Monday, March 15, 2010
MUNICIPAL PARKING LOT #1/ FLUSHING COMMONS MEETING OF CB7 -- TAKE 3
QUEENS CRAP ROVING REPORTER -- DATELINE: MARCH 11, 2010
The third of CB7’s committee meetings on TDC/Rockefeller Group’s Flushing Commons/Municipal Lot 1 project was held on Thursday, March 11th. The main subject was traffic impact, with parking being the continuing sidebar.
DOT and TDC presented a VERY long evening of technobabble, which boiled down to this: there WILL be much more traffic congestion and increased parking problems during construction... and afterwards, forever.
CB7 did a masterful job questioning both the developer and city officials.
When the smoke (screen) cleared, it looked to this reporter and many others that Flushing Commons will impose a very great strain on Flushing’s already over-stressed infrastructure.
The magic word “mitigate” was applied by DOT to its proposals:
1 - Bump out some sidewalks, narrowing roads.
2 - Driving in downtown Flushing, going north on Union Street? Surprise -- NO LEFT TURNS ONTO NORTHERN BOULEVARD!
3 - And NO LEFT TURNS FROM NORTHERN TO MAIN STREET!!
4 - NO TURNS AT ALL FROM MAIN STREET ONTO ROOSEVELT AVENUE, in any direction, period.
Some buses will be rerouted onto Prince Street in a great circle loop. In other words-- a roadblock smack in the middle of the town.
Now look at the pretty colored bar graph. Forget about details for now. Yellow is the existing high level of traffic. On top of that is red, representing the increased percentage of traffic woes from the fifty -- that's right, fifty -- projects, planned or under construction, that will exist by 2013. Then on top of that is green, showing the additional impact of just Flushing Commons -- up to 25% more, by itself. TDC s techie admitted they couldn’t find much possibility for mitigation.
Final conclusion? You guessed it right: a traffic nightmare in 3 years. Hey, but look on the bright side: TDC/Rock is installing bike racks!
Thank you again, Mayor Bloomberg and your EDC, for selling off a public facility to further enrich a wealthy group of private developers at our expense.