Friday, August 13, 2010

More Rampant Stupidity

Remember those other ramps off of the Van Wyck? Here's a reminder:

"Earlier in the week we speculated about the effort by Queens BP Helen Marshall to prevent EDC from closing two ramps off of the Van Wyck Expressway: "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."

Well, it seems that EDC has had a change of heart. As the Queens Chronicle reports: "A plan to close two exit ramps on the Van Wyck Expressway that was opposed by local community boards and the Queens Borough President’s Office has been suspended indefinitely. The proposal was crafted by the city’s Economic Development Corp. and Department of Transportation and was designed to speed traffic flow into Kennedy International Airport, according to both agencies. The EDC confirmed this week that the proposal would be put on hiatus for now."

How nice that EDC came to its senses. But what to make of the rationale behind the ramp closures? Perhaps, and we say perhaps because who knows what lurks in the heart of EDC, the attempt to close the Jamaica ramps was an acknowledgement that the Willets Point ramps are gonna raise holy hell with the, "traffic flow into Kennedy International Airport..."

But what about the DOT and the evaluation of the ramp closure? "City officials had argued the closings would reduce car accidents on the Van Wyck while cutting travel time to the airport." Community folks, however, had a radically different perspective.

As the Chronicle point out: "since it was announced earlier this summer, the proposed closures drew the ire of business and civic groups, and community boards 9, 10 and 12, who said it would negatively impact emergency vehicle traffic into Jamaica Hospital and hurt businesses in the area...Mary Ann Carey, chairwoman of Community Board 9, said she would continue to oppose the plan if the city attempts to revive it. “I am very pleased the they are not going to pursue this ridiculous idea,” she said. “I don’t understand the reasoning behind it.”

Hm. So, what do you all think could have been the reasoning behind it? And if there was no relationship between this proposal and Willets Point, what else could have possessed EDC and DOT? One thing's certain, never believe the official explanation-especially not from these clown car occupants. The following from the Chronicle offers a hint: "Alexandra Rosa, chief of staff for Borough President Helen Marshall, said their office had conducted a private meeting with the EDC in June and representatives from the three community boards to hear specifics on the plan...Rosa said the attendees of the meeting had asked the EDC for a detailed traffic analysis of how area streets would be impacted. The EDC had previously provided an analysis with outdated data, she said.  “We’re glad the EDC is reconsidering this project,” Rosa said. Rosa said further opposition to the project stemmed from concerns about clogging traffic on the Van Wyck due to several ongoing construction projects. The state Department of Transportation is also beginning a road work project on the expressway this month."

Connect the dots here, please.