Thursday, April 22, 2010

What has the Atlantic Yards fight been about?

From the New York Times's coverage today, $3 Million Deal Ends a Holdout in Brooklyn:
Mr. [Daniel Goldstein] Goldstein helped build a coalition of 21 groups that said the project’s high-rises and density would overwhelm the neighborhood and make its clogged streets virtually impassable.
From Mr. Goldstein, 3/12/10: What Is Atlantic Yards? A Complete Failure of Democracy:

The sad and depraved history of Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards project was celebrated yesterday with a ceremonial groundbreaking attended by the elected officials most responsible for greasing its skids. It is nothing to celebrate.

What have they made happen? A bait and switch of epic proportions and a failure of democracy, mixed with corruption, notable even in New York State. Each branch of government--judicial, executive and legislative--has passed the buck to the other. None have acting responsibly or with principle or courage to stop the largest project proposed in Brooklyn's history, which has trampled on too many rights

The project--entirely dependent upon massive and unaccounted taxpayer subsidies, eminent domain abuse, a giveaway of city streets, a no-bid sweetheart MTA deal, a complete override of all local zoning and numerous zoning regulations--never came before the city council or the state legislature for a vote. No elected official ever voted on the project. The results are a symptom of this.

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