons can add bike lanes on Main Street so that the residents of Flushing have some method of commuting after this project grinds traffic to a halt.