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December 23, 2011

An open letter to the city's new Atlantic Yards sort-of-ombudsperson: when there are construction miscues, try to avoid saying "Sorry, it won't happen again"

Atlantic Yards Report

Dear Ms. Lolita Jackson (Director of Special Projects at the NYC Office of the Mayor),

You've apparently just started working on Atlantic Yards issues as the city's new sort-of-ombudsperson, just as you've been doing on the Second Avenue Subway, as you say, "bring[ing] together city agencies to address quality of life issues for businesses and residents that are adjacent to large infrastructure/construction projects."

I hope you don't mind a bit of unsolicited advice.

You haven't had a chance to issue what has become a common mantra from both Forest City Ratner (FCR), the developer, and Empire State Development (ESD), the agency in charge:

Sorry, it won't happen again.

That's what FCR and ESD said after neighbors (via Atlantic Yards Watch) blew the whistle on generators that were making an infernal racket.

That's what ESD said--more or less; they later issued a letter--after neighbors (via Atlantic Yards Watch) cited widespread violations of truck routes.

That's what ESD said after neighbors (via Atlantic Yards Watch) showed how railyard flood lights were left on all night without warning.

That's what ESD said after neighbors (via Atlantic Yards Watch) spotted a contractor disposing of powder on Pacific Street.

You don't want to say it yourself, do you? Shouldn't the government--the representatives of the public--do better?

Shouldn't there be more of an effort to stave off such problems in the first place, or to penalize infractions?

Or is the developer really in charge?

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Posted by eric at December 23, 2011 10:56 AM