All this tunnel talk is being pushed by one guy, Jerry Nadler. He will disappear from the scene and it will lose steam. They'll use enhanced carfloat service or just keep using the Selkirk hurdle.
Previous political administrations pushed through the 65th Street Yard improvements (sitting unused) and the Oak Point Link (built with poor clearances for modern cars and it remains that way). Politicians move on and abandon their pet projects. Of course millions and millions of dollars were spent, but it isn't their money. So far about $20 million has been spent on the harbor tunnel planning process.
The pro-tunnel forces have done an excellent job of trying to hide the alternatives. When I inform a tunnel advocate that long freights travel over the Hell Gate daily, they can't believe it. I show them the cramped, traffic jammed Maspeth area and say this is where they want to stuff an intermodal yard. They immediately realize it's the wrong place for a yard.
There is one thing that the pro-tunnel forces have working in their favor. If you speak out against the tunnel at a meeting, they visit you at night and......................
Hours After Testifying, Bricks Shatter Activist’s Store Window
June 10, 2004
Hours after testifying against the construction of the Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel at a contentious public hearing, four bricks were thrown through the window of a prominent Maspeth activist’s flower shop.
The vandalism occurred at about 1:40 a.m. on Tuesday morning at Enchanted Florist and Greenhouse on Grand Avenue. The shop is owned and operated by Tony Nunziato, a well-known figure in the western Queen community, who serves on Community Board 5 and Maspeth Town Hall.
He said the bricks shattered his front windows, setting off the store’s alarm and sending a signal to the police. The vandals escaped before authorities could arrive and no arrests have yet been made. Officials at the 104th Precinct did not return calls for comment about the investigation.
Nunziato, along with more than half a dozen community and business activists, testified on Monday at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City about the tunnel’s potentially destructive impact on Maspeth.
The project’s supporters included, among others, dozens of union construction workers, some of whom booed vociferously when the Maspeth residents spoke. Nunziato, though, refused to speculate whether his testimony may have sparked retribution.
“I can’t make any assumptions,” Nunziato said as he awaited the delivery of several new window panes on Tuesday. “I believe in working with unions so I wouldn’t want to smear anyone.”
Nunziato, whose politically connected family—his cousin is City Councilman Eric Gioia—also owns Nunziato Florist on Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside, said this was the first act of vandalism on his Maspeth business in at least 15 years.
But, despite the property damage, Nunziato said he will not be intimidated into not speaking out against a project which he considers lethal to his neighborhood. “Nothing really scares me anymore,” he said.
©Queens Chronicle - Mid Edition 2004