Alternative to project


| letters@queenscourier.com |

“Commons Coming” (Terence M. Cullen, March 14) is still not a done deal. This project is currently managed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation and was approved in 2010. Three years later, the developers have yet to “ink the deal” prior to placing a shovel in the ground. Why the delay? This is a sure sign that the developer may be having second thoughts about the project’s financial viability. The developer may be renegotiating terms and conditions with NYC behind closed doors. They may be looking for low cost or interest free loans, additional tax credits and municipal capital improvements from NYC — all at taxpayers expense. Permits granted by NYC for this project will end in 2014.

Construction of an intermodal bus terminal promised at this site since the 1960s is still the better deal for taxpayers and riders. This facility would take hundreds of buses off the surrounding streets, where they discharge and pick up riders. This could assist in improving traffic and pedestrian circulation in and around the intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue, along with the rest of downtown Flushing. Tens of thousands of rush-hour riders would be protected from heat, cold, rain, snow and winds. There could be a smoother transfer between the bus and subway. Opportunities would still be available for air rights above the bus terminal for parking, joint development of retail, office, and/or residential units.

Why not discuss canceling the stalled Flushing Commons project? Building a state-of-the-art intermodal bus terminal project in the long run might be a far better investment than lining the pockets of the Flushing Commons developers.

Larry Penner