Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sears get seared by civic group

"I'd like to post a letter I've sent to Councilwoman Helen Sears, in response to her stated support for the Community Board 3's proposed addition of parking meters on 73rd Street in front of Subzi Mandi--and in the mouth of the worst (most chronically gridlocked, dangerous) intersection (73rd Street and 37th Avenue) in northern Queens, as anyone who lives near it knows.

If I may, I will preface your reading of the letter with a quick sketch of my short-term process leading up to its writing, This put-it-to-a-vote item magically appeared on the agenda of the last CB3 meeting without any discussion with, nor inclusion of, any residential groups. To be sure, most residents certainly would argue that the bus stop on that corner, which mysteriously disappeared one night not long ago, should be turned into a loading zone for trucks that otherwise double-park and create daily havoc there.

I've never appeared before a community board meeting before, but when a neighbor called me to tell me the item was printed on their upcoming agenda I felt I had to go, both as a representative of my apartment building and as a founding member of the WJHA.

There were no residents of western Jackson Heights in the audience, nor did I recognize other members of the WJHA or the attendees of its meetings at the CB3 meeting, which was testimony to the stealthy nature of this item's inclusion on the agenda. I received further proof of CB3's bias when the item was introduced as having originated from Queens DOT (the implication was, NOT the board nor commercial interests). Queens DOT's last proposal was for a revival of the one-way pass on 37th Avenue, which has been defeated several times before. They haven't had an original idea about this traffic mess in years.

Then the "transportation committee" member who offered this red herring read Helen Sears' e-mailed support for the proposal, followed by a mumbled reading of Yvonne Sumner's disparaging e-mail (she represents an enormous co-op on 73rd Street) and then e-mails from other ''residents'' that were pro-accommodation of more vehicles. The impression was given on a community divided on this insane idea.

I found the experience akin to the political process I used to read about as a kid, only the subject then was the Soviet Union.

I hope residential concerns in the western end of Jackson Heights can find a few friends before it gets cut off by the knaves of commercial development and turn into a new version of a Robert Moses-induced Bronx slum. It looks like it's already happening on 73rd St, and it makes me angry and sad, both, because I love living here and I find it bewildering that the quality-of-life issues for residents don't receive attention equal to the accommodation of visitors to the area."

Stan Mieses

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm.

Sounds like CB1 is giving lessons. Perhaps they ran a community board camp over summer.

Do give us know more examples, people.

Afterall, Shulman was the Manis CB head.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that they never posted this item on the board's web site. It should be closed down as it only misleads.

Anonymous said...

Even the privileged status of being a historic district cannot ease the congestion of being smack in the middle of Little India.

What are these overcrowded
densely populated commercial hubs usually touted as by the local business associations....
oh yes....."vibrant and bustling" !

If anyone living here really expects lower density....
move to Glen oaks.

Anonymous said...

Typical......
dealing off the bottom of the deck......
cheating the community.

Anonymous said...

When I saw this headline, I got all excited because I thought it was referring to Sears the store (I've had a nightmarish experience with them after buying $5,000 worth of appliances). Oh well.

Anonymous said...

That area needs some vocal people who care about the area. It is going to the dogs. It is looking like a slum area. Don't give up...you can stop it and turn it around. Stay passionate. It is a great place to live.

Taxpayer said...

Stan, your memory of reading about things like this in the Soviet Union is correct.

With the Commissar Bloomberg at the helm, pushing for the stomping on the rights of Little People, all the other elected employees are encouraged to do just that.

A revolution is the answer.

stanley said...

the chair of cb3 is a prosperous indian merchant who will do anything to maintain the myth that jackson heights' economy will drop dead without the cash and tax influx ''little india'' provides. i say myth because many of these businesses are cash-only and are registered out of neighborhood and even out-of-state. it's high time our local politicians, who have been in the pocket of the commercial interests, be put on notice that killing our environment and quality of life is too high a price to pay to support this myth.