Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Yankee Stadium Redevelopment Expected to Carrion

Last night Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion held his Borough President hearing on the new Yankee Stadium proposal (it is assumed he will vote in favor of the project). In an unfortunate replay of what happened with the Bronx Terminal Market hearings, carloads of paid boosters, otherwise known as construction workers, packed the hall, drowning out concerned community members. Yet Yankee President Randy Levine has the audacity to remark: “As the process goes forward, it will become more and more clear that the people who speak in opposition are professional protesters.”

Levine’s statement is not only hypocritical but dead wrong. Those opposing the plan to build on top of vital greenspace in a park-deficient area of the Bronx are community residents who will be most affected by the plan. However, just like with the Bronx Terminal, real planning and community impact concerns are blithely brushed aside as the developer and certain Bronx elected officials vigorously push the Yankee stadium project forward. For more on this check out the insightful and often updated Save Our Parks blog.

As we’ve mentioned before, what this poor planning does, besides directly harming small business and destroying parkland, is to burden the community clogged roads and diminished air quality. For a borough with the worst asthma rates in the nation, one would think that elected officials would be especially careful to make sure the two largest developments in the Bronx’s history (which are literally side-by-side) would be planned in conjunction and would do everything possible to encourage mass transportation. Instead we get bogus, developer-funded analyses that don’t even take into account the other project! This is exactly the problem the land use review process, one that is exacerbated when politicians are receiving generous contributions from the developers whose projects they're supposedly reviewing.