Friday, November 21, 2008

Brooklyn Bridge Park: send a letter soon

If you share our concerns about Brooklyn Bridge Park, we ask you to join us in sending a letter by November 26 to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. The letter addresses the berm, walkway, and wave attenuator features of the current park plan. It also calls for a more public process by reinstituting a Community Advisory Council. The DEC's comment period ends on November 26, so please act soon. Thanks to Judi Francis for adapting our more technical letter for individual use.
Harold J. Dickey
Project Manager, Division of Environmental Permits
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
One Hunters Point Plaza, 47-40 21st Street
Long Island City, NY 11101-5407

Re: Brooklyn Bridge Park, Natural and Marine Resources Permit 2-6101-01208/00001

Dear Mr. Dickey,

I live in Brooklyn, close to the planned development along the waterfront referred to as the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Project. I share the concerns outlined by the Cobble Hill Association regarding the wetlands permits for the park, as follows:

The wetlands application and permit do not reflect the true nature of the 30-foot berm and its impact on the park. The extreme sharp grade of the earth berm, which runs the length of Furman Street from Pier 1 to Joralemon Street, wastes precious flat parkland that is far more suitable for the recreational uses that have been eliminated: ball fields, a pool, a skating rink, and indoor recreational center. The community needs recreational facilities, not a 30-foot wall that blocks entrance to the park. Additionally, the berm will be very expensive to build given the 24/7 exposure to heavy BQE traffic, its steep slope, and the fact that one side will be in shadow during most daylight hours. The high cost to maintain any greenery on the berm belies good environmental practices, particularly when better, less expensive, and more desired uses for the land are available.

Neither the floating walkways nor the wave attenuators are integral to the enjoyment of the water for boaters, according to boater-club testimony given during the original 2005 Environmental Review process, and continually reaffirmed by boaters since then. These wave attenuators also significantly increase the cost to build and maintain the park. Because key recreational features of the park are now on permanent hold, given insufficient funds to build the park, we strongly recommend that the DEC deny the use of expensive wave attenuators in favor of the low-environmental impact and low-cost ball courts on Pier 2 (that are now unfunded).

We believe that the DEC would be better informed if there were a true Community Advisory Council to offer review and advice regarding the park plan. Because such a Council no longer exists, we respectfully request a Level 1 DEC public hearing so that the DEC can be better informed by those most interested in achieving a real park. Our community has waited more than two decades for this park, and we care passionately about its utility for all residents. Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of the most important civic endeavors affecting Brooklyn, and we believe it is critical that you hear from those who have worked so hard, for so long, to achieve it.


Anonymous said...

Has it ever occurred to you that you may be part of the problem, not the solution?

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous, Has it ever occurred to you that this is not a park, as currently planned, but a luxury condo real estate heist? Cobble Hill, along with all the other neighborhoods around the park want a park, with year round recreation, and have been working productively to achieve this. The solution is still available in the form of the community's plan that secured park funding in the first place! What have you been doing? Or are you, as we suspect, an apologist for the one group that loves having no access to the park, and no reason to go to it - the Brooklyn Heights Association?