Governor Cuomo's March of Folly

Twenty-one of the largest trade show companies in the United States have expressed strong opposition to demolishing the Javits Center.

These organizations insist that they will not patronize Cuomo's proposed 3.8 million square foot convention center at the Aqueduct raceway in Ozone Park, Queens.  It is too far away from Manhattan's theaters, museums, concert halls, shopping and hotels.  The automobile traffic on the highways is already overcrowded and bumper ̶ to bumper.  Just imagine the dreadful gridlock if thousands more vehicles were on the surrounding highways.

Furthermore, when the ongoing $463 million renovation to the Javits Center is completed, Javits will be ready for a new expansion project which can be implemented at no cost.  Just sell the air rights over the Center to the developer of a new (and needed) convention center hotel.

If the historian Barbara Tuchman were still alive, she would already have the makings of another chapter for "The March of Folly".  In the first chapter, Tuchman writes:

To qualify as folly for this inquiry, the policy adopted must meet (these) criteria: 

  1. it must have been perceived as counter-productive in its own time, not merely by hindsight....
  2. a feasible alternative course of action must have been available....

Wooden-headedness, the source of self-deception, is a factor that plays a remarkably large role in government.  It consists in assessing a situation in terms of preconceived fixed notions while ignoring or rejecting any contrary signs.  It is acting according to wish while not allowing oneself to be deflected by the facts.

Governor Cuomo: your recurring pursuit of a giant 3.8 million square foot convention center in Queens is contrary to the needs of the City of New York.  You can avoid this gross error and give us instead a rational and clear ̶ sighted decision to enlarge and enhance the Javits Center. 

[Editor's note: Javits Center will house the International Franchise Expo for the first time from June 15 - 17].

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