Aug 3, 2011

Malta: "We have a problem here"

Luther Forest traffic issue pops up

Gomer Pyle: "Surprise, Surprise!"

There are certain bundles of paper that you can automatically toss into the trash the minute received, given their worthless value. No, this is not another diatribe against The Saratogian newspaper...

I submit two additions to that "not worth the paper printed on" categorization: Economic Impact Statements and their close cousins, Environmental Impact Statements.

We're bombarded with the former: "this project will generate $400 million in annual economic activity" is the usual template of the summary conclusion. I've seen how these things are formulated, from the inside, and I can attest to their uselessness. The problem, of course is accountability: no matter what figure is tossed on to the wall, how is one to prove the final reality is something otherwise?

But Environmental Impact Statements should have a better degree of "hey smart pants: you were right" or "hey idiot: you really blew it" to them. For example, if it was predicted that 8,000 tons of sewage would need to be dealt with, but we find out that the actual figure ended up being 35,000 tons, then we should be able to start pointing fingers at that aforementioned "idiot" who wrote the EIS.

This comes to mind today while reading of the shocking (yes: shocking, to some) reports of unexpected traffic backups related to the Luther Forest / Global Foundries Technology Campus in Malta. It seems that drivers to & fro the site have elected to use the 'shortcut' known as Dunning Road.

The real surprise, of course, is that this was not predicted. But it wasn't. Just get out the old copies of the final impact drafts that were required for this project oh-so-many moons ago. "Nope, not a problem". The Town is now scrambling for a solution to this jam.

OK, we now know who blew it. Where's the accountability?

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