October 22, 2006
On the Block
New York Times
The Times interviews nine "people who live and work near Atlantic Yards." Is it nitpicking to say that no one lives near Atlantic Yards, since it doesn't exist? Is it also nitpicking to say that of the four supporters of the project interviewed, three are listed as living in Crown Heights, which is not one of the immediately surrounding neighborhoods? The opponents all hail from the vicinity of the Vanderbilt railyards. It does reinforce the idea that it's pretty hard to find anyone in Prospect Heights/Ft Greene/Clinton Hill/Park Slope/Boerum Hill that supports the project.
Atlantic Yards Report details more problems with the article in "NIMBY or YIMBY: behind the Times's curious framework (and photo)":
The intro to the piece attempts scrupulous balance:
The plan is colossal — 16 high-rise buildings and an 18,000-seat basketball arena on 22 acres near the borough’s busy downtown — and fans and opponents have matched its magnitude with their own statistics. The developer, Forest City Ratner, which is also the development partner of The New York Times Company for its new headquarters in Midtown, says that the $4.2 billion project will bring 4,000 permanent jobs, billions of dollars in tax revenue and more than 6,000 units of housing. Opponents counter that the plan will corral $2 billion in public money and tax breaks, crowd 15,000 new residents into the area and clog local streets with thousands more cars.
Why can't the Times try to sort out the fiscal claims? Would there really be "billions" in tax revenue, or $2 billion in public costs? At some point this can't simply be a "he said, she said" debate.
As for crowding, why can't the Times simply acknowledge that this likely would be the densest residential community in the country--or compare it to other large projects in the city? Why is it the "opponents" who have to establish basic facts?
As for the clogging of local streets, isn't that what the state acknowledged in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement? And isn't that what local community boards--concerned analysts more than opponents--have predicted?
Posted by amy at October 22, 2006 7:49 AM