Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Parking Up the Wrong Tree

There is still more controversy in the Southwest Bronx. In today's Daily News, Bill Egbert reports on the community concerns about the Yankee Stadium redevelopment plan. In particular the neighborhood residents are upset with the loss of McCombs Dam and Mullaly Parks, land lost as the new stadium is relocated to the north of its current site.

In this case what is interesting is the public role being taken by Bronx BP Adolfo Carrion. Carrion is expressing concern that the Yankees pay attention to the needs of the impacted community, saying that plans for a new Yankee Stadium "cannot move forward without the community's involvement."

This is certainly a stronger position than Adolfo has taken on the Bronx Terminal Market but it doesn't answer the question of what the BP means by his apparent line in the sand. The key issue here is what is meant by the term "community involvement." The community in question has some base-line objections to the entire plan, particularly the taking of park land. As Greg Bell of the BVEI says about the proposed swap, "It's not a fair exchange."

Bell's group would rather see the stadium relocated to the south on or near the proposed site for the new Gateway Mall. We'll be interested to see just how Solomonesque Adolfo can be to resolve this issue. The bottom line, however, is that "community involvement" is not a particular high standard to meet and more substantive compromises will be needed to truly mollify the neighborhoods.