Wednesday, November 02, 2005

DEIS: Parking concerns; Demand for new parking


Draft EIS states:

In 1923, most fans came to games at the then-new Yankee Stadium by public transportation. In the ensuing years, with the rise of the automobile and the spread of the suburbs, driving to the game became more and more popular. The number of parking spaces provided has increased steadily over the years, including in garages built in the 1973 renovation, but has not kept pace with demand.

Average game attendance has exceeded 35,000 every year since 1999. The peak was last year, 2004, with an average game attendance of 47,788 and a season total of 3,775,292. Given the constraints and limitations of existing Yankee Stadium, each year that attendance has grown, the problems of accommodating that demand have become more frequent and more difficult.

The increased provisions of parking garage spaces under the proposed project is aimed at accommodating fans who currently park at relatively remote locations or who park illegally on City streets or on the service road of the Major Deegan Expressway and who circulate excessively in the area in search of hard-to-find legal parking spaces.


Just because driving to the game has become “more popular” does not mean that we should be supporting this trend. Driving to the game costs this community dearly in terms of both congestion costs and pollution. In 1923 most fans arrived by public transportation. However, since 1923 we have had substantial improvements made to our regional transit system and we now have the ability to reach far into suburbia with fast and efficient transit service. More projects such as the NJ Transit Access to the Regions Core, LIRR East Side Access, and the proposed new Metro-North across a rebuilt Tappan Zee Bridge all have the potential to bring more fans to the stadium via transit. With all of the problems with oil consumption and with all of the health problems caused by driving (asthma, obesity, etc.) this project should position itself to take advantage of the great sums of public money being spent on these transit improvement projects. The project should NOT simply try to re-enforce a wasteful and disruptive trend (automobile driving to a game) simply because its “popular”.


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