Wednesday, November 02, 2005

DEIS: Parkland concerns; Timing of parkland replacement


Draft EIS states:

The full development of the proposed parkland would be completed by 2010.Although the facilities would be replaced by new, permanent facilities, during construction almost all of the facilities would be unavailable for periods ranging from 3 months to 4 years, although only a limited number of facilities would actually be unavailable for the full your years.

As shown in Table 4-2, the majority of the active recreation facilities would, however, be replaced within 1 to 2 years of its displacement. The longest time of displacement caused by construction would be for the soccer field and the 400-meter track. These facilities would be displaced for 3½ years, although a temporary exercise track would be created for local residents during construction. Throughout the construction period, a temporary exercise track would be created for local residents. From the second quarter of 2006 until about the fourth quarter of 2007, the temporary exercise track would be located around the two baseball fields next to and northwest of the existing Yankee Stadium. When construction displaces these ballfields, the esplanade surrounding the new ballfields in the Harlem River waterfront park would serve as a temporary track and would be available until the permanent track is available. The temporary exercise track would be about 15 feet wide and have a cinder surface and signage indicating distances. The temporary exercise track would be suitable for walking, jogging and recreational running, but would not be suitable for competitive track meets.


Taking parkland away from the community for construction is a net loss of parkland for the period of time involved. It is unfair to the community to do this since these facilities are heavily used. The neighborhood is already “under-parked” for the population that lives there. Taking away parkland for up to 4 years is unacceptable. The proposed mitigation, such as two separate locations for “temporary exercise track” is ridiculous. It has been made clear by the community that a continuous usage of parks facilities is needed.


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