Paul D.

Graziano Associated Cultural Resource Consultants
146-24 32nd Avenue Flushing, NY 11354 (718) 358-2535

Rob Holbrook, Senior Planner NYCEDC 110 William Street New York, NY 10038 June 8th, 2011 The EDCs insistence that they will proceed with Phase I of Willets Point without due diligence, in terms of the proposed ramps to the Van Wyck Expressway, is following a familiar storyline: approve now and worry about the problems at a later date, which almost always means never. As an urban planner and lifelong resident of Flushing, I am greatly concerned over many aspects of the Willets Point project, including but not limited to the myriad of environmental problems that will not be effectively solved; the removal of long-time existing businesses through the threat of eminent domain and refusal of basic services; and lack of carrying capacity of the overall property for the proposed density of residential and commercial uses. Most importantly, there has been a purposeful lack of transparency and appropriate process in dealing with the details that will make things pretty much unbearable for the residents of Flushing and much of northeast Queens. What has passed for a comprehensive traffic and environmental review of the proposed ramps – which, by the State DOT’s own reckoning, are definitely not going to pass muster – is a sham. The ramps will never be adequate and the traffic count is exponentially higher than is described; traffic in Willets Point at these critical choke points is already at pretty disastrous levels. This was clearly spelled out in a respected independent traffic engineer’s report that has been ignored and vilified by this administration. While this hearing may be used as a way to create the appearance of a just and fair process in the eyes of the courts, I am greatly concerned – as I have been since the start of the Willets Point proposal – as to the potential collateral damage to our city and, dare I say it, the increasingly threatened notion of democracy. In summary, there is no question that the ramps themselves will be wholly inadequate to handle increased traffic flow of any kind. In conjunction with this finding, no properties in Willets Point should be threatened with eminent domain until all approvals – including what the Bloomberg administration considers those pesky ramps that need Federal and State sign-offs – have been obtained. Very Truly Yours,

Paul Graziano, Principal Associated Cultural Resource Consultants

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