Thursday, May 5, 2011

EDC Misinforms-Again! Ramp Approval Not Imminent

The NYC EDC is at it again-misinforming the public about a phantom approval for ramps that will do nothing but make Queens highways even more impassable. As Crain's reports: "Late Wednesday, the Bloomberg administration took a significant step toward the redevelopment of Willets Point, Queens. The state Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration approved the Economic Development Corp.'s environmental assessment of off-ramps proposed for the Van Wyck Expressway. The city, which has called the ramps essential to the massive Queens project, can now go ahead with a required public review process."

While this may be a short step for EDC it isn't any giant leap for NYC-and as Crain's reports a bit later: "Once public comments are received, the city will resubmit its assessment for final state and federal approval." So what is left out is that there is still a public review process that EDC would like everyone to believe is a mere formality because it was able to coerce its former executive-new DOT Commissioner McDonald-to green light its Environmental Assessment.

This will prove to be a false step by the head of an agency that should never have been allowed to oversee an agency whose project she likely had some involvement with back in 2007 when she was still at EDC. It will prove to be even more so after WPU's Brian Ketcham demonstrates that the new EA is as rancid as the original fraudulent submissions that the agency sent back for revision in February of last year.

In fact, what the press should do is give Old McDonald a call up at her farm and ask her how many calls and meetings she and her staff have taken with EDC and its minions since she arrived in January. And while they're at it, the press should track down the former commissioner to see what he thinks about the SDOT's abrupt about face.

As Jake Bono told Crain's: "The current review process for the Van Wyck ramps has been tainted by deficient and fraudulent data that the regulatory authorities are well aware of,” said Jake Bono, a small business owner and member of the opposition group Willets Point United. “There is no way that the ramps can qualify and be approved under the Federal Highway Authority guidelines. We will be advancing this before any review panel and before the courts if it becomes necessary to expose any malfeasance.”

So DOT is walking on very thin ice and malfeasance is a mild characterization of what has transpired in the ramp review process.