Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"Is Yankees’ park replacement plan a fair swap? Part I" MetroNY 03/21/06

Is Yankees’ park replacement plan a fair swap?
Officials say latest scheme benefits community, but some residents are skeptical

by patrick arden / metro new york

MAR 21, 2006

SOUTH BRONX — Moments before the General Assembly voted to hand over 22 acres of parkland last June for the proposed new Yankee Stadium, the bill’s sponsor, Carmen E. Arroyo, D-Bronx, got up to answer questions about the plan. She painted a picture of future parks for the community.

“My concern has always been to replace the park that we are taking away from the people,” she said. “But we are going to gain, in this concession, we are going to gain, because the city is going to develop the waterfront.”

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, D-Bronx, bluntly described the banks of the Harlem River as “kind of dumpy,” but Arroyo insisted the land behind the Bronx Terminal Market was “a beautiful site that is going to be developed into parks and facilities for the public.”

Arroyo claimed the neighborhood would get back a total of 27 acres of new parkland. The largest chunk would feature the baseball diamond from the current Yankee Stadium, she explained, “and in my dream, if you help me, I want to see that covered where our children can play during the winter.”

There will be no roof over that ball field. But it’s not the only part of Arroyo’s dream that differs from reality.

The replacement parkland now totals a bit more than 24.5 acres spread over different locations up to a mile away. According to Parks Dept. spokesman Ashe Reardon, a new 16.2 acre central park will contain 7.3 acres of artificial turf and track, as well as basketball courts, over underground parking garages; 1.3 acres of new parkland will be a paved pedestrian walkway; and 1.7 acres will go to several “pocket parks.”

The touted waterfront park will have 5.1 acres for a private tennis concession, which currently charges players $34 to $64 an hour. A landscaped esplanade will take up just 0.7 acres. “No unobstructed shoreline is available for a waterfront park,” according to the project’s Environmental Impact Statement, “because the Oak Point [railroad] runs along the Harlem River.”

See photo in next article.


At 2:14 PM, Anonymous MIB said...

Isn't it illegal for work to begin on a project before it has been approved? Ah, I guess they've already planned to steal parkland from the public without adequate replacements or funding to do so--a clear violation of state and federal laws. So what's a few more broken laws among enemies?


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