From the Neighborhood Retail Alliance:
Central to this unethical-and perhaps illegal-end run, is the withholding of the Access Modification Report (AMR); and all of the data that has been generated to come up with the report that is the key to getting both state and federal approval for the ramps. While the report itself may still be considered, "work product," the traffic information that has been utilized to make it up, certainly isn't.
What exactly is the city trying to hide? Huge costs and unmitigatible local and highway traffic. As Brian Ketcham, WPU's traffic expert points out: "...the project will generate 80,000 vehicle trips on an average weekday (of which 2,500 are truck trips) and about the same number of trips for weekend days, with peak hour impacts of between 6,000 and 7,000 vehicle trips."
And nowhere in the original environmental review is the impact of the ramps ever actually analyzed.
This is a massive cover up. Although NYCEDC may be entitled to withhold records that are inter-agency/intra-agency communications, the portions of those records that consist purely of statistical or factual tabulations or data (such as traffic statistics) must be disclosed. FOIL explicitly says so. Therefore, NYCEDC has erroneously applied a claimed blanket exemption from disclosure to every element of the AMR, when no such blanket exemption is available. NYCEDC's denial is discretionary, not mandatory, and NYCEDC should not choose to deny access under the present circumstances.
Of course, the less the public knows about what kind of traffic the Willets Point development will generate, the less the hue and cry from local civic groups and elected officials. In addition, the greater the traffic mess, the greater the concomitant need to create extensive road infrastructure to mitigate-something that will be inordinately expensive for the city's strapped tax payers.
It's past time for this conspiracy of silence to be put to an end. This project's potential to damage local community quality of life is simply too great to allow a review process to be, not only advanced in the dark, but under conditions that suggest that the fix is in. Open the books up EDC-what are you afraid the public will find out?