Friday, April 11, 2008

The Flushing Meadows-Corona Dumping Ground

Dear Editor (Queens Chronicle):

Flushing Meadows Park is the second most used park in the New York City municipal park system. It also has the dubious distinction of being the most abused, pillaged and neglected of any major park in the system.

It is replete with all sorts of non-park structures alien to the concept of an urban park, structures that would never be permitted in Central, Bronx or Prospect Parks.

It is the dumping ground for all sorts of political nonsense and is kept in a neglected state purposely as an excuse to allow yet another non-park structure in the park. When the Mets and the USTA playing, large areas of grassland become parking lots for which a fee is charged. One need not speculate what would happen to your car if you parked on grass in any other park in the city. It should therefore come as no surprise that Flushing Meadows Park is the second most dangerous park in the city. (“Flushing Meadows Park Is Called Dangerous,” The Queens Chronicle, April 3).

The fault lies with the majority of Queens elected officials who have never taken this park seriously and look at it not as an urban park, but as a sportsplex and the public be damned. Particular attention should be focused on Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, who has a sordid history when it comes to this park. It will be remembered she thought there was nothing wrong with removing over 100 trees and building a Grand Prix race track in the park, supported doubling the size of park land for the USTA and most recently thought it was a grand idea to build a huge Jets football stadium smack in the middle of the park. All this aided and abetted by the New York City Parks Department which lacks the integrity to protect this urban park and caves in to political pressure. Flushing Meadows Park will always be under siege until it is removed from the city’s municipal park system and turned over to a non-political professional park manager. The time has come to give serious consideration to that suggestion.

Benjamin Haber

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How about a money pit for all sort of projects?

We have potential public meeting spaces all aound the boro that are being destroyed (neighborhood theaters and the like) and millions and millions poured into places like Theater in the Park, just to name one project that echoes the Tweed Courthouse.