Losing Public Parks

 A Warning for us Downtown. Public Parkland may soon be for sale.

 

Below is a press release from 1000+ Friends:

 

Waterfront Parkland for Private Use

If they do it in the south Bronx, you will get it too!

 

For more than twenty years, city leaders have twisted the arms of local elected officials to support using Bronx Parkland for new dream projects.  The Bronx is the testing ground for quick and greedy land swaps.  If it happens in the Bronx, it will happen in your borough.  Do not think for one moment that there is a paucity of Bronx vacant land for affordable housing; there is plenty -- it just costs more money than free parkland! 

 

The ULURP has started.  They are selling off publicly owned waterfront property for private profit (POW-P3).  That would be the southern section of the always-crowded-Mill Pond Park -- once the site of the historic Bronx Terminal Market swept away in exchange for Gateway, then given back (due to the high brownfield costs) for a trade-in with the Yankee Stadium Redevelopment project that alienated another crowded neighborhood park.  

 

Make no mistakes: this is an expensive site for NYC taxpayers.  While it is on the Harlem River waterfront, parkland will have to be alienated, sanitary and runoff sewers will have to be connected to the combined sewer system; schools will have to be built (even though vacancies are abound all over that district); noise and sensory buffers will have to be added as this area has the highest asthma rate in the country; and as they ask for an exemption for parking, more subway trains will have to be added to an already overcrowded mass transit system. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

 

City Developers have an answer for everything.  They say they don’t need to replace the parkland they are taking -- that they already provided for the Lower Concourse Rezoning greenway years ago. That the area has no infrastructure connection, is not a problem -- the new sewer lines will take care of adding the runoff overstressed CSO system; there is no date to begin the plan for the Harlem River LTCP; it has the largest discharge outfall citywide, with the most outfalls of any other waterbody, and has the largest catchment area per outfall. City Developers say they will build a school.  The transportation stuff is bad too. They can't fit more people in at the 149th Street Station and there is no guarantee MTA will do anything about it. Where are we going to get all this money?  All this among many years of previous broken promises in this neighborhood already!

 

The city does not need this; they don’t even have a private developer.  This project is not in the Lower Concourse area – it is north of that.  The $200 million for infrastructure is not enough – the CSO connection will cost that much alone.  If it happens here, it will happen in your community.  Call/write/meet with your Council Member:  tell them you want them to vote against using parkland for housing and economic development.  We will update you when it gets to the Council.  Thank you.

 

Karen Argenti, Joyce Hogi, Nilka Martell, Christina Taylor,

Dart Westphal, Chauncy Young

 

Bronx Council for Environmental Quality

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