There are three and only three major vehicular arteries that service the Willets Point and Downtown Flushing areas. They are Northern Boulevard, the Grand Central Parkway and the Van Wyck Expressway, arteries that are frequently choked to capacity. There is no way these roadways can in any meaningful manner be enlarged to accommodate any substantial increase in vehicular traffic. Mayor Bloomberg’s ill-advised Willets Point proposal whether as originally planned or as currently in a phased manner, will involve a huge increase in vehicular traffic in the areas. The mayor’s attempt to ignore the obvious environmental problems his plan entails has now been exposed and a court has correctly directed there be an environmental review (“Willets Pt. plan is issued setback,” Sept. 6, multiple editions).
The review must come to grips with the vehicular monstrosity the proposed development will surely create. Of particular importance, the mayor’s attempt to blindside the problem by simply talking about the construction of ramps to the Van Wyck Expressway as the solution must be exposed as a world-class folly. Ramps can only bring and exit vehicular traffic from Willets Point, but do not and cannot deal with what awaits the vehicles once they are on the highway assuming they ever get there. Exit ramps without understanding the inability of the roadways to accommodate the traffic once on the roadway is as nonsensical as the infamous “ bridge to nowhere." Common sense prevailed and that bridge project was abandoned.
One hopes common sense prevails and like old soldiers who never die, but fade away, Mayor Bloomberg’s Willets Point plan should follow suit.