Defeat the ramps. Prevent the traffic.
CAN NYSDOT & FHWA APPROVE THESE RAMPS,
DESPITE THE TRAFFIC THEY WILL CAUSE?
Although City planners outrageously have decided to overlook the severe traffic congestion that their project will impose upon our local roadways, fortunately neither the ramps nor the associated development can be built without the ramps first being approved by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Given the admitted and undisputed negative effects of the ramps project, logically it might seem that NYSDOT and FHWA should be obligated to dis-approve the construction of these Van Wyck ramps and the associated development, thereby preventing the traffic overloads that will otherwise result.
However, Gill Mosseri, a consultant to the City's project team, has indicated that despite the undisputed adverse traffic impacts that the ramps and development will cause, NYSDOT and FHWA still are entitled to approve the ramps. One reason: Because NYSDOT and FHWA employ a different scope of review that does not focus on local roadway conditions. In other words, NYSDOT and FHWA can agree that unacceptable levels of local traffic will result, but then nevertheless approve the ramps, partly because traffic far beyond our local area is not significantly affected. Such an approval might comport with NYSDOT and FHWA rules, but it defies common sense, would harm Queens residents and commuters, and must not be allowed to occur.
Mosseri states: "Significant adverse local traffic impacts were identified in the FGEIS [Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement], but this is not an indication that the AMR [Access Modification Report] analysis will identify significant adverse regional traffic impacts, much less that State and federal agencies will disapprove the AMR. ... Importantly, the traffic analysis approach and scale for adding a ramp entrance is different from the traffic analysis required under New York's State Environmental Quality Review Act ("SEQRA") or the parallel City Environmental Quality Review Procedure ("CEQR"). Because these projects involve modifying ramps to interstate highways, the traffic analysis addresses the potential regional highway effects and therefore utilizes an analysis framework that can include travel demand modeling and simulation to understand the potential effects not just in the immediate area, typically done in the CEQR/SEQRA process, but within a larger area focusing on the regional highway system. The analysis also assesses conditions much further into the future utilizing a design year approach that projects conditions 20 years past the estimated time of completion."
For Mosseri's entire explanation of how ramps and associated development can be approved by NYSDOT and FHWA despite having undisputed, significant adverse impacts on many of our local roadways, read Mosseri's affidavit, here: