Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Flushing Times editorial far from accurate

From the Neighborhood Retail Alliance:

The Flushing Times, setting a new standard for diminished intellectual capacity, unleashed an attack against us in last week's issue for trying to create an unneeded and undesirable delay in the development of Willets Point-and in the process so totally confused the paper's good readers about the facts at hand that it would be accurate to assume that the obfuscation was purposeful.

In the first place, it should be pointed out to the paper's readers, that none of the businesses at Willets Point have been relocated-and precious few have even been paid for their property, as the city has withheld payments in these troubled economic times. And we're a bit confused about the nature of the, "losing battle," since no negative outcome has occurred since we were retained last year.

Now we'll speak slowly here, and repeat what we had said-and what the Flushing Times had actually reported: "The issue, as always is the discrepancies between the original EIS and the ramp report submitted by EDC to the state: 'The group’s traffic concerns center around two ramps to the Van Wyck Expressway, which would be built in order to accommodate traffic to and from the new development.Lipsky argues that a traffic study the group commissioned found the project would lead to 80,000 new car trips per day and slow everyday traffic to a crawl on major surrounding roads, such as the Grand Central and Cross Island parkways and Northern and College Point boulevards.'"

The Flushing Times owes its readers an apology for this misdirection. As we said at Bay Terrace-and will repeat to all of the civic groups on our upcoming Willets Point Victory Tour-the Willets Point project will create gridlock throughout the borough's arterial infrastructure-a reality that can be gleaned from the city's own traffic study that the paper falsely claims we are challenging. It is this set of facts that have been corrupted by a new team of consultants that have apparently been brought in to confuse regulators at NYSDOT and FHWA about the realities expressed in the original EIS.

But the most egregious aspect of the Flushing Times' ad hominem attack, is that it muddies the waters about what the city is trying to do-and how the Willets Point development will gridlock much of Queens. Better to go after the lobbyist messenger with the bad news than to honestly confront the real dangers that lie ahead for so many Queens communities should this project go forward.