Monday, November 15, 2010

EDC's year-long coverup continues

From the Neighborhood Retail Alliance:

It is now approaching a year since Willets Point United and its traffic maven Brian Ketcham blew the whistle on a fraud that was about to be committed by EDC over the application to build ramps off of the Van Wyck Expressway to accommodate.

What has transpired since last February is nothing less than a vaudeville act. The DOT, after promising transparency and cooperation with whistle blower Ketcham, circled its wagons and has refused any direct information exchange with the expert who prevented the agency from looking like a compliant horse's ass. The actions of EDC, however, are even more egregious-it has refused to give up any information on the work product that has gone into the AMR's revision-and this is after DOT promised WPU that it would have a revised AMR by no later than October 1st.

Can any one concerned with accurate and open government defend the actions of these two agencies?

...WPU has got ungatz from either DOT or the NYC EDC-a stonewalling that further compels that this entire process should be opened up for an independent and public review process. But review aside, EDC is breaking the open government law-refusing to hand over documents that it is required to do under the Freedom of Information Act; a refusal that is instructive about the way this quasi-public agency goes about its business.

The Willets Point development is a massive use of tax payer funds that, while forcibly removing property owners, will have a huge impact on, not only the immediate Willets Point/Corona/Flushing neighborhoods, but the entire region. The proposed Van Wyck ramps are the linchpin of this development, and their ability to accommodate and mitigate thousands of daily car and truck trips is essential for the ability of this development to function smoothly-and NYC has admitted this in court papers.

Put simply, if the ramps either aren't built, or can't perform the tasks assigned to them, the entire Willets Point development becomes a collapsing house of cards. Therefore, the review of these ramps is a crucial variable in evaluating the feasibility of the entire Willets Point project.

If, however, the process is suborned by agency collusion-aided and abetted by an administration used to getting its way in spite of any perceived contradictory facts-a disaster awaits Queens County and its road and mass transit infrastructure. EDC is in dire need of an intervention-the people of Queens and the rest of NYC, including the embattled Willets Point property owners deserve no less.