Tuesday, July 13, 2010

DOT responds to NRDC letter

From the Neighborhood Retail Alliance:

NYSDOT has finally responded to the NRDC request in a letter dated July, 2, 2010-but is claiming that there is no need for an independent review: "The NEPA documents that are being developed are an Environmental Assessment and a revised Access Modification Report....We understand the request for an independent review but believe that working closely with NYCEDC, we can assure that the data will be based on sound data."

This is, without a doubt, a simply breathtaking assertion in the light of the contradictory and fallacious submissions from the very development corp that is now been made a valued collaborator with the state agency empowered to render fair and accurate judgments in these kinds of matters. It is, at the same time, inexplicable in the light of the Ketcham findings that the Van Wyck Expressway cannot accommodate even a tiny fraction of Willets Point traffic. The only way to do so would be to widen the expressway to four lanes in each direction for several miles. NYSDOT simply does not have the money to do this and the cost of widening the elevated structures would total a billion of dollars or more, another subsidy to developers when critical transportation projects all over New York State are being shelved.

All of this implies a gross negligence by NYSDOT of its statutory oversight responsibility-and indicates that the agency, instead of clearing the air-as NRDC suggests-through an independent review, is actively colluding in a bag job; as its resistance to WPU's freedom of information requests dramatizes quite well. The question now is where does the FHWA stand? Will they really rubber stamp this buffoonery or will they step up and kill what has already been demonstrated as an abject failure?