Monday, June 10, 2013

The scandal that Queens pols won't talk about

From LTV Squad:

I immediately set out to walk the trail. What I found amounts to a coverup.

The 2 large sections of the trail which were washed out and passable via paving stones have been completely covered by a brand new, thicker layer of woodchips. It completely covers up the oily soil underneath. Yes – I said it again: It covers it up. Was any of the oily mud scraped up and sent out for testing?

No work has been done on the Willow Lake Trail Bridge. Nature, however, has taken over the burned out portions with lush green vines – so unless you knew better you might not realize you’re crossing a ‘temporary’ bridge.

Between Willow Lake Bridge and the Grand Central Parkway Bridge, the trail is completely not passable. The paving stones that were used to cross the 2 washouts further east are now being placed on the west end of the trail. They suddenly dead end though, and you’re left to make you’re way through the mud, thick vegetation, and wooden planks to try to make your way to the bridge over the highway. As of this writing, if you try to access the park/trail from the forest hills side, you can only cross the bridge over the Grand Central Parkway. The path is completely lost in the brush throughout this west end of the trail.

A friend of mine from the neighborhood had this reaction when trying to enter from near the Grand Central Parkway: “I just went into the Forest Hills entrance, and it is EXACTLY as it was the last time I went in there 8 years. ago. Sidewalks cracked with tons of growth. Broken lamps. I got 100 feet down the path and had to turn around because the path is the same muddy piece of crap it used to be. Pat Dolan would be pissed if she saw her name on the gate. (As far as I know, from my side of the park, that sign and gate is the only new thing to this area)”

Between Willow Lake Bridge and the Grand Central Parkway Bridge, the trail is completely not passable.

Clearly, they are still working on making this end of the path passable. Why did they even open up the trail if you can’t walk the entire length?

I’ll tell you why: lack of coordination. Clearly our friends at City Hall and The Parks Department were completely embarrassed by the photos posted here. Someone miscommunicated how far the work crew had progressed and they reopened the trail. Assuming there is a work crew presently working on repairing the trail, it probably won’t take them more than 1-2 weeks to finish the job (depending on the size of the crew of course).

All of the old abandoned lamp posts are still along this portion of the trail. You’d think the city would rip them out of there and get a few bucks for the scrap metal.

Curiously, the new ‘Duck Blind’ that they built at the edge of the lake was basically abandoned on Sunday. The new woodchip trail does not branch off to it clearly, and reeds are growing all around it.

Again: the message sent is lack of coordination. A rush job.

Attention NYC Parks Department and City Hall: Queens is still calling, and we want some answers. We’re not going to stop asking until you provide them in great detail.

Reopening this park is a nice first step. Anyone that now goes there will be able to clearly see its potential and what an asset it is to the community this parkland is. That’s a very good thing. I have nothing but praise to the workers who pulled this off so quick, and nothing but disdain towards the politicians who allowed this fiasco to fester for so long. Make no mistake about this: opening the trail is the first large step – now it needs to be maintained, and the soil and water around the lake need to be tested so we know what we’re dealing with and can come up with a plan to clean up any potential toxic chemicals.


Joe Moretti said...

Our Queens elected officials are great for this type of situation. Instead of taking care of a problem or issue right from the get go, where it is much easier to handle and manage, they wait and wait and wait until it is very difficult to then control the beast they created because of their doing nothing or very little. Common sense folks, something lacking in our political system,

Anonymous said...

Where was Queens Civic Congress - just passively naming this for one of the people then fading back into the woodwork?

This park has been quietly sliding under the waves for decades - but then you can say that about the entire borough.

The elected officials are a product of the Queens civic culture, Joe.

The other four boroughs would never accept this.

Jerry Rotondi said...

Political corruption in Queens has reached pandemic proportions!

"Crooklyn" has nothing on us!

This coverup depicts another metaphor for it.

The Donald Manes bible of crooked practices has been expanded and refined over the years.

The only cure (to start with) appears to be TERM LIMITS all the way--up to Albany and DC!

Term limits should be imposed on ALL community board posts too!

Apply the same to patronage positions held by the likes of Terri Osborne, etc.

There are a lot of bench warmers sitting on fat salaries at our expense!

I'm not making myself very popular--am I?

That's too damn bad!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this post. I wish some of the NY newspapers would pick on this issue.

Anonymous said...

"I wish some of the NY newspapers would pick on this issue."

slightly improved -

I wish some of the Manhattan newspapers would pick on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and Parks will take care of a proposed Queensway. Dont worry. They can't even take care of a short pathway around a small pond.

Anonymous said...

No mention yet of the other footbridge over the GCP that remains closed or the National Grid pipe on it.