March/April 2000, p.11

The Manhattan skyline above and a beautiful new park below are the future hopes of cyclists, walkers and other Brooklyn residents.

Brooklyn Heights residents suspect that the public-private partnership model the state is using to build and manage the new Brooklyn Bridge Park may not end up as benign as promised. At public hearings on the park in November, the state's consultants faced a barrage of questions about unintended traffic consequences of these for-profit land uses. T.A. feels the public is barking up the right tree. The state and Port Authority have promised to contribute significantly to building the 80-acre park itself, but will pay nothing for its operations.
Mindful of examples such as Chelsea Piers, experts contend that ordinary neighborhood users can seldom raise enough cash to support a modern park, so management will tend to choose vendors like huge, auto-dependent ice rinks or health clubs that attract enough customers to keep operations in the black. Brooklynites have testified in droves on behalf of pedestrian and bicycle access from area streets to the existing Brooklyn Promenade, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Clark Street subway station, and, of course, the new park, but they are balking at the prospect of new vehicular traffic that may come if park planners sacrifice safety and clean air to avoid supporting what Brooklyn deserves and needs: genuine public space.