Sunday, January 08, 2006

Stadium Park and Deride

On Saturday Charles Bagli did an excellent examination of the rising neighborhood discontent over the ballyhooed Yankee Stadium redevelopment plan. As Ernesto Maldonado, one local disgruntled Yankee fan remarked, "'I'm totally opposed to this...We've never benefited from the stadium, and we don't believe we'll ever benefit from it.'"

As we have been commenting all along, mirroring our friends over at the Save Our Parks website, this plan that alienates vital parkland and disrupts local business was never properly evaluated. In addition, there has never been any effort on the part of city "planners" to attempt to gauge what the cumulative impacts of the stadium project and the contiguous BTM development. This is in keeping with the planning tendency all over the city to look at all large projects discretely, as if each existed in a development vacuum.

There is now a genuine need for all of the sell-described "friends" of all of the various parks around the city to come to the defense of Macombs Dam and Mullaly Parks. We know what the hue and cry would be if someone suggested alienating 19 acres of parkland in another community. Just look at the Jets proposal to use Flushing Meadow. This Highbridge neighborhood deserves the same spirited defense.

What's refreshing about the Bagli piece is that for the first time there is a focus on and concern for Bronx neighborhoods. What is now needed is an in-depth look at how the "special interests" are operating in the borough to the detriment of its residents. Between the Yankee's Randy Levine and Related's Steve Ross is policy formulation being done in the public interest?