Thursday, August 12, 2010

Willets Point Hearing Cancellation on Ramps to Nowhere

The NY Daily News is reporting on the mysterious cancellation of the scheduled hearing of the state senate transportation hearing that had originally been called to address the review process for approval of the building of ramps off of the Van Wyck Expressway. The city has maintained, that the ramps are the linchpin of the entire Willets Point development-suggesting that their approval was of compelling interest to all of the machers over at EDC.

As the News points out: "But some land owners - bitter over a cancelled state hearing on the project scheduled for this week - said a controversial ramp project for the Van Wyck Expressway should red light the plan. "We could be at the beginning of a long process," said Richard Lipsky, a lobbyist for the local business owners' group, Willets Point United. "This deal can't be done behind closed doors." Some business owners had hoped to use the state Senate hearing as a platform to call for an independent review of the plan."

And we should point out, that EDC/SDOT can run, but they can't hide from the fact that the city's three card monte game will eventually be exposed: "Dozens of land owners in the so-called Iron Triangle are also calling for more transparency in conversations between the city Economic Development Corp. and state Department of Transportation as they try to hammer out an environmental assessment of building on- and off-ramps near Citi Field. "There's too cozy a relationship," Lipsky charged of the two agencies."

But the effort to keep all of this under wraps will ultimately prove to be unsuccessful-and hearings will accompany the state and federal review process: "The EDC plans to submit the environmental assessment by early next month, sources said. The plans will then go under public review to create a revised Access Modification Report - a detailed summary of the project. It must be approved by both the state DOT and the Federal Highway Administration."

EDC, however, remains sanguine-something that all of the e-mails that we have received from our FOIA requests reveal in all of their panic-stricken tones: "Still, the city doesn't expect plans to redevelop the area to be hindered in any way." We look forward to the traffic report unveiling-in anticipation of the geometric breakthrough that EDC will achieve in its squaring the circle analysis of uncontainable traffic flow.