Monday, July 26, 2010

Garbage in, garbage out

From the Neighborhood Retail Alliance:

...there has been a great deal of prattling on about how the Willets Point development will somehow become the culmination of Mike Bloomberg's 2030 vision of sustainable development-and much of the prattling is unmoored from any sense of what kind of impact the project-as it is currently envisioned-will have on the immediate surrounding neighborhoods; as well as on Queens County as a whole.

Just a cursory look at what is planned for the site-and a concomitant look at the site itself-should instill a note of caution to anyone with sustainable development dreams (and that includes some misguided-and perhaps deluded with some incentives-environmental groups that rushed to the mayor;'s side to sing praises to the EDC-driven new Willets Point vision).

Now for a reality check. Willets Point, unlike, say, Battery Park City, isn't a nice short walk from not only the city's financial sector, but to as many mass transit options as any Transportation Alternatives aficionado could ever want. Willets Point is relatively isolated, and the major mass transit option-as we have been writing about in respect to the Flushing Commons project-is the already overcrowded 7 Line. The same goes for the myriad bus lines that move in and out of the Flushing transit hub.

Now, according to the Willets Point EIS-which will have to stand in for a definitive document until something a bit more accurate can be commissioned-the development will generate around 80,000 car and truck trips a day onto the already gridlocked intersections that plague the surrounding communities of Corona, East Elmhurst and Flushing. Now keep in mind boys and girls that this 80,000 trip estimate devolves from a methodology that projects almost half of all the Willets Point activity will be somehow effected through the use of the aforementioned over-capacitied train and buses.

The three card monte scammers at AKRF-through the active collusion of its subcontractor Eng Wang Taub-came to this conclusion by the use of a neat methodological sleight of hand: basing the car trip generation on the assertion that only around 70% of Queens residents own cars (and not the over 90% that NYMTC concludes). You get it? Garbage in, garbage out.