More Parks, Less Parking
April 15th, 2009
As the Yankees set to play their first official regular season game in their new stadium, Gotham Gazette parks writer Anne Schwartz offers the following modest proposal to help the state budget. (For more on the delays in plans to replace parks in the Bronx, see her article, Yankee Stadium Is Opening, But Not the Parks.
The state is providing a capital subsidy of $65 million for the construction of four new parking garages for the new Yankee Stadium — more than the capital funding the state budget allocates next year for the entire state park system. (The garages are also receiving tax-exempt federal and state financing of $59.6 million.)
Three of the garages are either under construction or complete. The fourth is slated for Jerome Avenue and 161st Street, where the parks department built an interim synthetic turf baseball/soccer field and track for the community, pending the completion of replacements for the 22 acres of public athletic fields that were taken over for the new stadium.
The first partial replacement park –- a football/soccer field ringed by a 400-meter track –- should be finished this month. At that point, the interim field will make way for the fourth parking garage. Baseball teams in the neighborhood will have to wait for new fields until the old stadium is razed and a park is created on its footprint, two and a half years from now.
How necessary is all that parking for 81 days a year? (OK, plus a few more if the Yankees go into the post-season.) The stadium is served by two subway lines and a brand new Metro North station. Wouldn’t taxpayer money be better spent on keeping afloat the mass transit systems essential to the functioning of the city’s economy?
Why not at least postpone the construction of the last garage and leave a nice new playing field for the neighborhood kids?By Gail Robinson on April 15, 2009, 8:34 pm
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