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December 30, 2006

Silver messed up

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn

The following letter from Brian T. Ketcham was published in the December 30th Brooklyn Papers.

To the editor, I wrote this letter to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver after he voted to approve the Atlantic Yards project last week (“Approved,” Dec. 23):

Dear Assemblyman Silver:

Reportedly, you voted to approve the Forest City Ratner Atlantic Yards project on the basis of benefits to New York. [Yet] our analysis shows that the costs of this project overwhelm any benefits.

Our assessment of the project is that it will generate about 38,000 car and truck trips a day, creating nearly 100 million miles of travel annually adding significantly to New York’s current traffic burdens.

And Atlantic Yards will add this burden after more than 50 million square feet of other new development that has been approved for Brooklyn. Traffic from Downtown Brooklyn development will spill across the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges creating gridlock in Lower Manhattan.


Atlantic Yards planners admitted that the project would create gridlock conditions in Downtown Brooklyn, but refused to evaluate its effects on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway or Lower Manhattan lest you figure out the true consequences of this project.

Adding 100 million vehicle miles of travel will increase congestion and lost productivity for motorists and truckers, will increase the number of people injured and killed in accidents and will add to already onerous environmental impacts — all increasing the costs of living and doing business in this city. The dollar cost of these impacts totals $3 billion over 30 years, dwarfing any benefits that Atlantic Yards could possibly bring to New York City.

Sadly, your legacy will be that you brought gridlock to Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan at a cost of billions to me and my neighbors. You have not only sold out Brooklyn, you have sold out your constituents in Manhattan.

Brian T. Ketcham,
Cobble Hill
The writer is a partner in Community Consulting, a development analysis firm.

Posted by amy at December 30, 2006 12:05 PM