Friday, August 13, 2010

EDC cancels Willets Point hearing after lies exposed

From the Times Ledger:

The state Senate Transportation Committee has canceled an eagerly anticipated meeting to consider concerns about the traffic effects posed by the $3 billion development project slated for the 62-acre Willets Point site in northern Queens.

Scheduled in response to concerns brought forward by a group lobbying on behalf of Willets Point small business owners, the meeting was canceled less than a week before it was slated to occur. The cancellation disappointed the group’s members and further tabled discussions on widespread community concerns about the traffic the massive project will bring to the region’s already-jammed roadways.

Richard Lipsky, the lobbyist at the helm of the Neighborhood Retail Alliance, alleges that the city Economic Development Corp. and the state Department of Transportation have misrepresented the severe effects on traffic the project will have throughout eastern and northern Queens. He has urged the Senate to investigate the issue.

A consulting firm hired by the EDC reported to the Council that 46 percent of projected traffic from Willets Point would be diverted to the Van Wyck, Lipsky said. The same firm later reported to the state DOT that only 16 percent of that traffic would go to the Van Wyck.

And from the NY Times:

State officials have repeatedly expressed frustration with the city’s inability to provide reliable information and the pressure it was placing on them to expedite their analysis, according to a review of hundreds of e-mails involving the Willets Point project that were provided to The New York Times by an opponent of the project.

Michael Bergmann, a structural engineer for the State Department of Transportation who was part of the team reviewing the city’s application, wrote to the department’s regional director and other colleagues on Dec. 28: “Unless the preparers of this report start accepting the idea that it is seriously flawed, we are going nowhere.”

About a month later, after pointing out a mistake in a document that put the development’s completion date as 2107 instead of 2017, Peter King, a project manager for the state, wrote to a colleague, “Perhaps that reference to 2107 may have been closer to the truth than anyone realizes.”

What seems unusual is the annoyance state regulators expressed with the work of the consultants hired by the city to work on the ramps’ design. The consultants submitted numerous written responses and clarifications to questions and sat with the regulators in several meetings, but still failed to satisfy them, the messages show.

Well now we know why the hearing was canceled.


JO said...

I don't get what these meetings do. If Bloomberg wants it, they will do it anyway.

Queens Crapper said...

It's a state hearing, and if it doesn't pass the state or the feds, it doesn't happen. The Feds aren't going to be so quick to green light a bad project just because Bloomturd wants them to.

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure about that, with His Billions and all. Alot of State Politicos get Campaign $ from Mikey.


Anonymous said...

I really hope the willets point project fails

CB7 Gene said...

I really hope the willets point project fails

Bite your tongue! How will I afford my current lifestyle?

Anonymous said...

forgot to mention that 4 more property owners in WP sold out

Queens Crapper said...

How did they "sell out"?

You mean they made deals like Flushing Towing and Mets Metals did and then are going to get fucked by the City like Flushing Towing and Mets Metals did?

Anonymous said...

"sold out" means they agreed to see their property..

just like the owners of 80% of the land in WP.

whether it was a straight purchase or a business relocation is immaterial.

Anonymous said...

There is no "forgot to mention" anything. The 2 cited press articles pertain to the need for EDC to obtain state and federal approvals of ramps to facilitate the proposed Willets Point project; the uncertainty regarding whether or not those approvals may ever be obtained (DOT is "dropping the odds" for EDC's success on this project); and the state senate's suspicious cancellation of its hearing on this topic. It's very simple: No ramps, no eminent domain. In that case, property owners who prefer to retain ownership will be free to do so, or to sell at a rate that they determine to be fair. The property owners' attorneys and traffic engineer know a thing about defeating roadway projects, they being the same folks who drove the stake through the heart of the Westway project years ago, permanently killing it. EDC's Willets Point project appears poised for a similar fate. When that happens, the property owners then would be wise to immediately insist that the City finally install the infrastructure and provide the municipal services that have been deliberately withheld from the neighborhood for decades, so that the area can prosper on its own as it is entitled to do.

Anonymous said...

they dont need Eminent Domain.

everyone is selling.

over 80% now.

Anonymous said...

There is a strong possibility -- likelihood, even -- that proposed new ramps won't be approved due to failures to comply with standards, and failure of any proposed ramps to adequately handle additional project-generated traffic. With all this talk of ramps, the only new access proposed to be provided to Willets Point is from the North-bound Van Wyck Expressway. Anyone arriving from any other route would have no more access options post-development than they have today. But the present routes will be hopelessly clogged by additional project-generated traffic -- not to mention additional traffic simultaneously generated by other multiple nearby projects. In any case, the proposed ramps are part-and-parcel of the proposed Willets Point development that was approved by the Council. Therefore, there is no authorization to construct any such development minus the necessary ramps. Thus, when ramps are not approved, the proposed development will have reached a point beyond which it cannot progress in the form that was approved by the Council. In the business, we call this "going back to the drawing board", or a "dead project".

Anonymous said...

Everyone is not selling. The same 20 from WP United are still fighting. You can buy off everyone else, but the ones causing you problems are not going anywhere. I predict not only will this project fail, but there will be federal perp walks because of it, and not just related to fraud w/the ramps.

Anonymous said...

If you don't pay and/or relocated the people and they are still on their land, then eminent domain would be required and it can't happen without the ramps which aren't going to happen.

Let the sun shine in.

Anonymous said...

Another failure: Worker re-training and job placement program, via LaGuardia Community College. The purpose of the program was to retrain Willets Point workers for work in other jobs, and teach them English as necessary. This program is now over and done.

Number of Willets Point workers who have been placed in a new job: ZERO. Number of Willets Point workers who now speak English as a consequence of the program: ZERO.

Complete and utter failure.

Another failure: EDC is not even capable of relocating all businesses that have agreed to sell their properties and agreed to relocate, and whose relocations to City-owned property have already been approved by CB7, Helen Marshall, the City Planning Commission, and the City Council in a near unanimous vote. All of those approvals have occurred, and yet EDC has failed to follow through with its agreement with Flushing Towing. All other property/business owners must beware -- That is what happens when you trust EDC.

Anonymous said...


You're missing the boat.

Look into this quiet, invisible little man.

Put a fiber optic line up his ass you federal boys!

Maybe you'll find a tong or triad connection that ropes in some of our big city pols too!

Anonymous said...

I've just dropped a quarter regarding Wellington Chen's alleged connection to both the W.P. & Flush/Com projects to the FBI's anti corruption unit at Fed Plaza.

Maybe they'll be looking into orchestrated political campaign contributions from Taiwan that's been going on for decades...beginning (quite possibly) with Gary Ackerman?

Didn't Tommy Huang take him on a fundraiser to Taiwan about 25 years ago?

Hasn't he offered this same "junket" to other pols?

Perhaps that's where the Staviskys amassed their mega war chest in so short a time!

Didn't some CB# 7 members take that same trip?

Anonymous said...

Did the Bittermans go on a trip to Toronto arranged by Wellington Chen?

Or is that just an unfounded rumor?

Somebody ought to look into the various pay to play schemes that proliferate in the district.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Isaac...expose that ugly crooked ass bitch Moby Stavisky.

She might be Jewish but she ain't exactly kosher!

Anonymous said... you've got Evan's "woody" up!

Anonymous said...

It don't matter...he's shootin' blanks.

How come you haven't made mommy a granny yet pig boy?

Anonymous said...

Oh leave Evan alone.

He'd rather have a backdoor into political power than sexual prowess.

Anyway who would wanna bed down with that over plump faccia brutta?