An open letter to Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Executive Director Christopher Ward:
My colleagues and I represent the Maspeth, Middle Village, Glendale and Ridgewood communities that will be greatly affected by the Cross Harbor Freight Movement Program. As your agency undertakes the scoping phase of your Tier I Environmental Impact Statement process, we want to bring our concerns to your attention and seek your agency’s assistance.
While the Port Authority is properly motivated by the need to reduce highway congestion and eliminate travel delays in the metropolitan region, we believe it is critical that the EIS process underway also address the potential effect each of the various alternatives would have on our communities. Your proposed solutions to reduce highway congestion should not further erode the quality of life of the thousands of families living in our communities who are already overwhelmed by truck traffic on commercial and residential streets and the impact of the current rail freight traffic through our communities.
As public officials, we have been aggressively working with government agencies, shippers and community organizations to address the adverse impact of current and near-term projected increases in truck and rail traffic on our neighborhoods. We need your help to ensure that community voices are heard in a meaningful way as your agency proceeds.
To do this, we respectfully request that the Port Authority retain a consultant who will work directly with local public officials and Community Board 5 to ensure that community views and concerns are properly documented and presented in the most professional manner for inclusion in the EIS.
The communities of Maspeth, Middle Village, Glendale and Ridgewood have been energized over recent years to find solutions to what are already intolerable conditions for many of our residents as a result of current rail and truck traffic. We are in accord with your regional goals for coping with the movement of freight in the future, but we are determined to ensure that they are not achieved at the expense of our communities. Providing us with a consultant to work with us through this EIS process will help ensure the community’s views are incorporated into your final report.
Anthony D. Weiner
Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.
Jimmy Van Bramer