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.