Billboard Protests Cross Harbor Tunnel – QNS.com

Billboard Protests Cross Harbor Tunnel

Maspeth residents intensified their campaign against the Cross Harbor Tunnel by designing a billboard at the intersection of the Long Island and Bronx-Queens Expressways on Tuesday, December 14.
"We wanted big exposure," said Anthony Nunziato. "A lot of people dont know about this project."
Nunziato leads the Concerned Citizens of NYC, a group heading efforts to protest a train tunnel proposed between New Jersey and Brooklyn that would include a station for loading trucks in Maspeth. Concerned Citizens contends that the station would add thousands of trucks to Maspeth streets, disputing the Environmental Impact Statement estimate of an extra 700 daily truck trips from a single-track tunnel.
The billboard says, "Congressman Nadler wants 16,000 more trucks to exit here STOP CROSS HARBOR," and lists the phone number of Congressman Jerrold Nadler, a supporter of the tunnel proposal.
Nadler says the project could remove at least 600,000 trucks from city roads annually and could mitigate an existing truck traffic problem in Maspeth.
"I dont know where the figure of 16,000 trucks came from," said Nadler. "Instead of having hysterical reactions, you should sit down and figure this out."
"From a regional perspective, its an absolutely critical project," said Brad Lander, a spokesman of the Pratt Institute, an environmental organization that support the project. He added, "Obviously, it has local impacts, especially for Maspeth."
Tunnel proponents also say the project would add jobs to the area, but opponents disagree.
Local public officials, including Councilman Dennis Gallagher and Borough President Helen Marshall, are concerned about displacement of local businesses.
"Why should we displace Manhattans ills onto Queens? Why should we displace businesses?" said Gallagher. "I can understand the communitys frustration and their need to advertise the devastating effect the Cross Harbor will have on Maspeth, Glendale and Middle Village."
Robert Holden, chair of the Juniper Valley Civic Association and designer of the billboard, hopes the sign will recruit supporters for their cause and fuel more public debate.
"We got a location with the most bang," he said.

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