Monday, April 2, 2012

Ramp Tramps

City Room is reporting on the FHWA's ramp approval:

"The Federal Highway Administration has removed a major obstacle to the Bloomberg administration’s plan to turn a waterlogged enclave of crumbling shops and sheds near Citi Field into a major development site. In a decision long awaited by both supporters and opponents of the project, which is to cost about $3 billion, federal officials found that it would have “no significant effect on the human environment.”

Can you imagine a decision any more clueless? 80,000 daily car and truck trips will have "no significant effect on the human environment.” If you read that and can't understand that this was a politically engineered hijacking of the regulatory process than your comprehension has been retarded by brain damage. As WPU's Mike Gerrard says:

“This decision flies in the face of the city’s own traffic studies showing that the ramps would allow intolerable traffic on the Van Wyck Expressway,” said Michael B. Gerrard, a Columbia University law professor who is also representing property owners. “We will examine the documentation underlying this action and consider our legal options.”

Indeed we will. After Kelo 44 states-but not New York-changed their eminent domain laws because they knew that the court's wrongheaded decision paved the way for crony capitalists to hot wire the local development process across the land. Now we have a stark example of that in NYC-along with a federal agency beclowning itself on behalf of a rich parvenu like Bloomberg. The stunning incompetency of the state and federal regulators is about to be exposed. Stay tuned because the fat lady has yet to even clear her throat.