Saturday, June 23, 2012

What Suits the Giants, the Jets, and the Mets?

On Friday word came down-courtesy of the omnipresent Charles Bagli of the NY Times-that the Giants and the Jets were suing the developer of a shopping mall right next to their stadium in the New Jersey:

"The Giants and the Jets filed a lawsuit on Friday to block the proposed American Dream shopping and entertainment mall in the Meadowlands, which they contend will threaten their ability to successfully hold games at the nearby MetLife Stadium. The Giants and Jets said the mall, in East Rutherford, N.J., “will clog the complex’s already congested transportation networks” on game days, according to the lawsuit."

What in Wellington Mara's name could be the problem? You guessed it-traffic:

"The teams and the mall’s developers had been negotiating for months over their differences. The teams asked the developer to close the planned mall — which includes an amusement park, an indoor ski jump and an indoor water park — on game days, 20 times a year, when more than 80,000 football fans converge on the stadium. So far, the developer, the Triple Five Group, has said it will not do so.

“The Giants and the Jets have $1.6 billion invested in this stadium,” said John K. Mara, president of the New York Giants, “and we can’t afford to make it more difficult for our fans to get in and out of here on game days.”

How much traffic? "We’ve got 25,000 to 30,000 cars here on game day,” he added, “and now we’re going to have the biggest mall in America. Common sense tells you there are going to be problems with ingress and egress.”

Yuh think? But apparently the Wilpons are such deep thinkers-or is it perhaps that they really don't give a rat's ass about the ability of their fans to ingress and egress on game days? In addition, keep in mind that EDC submitted an application for Van Wyck ramps to the Federal Highway Administration that didn't include almost a million square feet of big box stores-and the benighted planners are still envisioning the full scale build out of the entire 62 acres of Willets Point that already has projected 80,000 car and truck trips a day.

That application was submitted by EDC to the Feds when it knew that the new development concept was about to awarded to the Related/Sterling Equities partnership-talk about a real bait and switch! This was fraud on the part of the NYC EDC and now WPU may just have to go back to the regulators and demand that the entire ramp review be re-opened.

On top of this fiasco we have a brain dead elected official shilling for, "the largest convention center in the United States," on the remaining land inconveniently owned by others. Imagine the traffic nightmare that would generate on top of the mall and the Mets' game motorists. (And shame on the Queens Courier for posting this on-line and not the accompanying WPU rebuttal).

Folks, this is what passes as planning in NYC-economic development officials deeding tax payer bought properties to members of the mayor's billionaire boys club to generate horrendous environmental damage and inconvenience to the residents of the borough; aided and abetted by a cohort of elected officials with no sense of responsibility for the public good.

The Giants and the Jets understand the realities of this better than those who should know better in NYC. You don't build a mall right next to a baseball stadium-and right down the road from a tennis venue. But you do if you're looking to enrich your cronies at the expense of the hapless citizens.