Wednesday, May 26, 2010

When the best case scenario doesn't happen

From the NY Observer:

On May 17, Governor Paterson and several other officials and community leaders assembled on Manhattan's West Side for a ribbon cutting at Hudson River Park, the 5-mile-long strip of green space, converted piers and bike lanes along the Hudson River. They were on hand to christen the new (and growing) park's latest section, a 9-acre run that has a new skate park and gardens near West 24th Street.

It is, indeed, the season of parks: Earlier this spring, the long-planned Brooklyn Bridge Park opened its first section, a large pier; and the year-old High Line elevated park that runs through Chelsea is laying materials for its second phase, to open next year.

There's just one little nagging detail with these expanding parks: There's not enough money to fund their upkeep, and, for the most part, no one quite knows where it will come from.

All three parks were held up as gems of an economic development agenda in New York, as, theoretically, they were to be self-sustaining or close to it, with the private sector to pay for the ongoing operations. Yet the situation is one of classic overreach, as the administrations of Mayor Bloomberg and three governors put their faith in the panacea concept of the public-private partnership, pledging a win-win for all involved. The logic ran like this: New parks would be built; creative planning would open the floodgates to money from the private sector to fund maintenance year after year; and public balance sheets would be spared. The reality is far less heartwarming. The city and state are now grasping to find ways to make the parks work in the long term and are finding no answers that pass muster with the local communities and elected officials whose sign-off is needed. With this question mark hanging overhead, the fact that the groundbreakings continue-money continues to go into expansion-looks to be something of a reckless move, as officials are betting that some unspecified solution will indeed materialize at some future date.


Anonymous said...

all is well...i repeat, all is well

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a government Ponzi scheme!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful administration we have under Mayor Moneybags.

Out-of-control development; no thought or planning for projects; new parks for a few; build, baby, build; money spent for unnecessary projects...

All hallmarks of the Moneybags administration and his legacy.

Anonymous said...

These park projects were built to enable developers who have property adjacent to these new parks, insure their projects grow in value and sellout.