Celebrate More Park, Not More Parking
After much public deliberation, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation has released its draft of the Brooklyn Bridge Park master plan for public comment. T.A. shares the community's excitement that this long hoped-for park is finally coming to fruition. Unfortunately, the financially "self-sustaining" public-private partnership model promises more cars and traffic for Downtown Brooklyn. Current plans for the park, which will encompass 70 acres from the DUMBO area to piers one through five, include a 370-room hotel, a large public market, numerous restaurants, a Chelsea-Piers style recreational facility and approximately 1,500 parking spaces grouped around the site. Representatives from the Development Corporation assert that the park's annual upkeep bill, which is estimated at $7 million, demands these commercial endeavors. Furthermore, they contend that these businesses must have ample parking to succeed.
Regardless of whether the
public/private partnership will work (and given the Chelsea Piers experience,
there is good evidence to suggest that it will not), the decision to rely on
auto-dependent businesses as revenue generators for the park is a big mistake;
the move to encourage even more traffic in Downtown Brooklyn by expanding
parking is an even bigger one. While some Downtown Brooklyn residents see the
parking spaces as keeping park users from descending onto their neighborhood
streets, the opposite will prove true. The parking will function as a further
incentive for visitors to drive and will ensure the park is an
automobile-oriented destination. More and more people will drive, and those
who can't squeeze into the parking lot will spill onto residential streets.