( Parking lots are a drain on our neighborhood. Nothing goes on in here all year long-- these big empty spaces are only used on game day. )
I love baseball, and I don't even mind the crowds, but it seems like the residents of the South Bronx are getting overlooked again. The New York Yankees are building thousands of new parking spots for their stadium and taking away our park land. They are doing this in the Borough with the most kids and teenagers, kids who need lots of space to run play and stay healthy. A lot of people have worked hard to fight the new parking garages, but the Yankees have not budged one bit. When I called my community board they sounded resigned to the whole situation. But, I think that's the wrong way to look at this issue.
In fact I know it's the wrong way to look at the issue because when I told them about a related issue-- people parking on the sidewalks on game days--- They sounded resigned and hopeless about that too they said that nothing could be done.
But, it turned out that was not true. I called NY1 news and they came up with a TV camera -- ever since that TV camera was up here the garage owner has stopped blocking the fire hydrant! He knew it was illegal and, even though the police didn't care, the threat of bad press caused him to get his act to together. That's one little victory for sidewalks and public space over parking! You can view the news story here.
My point here is something can be done-- So, I don't think it's too late to address the issue with the parking garages at all. If little things can be fixed, then big things can be fixed.
The daily news has a pretty good story the other day about what's been happing with our public parks due to the new Yankee Stadium. Everyone in the area knows how crowded the little "replacement" park is! I've seen 2 soccer games, a baseball game, 15-20 kids playing in the sand, 20 or more people on the track 8 guys at the "pull up bar" and half of an aerobic class all going on in this tiny park at once--- And they want to make this in to a bunch of parking spots that will only be used on game days? And the "final replacement park" won't be built until 2011? That is unacceptable!
More people live in the Bronx now than 5 years ago but they have reduced the accessibility of our public spaces-- at the same time, there will be fewer seats in the new stadium-- but they are increasing the amount of parking. It makes no sense.
( 5,041 new parking spaces are being built, with tax payer assistance for a stadium with 5,000 fewer seats. These empty lots will have a huge impact on the neighborhood. )
The public spaces should be for the majority who are here 365 days a year, not for the few (soon to be fewer, since there will not be as many seats in the new stadium) who are only here on game days.
I'm not going to listen to anyone who tells me that nothing can be done. If you'd like to help out please join this group. If you have ideas for the next steps I should take post 'em here.