Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Lukas Herbert's perspective on Yankees parking issues

To My Fellow Community Residents:

Last Friday I opened up the Daily News to find the attached advertisement from the MTA. It seems the New York Mets are offering a promotion in conjunction with the MTA to give transit customers discounts to select Mets games. Then, in today’s Daily News an article about the Mets by Bill Hutchinson has the following quote “Transit bosses are pleading with fans to take public transportation and will give away $2 MetroCards at Grand Central Terminal between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. to get people on the trains.”

While I was really pleased to see such a pro-transit attitude being taken with respect to Mets games, that feeling immediately changed to dismay as soon as I thought about our neighbors – the New York Yankees. There have been no articles about them promoting transit in the last few weeks. In fact, the press about them has been just the opposite: negative stories about parking and traffic.

I want to know why this is still going on. The Yankees should be doing more to take advantage of their location near mass transit, but instead all we hear about is parking. We have to give up our parks for parking. We have to subsidize some out-from-nowhere non-profit organization with triple-tax-exempt bonds for parking. Traffic is a mess because of parking and all the people driving to the games with the construction in the neighborhood. It’s all cars, cars, cars and parking, parking, parking. Where is the transit in this equation? Why aren’t the Yankees doing more to get people to take transit?

The Yankees ought to make good on their commitments to this neighborhood by promoting transit usage to their games. From now on, we ought to see transit promotions similar to what the Mets are doing – or better. The Yankees should be work ing with Metro-North more closely and offering One-Day-Getaway type promotions. But they aren’t. I am still disappointed that the Melrose station isn’t mentioned on either the Yankees website or the Metro-North website as a way for people to get to Yankees games. It’s like nobody wants to admit it is there. But let me tell you, some fans have figured it out. Every game day I always see them on my way home from work : Westchesterites wearing Yankees hats getting off at Melrose at 6:43. They get to their seats in time for the game. Why does this have to be a secret that only a few know about?

When I see this lack of sensible action on behalf of the Yankees and/or the MTA, I get the sense that nobody really cares about the issues that I always have to listen to people gripe about at community meetings: traffic congestion, pollution and asthma. This is such a no-brainer, it bothers me that I even have to bring it up. Maybe if our local politicians had done a better job negotiating that *stellar* Community Benefits Agreement, they could have work ed something like this into the plan.

Thanks for your time. If you can forward this message to someone who you think can help make a difference, I would appreciate it.

Lukas Herbert


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