Saturday, June 18, 2011

If you build it, they won't come

From the Daily News:

Dozens of new ballfields in the sprawling park beneath the RFK-Triborough Bridge went unused last summer by the kids who need them most, the city parks boss admits.

And with school almost out for summer, advocates are complaining the $120 million revamp of Randalls Island Park in early 2010 created a playground for the rich and took crucial dollars from neighborhood ballfields.

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe cited the low traffic earlier this year to justify plans for a private sports camp.

"Fields on Randalls Island have gone largely unused during weekday daytime hours in July and August, and thus availability should not be an issue," he wrote City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito in January.

The deal called for Florida-based IMG Academies to operate the camp on Randalls Island after donating $200,000 to the Randalls Island Sports Foundation. But plans for the $895-a-week camp fell through in April, with IMG citing low enrollment.

Mark-Viverito (D-East Harlem/Bronx) slammed the pricey park rehab, claiming thousands of trees were cut down to make way for the artificial turf fields.

"Why would you build so many fields and then have a problem in terms of utilization?" she asked. "It was shortsighted and now we're paying the price."


georgetheatheist said...

If they took the tolls away, the island would be mobbed.

Anonymous said...

Our government at it's best. It's sad isn't it.

Anonymous said...

I know those tolls are keeping all the kids away.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness we need those tolls to stay or would you rather the animals take control like they did on Brighton Beach the other day???

Anonymous said...

This is not surprising at all. There is no public transportation to and from Randalls Island. It's obvious that people aren't going to drive there, especially if they have to pay a toll. Without a subway stop on the island, I don't see how anyone would go there.

Anonymous said...

Not from Queens, but there is a bus there from Manhattan. Not enough, though.

Anonymous said...

Another NYC government success story.

Gary the Agnostic said...

George -

The last time that I looked (admittedly not for a few years), tolls are still being charged for people to drive to Jones Beach and other such locations. That hasn't kept the crowds down.

There's no question that the bridge tolls probably affect a few people. However, I think the major reason is that Randalls Island is so difficult to reach. Even if there were no bridge tolls, a lot of people would find it hard to get to.

Anonymous said...

What assholes approved this? Off with their jobs, King Bloomberg! Fire the sons of bitches and investigate them for kickbacks etc.

Joe said...

There was a stadium Randalls Island that had concerts. KISS, Cream, Foghat, Robin Trower
It made money.
For some stupid reason the city replaced it with running track, tennis and soccer crap.
It all requires a small army of maintenance people.

And yes the Jones Beach Toll Plaza costs as much as them city bridges, you then get slammed over $8 again to park.
Personally I boat over to the South side of Hart Island ($8 gas).
I don't like what I see at most public beaches.

Anonymous said...

Non-athletic WASPY & Asian WASPY rich folk like to pay attention to soccer & tennis.

Anonymous said...

Translation: Immigrants and stuffy aO's !!!