Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Position # 3: We have a Central Park! - Why Build a New One?


One of the most incredible boasts made by the proponents of the current Yankee stadium plan is that a new central park will be created for the community!

The community already has a central park in Macomb’s Dam and John Mullaly Parks, a whole 28 acres with some 400 mature trees. The current Yankee Stadium is across the street from these parks. Does it make any sense to destroy these two parks and build a stadium on their site and destroy the current stadium and build a far inferior park on top of parking garages, with artificial turf and small trees!

The new parks derisively called "synthetic parks" by community residents would cost over $110 million dollars! What a waste of money which could be used to fund other Bronx parks which need more funding or could be wisely invested in mass transit to reduce the traffic nightmare which this community endures during every Yankee game.

Allowing the new stadium to be built in the community parks would also place it in the middle of a residential neighborhood and create other problems which would destroy it. Reminiscent of Robert Moses and the Cross Bronx Expressway, the stadium would isolate the Highbridge community from the rest of the Bronx and also impede children, the elderly and the handicapped from enjoying the only greenery they can afford. The asthma rate in the area is so high that it’s nicknamed "Asthma Alley" and there is little doubt that the rates would rise not only because of construction but also, because the synthetic parks would not have the "tree power" necessary to fight air pollution.

The location of the proposed stadium would also create other problems such as a panorama of natural beauty replaced by a huge cement wall, a convergence of uplifting sunlight extinguished by perpetual shadows and highly livable apartments transformed into back alley tenements.

Building a stadium in the parks for the financial benefit of a private conglomerate also sets a very dangerous legal precedent for all community parks in New York City. Using this project as a model, private developers will find community parks very tempting. There will be no need to go through the lengthy and expensive eminent domain process, no need to buy property, to pay people and give them time to move, and no need to tear down old structures. Simply plow the trees and start building a Wal-Mart, a housing complex, etc.

John Mullaly and Macomb’s Dam parks belong to the community and Save Our Parks will seek stronger City Council legislation so that no New York City community faces this horror again.


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