Thursday, May 20, 2010

Manhattan park opens as Queens park closes

From the Daily News:

In a case of really bad timing - or political tin ear - Gov. Paterson cut the ribbon on a new Manhattan park Monday just as budget cuts forced dozens of state parks to close.

"It's not smart politics, and it's not good politics either," said Assemblyman Herman (Denny) Farrell after Paterson welcomed a new section of the Hudson River Park in Chelsea.

Farrell's Harlem constituents are furious their beloved Riverbank State Park was cut back by several hours a day.

"The governor should know this community is constantly concerned that they're not getting their fair share," Farrell said.

Statewide, 81 parks and historical sites are closing or cutting their hours because of the ongoing Albany budget crisis, according to a list on a state Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Web site.

Riverbank has been ordered not to open its outdoor pool this summer and to slash summer concerts. Another state park in the city - Bayswater Point in Queens - is completely closed.

From A Walk in the Park:

Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates, questioned whether closing the Riverbank State Park in Harlem was even legal since it was created as mitigation for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant nearby. The park is very popular because it has a public swimming pool.

“It’s outrageous that the state is doing this, especially in light of the fact that so little of the state’s parkland is located downstate,” Croft said. Another popular city park, the 12-acre Bayswater State Park in Jamaica Bay, has an operating budget of just $5,000 a year, he said. “So this is clearly not about money.”

Let's see what went on at Bayswater last week...

"Hi Crapper,

I know you've been covering this pretty closely, so thought you'd be interested to hear state parks officials escorted all the planespotters and fishermen out of Bayswater Point State Park early this afternoon, padlocked it and hung a "CLOSED" sign.

Love the site, keep up the great work.



Anonymous said...

This is disgusting!

Anonymous said...

What a shame we can't get a bunch of volunteers from the Audubon society and Nature Conservancy and re-open the parks ourselves.

To give Manhattan credit, when Central Park was under attack, they formed a Conservancy and took over a lot of the work of keeping it up and raising money for it.

Queens Crapper said...

To give Manhattan credit, the people who live near Central Park are filthy rich and can afford it. To also give Manhattan credit, their park is a major tourist area.

Anonymous said...

Governor Patterson is a dumb boob!

Anonymous said...

I thought QCC is making a big push on park (something safe and non-ruffling politicans feathers of course.)

They are doing a fine job for the boro.

Anonymous said...

seems like such a fixable thing...what can the average schmoe do about it? what if we could raise the 6K and send the state a check, would they reopen it?