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January 1, 2007

Wave of Development, Cleared for Takeoff

The NY Times
By Sam Roberts

An article about the return to the days of Robert Moses, in which large projects are getting approved once again over the objections of real live city dwellers, has this odd opinion about Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards plan:

Dick Dadey, the executive director of Citizens Union, said that the city, bolstered by a robust economy, was trying to meet pent-up demand.

“Say what you want about the scope and size of development,” he added, “the projects that are being approved are more sensitive to the current communities and neighborhoods or to creating new ones — like the new Downtown Brooklyn — than Moses ever was.”

Moreover, Mr. Dadey said, “the community boards no longer have the sway they once did over stopping local projects,” and some local groups are even supporting development — “trying to encourage it responsibly in ways that benefit a greater number of people.”


NoLandGrab: We're not sure, but we think that Dadey means that Bruce Ratner might have proposed a super-expressway from New Jersey to Prospect Heights, running through Red Hook, Sunset Park and Park Slope. Instead, Brooklyn's master builder stopped short at the densest residential community in the nation.

Yeah, in light of more hairbrained schemes, Dadey has a point — Bruce Ratner could have proposed an even worse plan, complete with a heliport in Prospect Park for NJ Nets fans (thus making Prospect Park "self-sustaining"). However, would it have killed the master builder to propose a better plan?

Also, shouldn't the executive director of Citizen's Union be out fighting for "open, effective government that is accountable to the citizens of New York," or something?

Posted by lumi at January 1, 2007 10:53 AM