From the Forum:
Truck traffic is a constant and serious concern in Maspeth where living adjacent to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and the Long Island Expressway creates a torrent of trucks travelling through the neighborhood. For the last decade, community activists have fought to relieve truck and traffic congestion in Maspeth, and they have serious reservations about the recently revived Cross Harbor Freight Program being considered by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
In 2004 the community fought and won a battle against a plan that called for a harbor tunnel connecting New Jersey and Brooklyn, which would have required a 143-acre intermodal station in Maspeth. The tunnel wasn’t necessary, the opponents of the plan said, and the intermodal station would inundate Maspeth with pollution from trains and in- creased truck traffic. Mayor Michael Bloomberg denounced the plan and it was eventually killed.
Now the Port Authority and the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal High Administration (USDOT) is reopening ideas to improve the movement of goods around New York Harbor—specifically how goods move east of the Hudson River to the west and vice versa.
For the Port Authority the no action alternative is unacceptable. Maintaining the status quo would lead to almost a 33 percent increase in traffic and associated costs in New York City, according to Laura Shabe, Port Authority manager of the Cross Harbor Freight Program.
Using the existing freight rail system, which is “underutilized and already built,” is one hard solution Shabe is studying to ease the traffic flow.
These alternatives, however, are unacceptable to Maspeth residents. The general consensus from letters sent to the Port Authority by civic groups and politicians as well as the residents at the COMET meeting was that while attempting to decrease truck traffic is an admirable goal, any plans that don’t seriously investigate the impact it could have on communities would be unacceptable.
From the Queens Chronicle:
“I don’t support any plan that would put an intermodal terminal in Maspeth,” City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) said. “We already have a tremendous amount of truck traffic.”
Many longtime Maspeth residents delivered impassioned remarks, vocalizing their frustration with any plan that would involve more rail and truck presence in the community.
“How much does the city want to dump on Maspeth?” asked Linda D’Aquaro, whose son is asthmatic. “If you have alternative sites, why don’t you take it there? We’re already suffering.”
Manny Caruana highlighted what he and others believed is the need for the agencies involved in the project to take a particularly closer look at all maritime options.
“The impact on the surrounding community is going to be horrendous, because we’re going to be inundated with smaller trucks,” he said. “Transport it by water — you don’t need ten billion studies.”
Hey, it's another unnecessary boondoggle pushed for by Bloomberg and the EDC! You know what that means. Actually, this one is wasting time and money because Jerrold Nadler accepted tens of thousands of dollars from lobbyists for the railroad industry and because it benefits the communities he represents in Manhattan. Maybe the talking heads who are so concerned about the effects of increasing truck traffic - which their own study says will increase even more WITH the tunnel - can explain how we're going to pay for this when we have no money for any other rail project in the foreseeable future.