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When the facts don't matter

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Coming from the same generation and same schools as BrooklynBus I have the same perspective on what passes for "planning" in the Metro-New York area. Before I started my transit career I was employed by a Brooklyn non-profit for many years. I've sat in on conferences at 26 Federal Plaza with HUD and couldn't believe some of the bogus facts they were basing some of their monetary outlays on. "Facts" that were clearly cherry-picked to fit an agenda.I was introduced to one of the regional bigwigs one day and I told him what I thought of that morning's conference. Few weeks later he personally asked for me to take a tour of Bed-Stuy, Brownsville, and East New York, with him to point out what I thought were flaws with HUD's proposals for those neighborhoods. While employed at the same non-profit I attended at least 20 City Council meetings with Assemblyman Al Vann who was on our board of directors. You would be shocked at the amount of city money doled out to different politicians and programs based on bogus numbers. That's when I knew that the staffers controlled the agenda in most cases. Barely concealed horse trading by the politicians, city and state, political clubhouses, was rampant 30+ years ago and ,judging by recent events, is ongoing. When it comes to the (MTA) I've only attended 7 of the regional meetings in NYC but from what I've seen those are also charades where the outcome was settled ,by staffers, before the meetings were even set up. That's the reason I take the numbers put out by the (MTA) with the proverbial grain of salt. The trick is to find out the method used to arrive at these conclusions which is what I believe BrooklynBus was getting at. Without looking at all of the data there is no way validate the conclusion reached by the (MTA) or any other agency. Some of those "conclusions" are based on inconclusive or faulty data so flaky that Stevie Wonder could see how incorrect the results are. The sad part is how many politicians and agencies use these faulty stats to "prove" their points. It's even sadder that the public accepts these results without question. Carry on.

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