Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Lady and the Ramp

What a difference a ramp makes-at least when it comes to Helen Marshal's feelings about a different set of ramps off of the Van Wyck Expressway. Remember that Marshal has been one of the biggest cheerleaders for the proposed Van Wyck ramps that would supposedly facilitate the Willets Point development-although we believe it will do no such thing.

But when it comes to a pair of off ramps in Jamaica, the Queens BP weighs in against-claiming that it would have a negative impact, particularly in the ability to access Jamaica Hospital: "A plan to speed traffic to JFK Airport by closing down two exit ramps on the Van Wyck Expressway is facing tough opposition from Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and three community boards. Under the proposal, crafted by the city's Economic Development Corp. and Department of Transportation, the Jamaica Ave. off-ramp on the northbound side would be closed along with the Liberty Ave. off-ramp on the southbound side."

What's funny here is-aside from the fact that Marshall is running ramped-is that EDC has concerns about speeding up access to Kennedy when its Willets Point ramps will slow the access to a virtual crawl. But this is the typical talking out of both sides of their mouth pattern that the agency is becoming famous for-and we can't wait to see how its consultants are going to square the circle on their revamp of the original ramp report. But maybe they need to close the Jamaica ramps to make up for the clogging that's being promoted further upstream?

In any case, it is amusing to see the BP get all feisty on the agency that she has been waltzing so closely with-maybe she has a stake in Jamaica that she hasn't got in Willets Point. And our bud Lombino is exhibiting a rather charming concern for community sentiment: "We're listening to the community and listening to their concerns as we evaluate whether or not to move forward," said EDC spokesman David Lombino.

But what about the NYSDOT? We suppose that closing a ramp may not be in its purview. But we could be wrong. In the meantime, we'll just luxuriate in the acrimony-even if it is probably short lived.