Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Battery Park City Residents Decry Destruction of "Tire Swing Park"

DON'T TREAD ON ME: Matthew Fenton and his 7-year-old daughter, Katie-Jo, like Battery Park City's 'Tire Swing Park' the way it is.
DON'T TREAD ON ME: Matthew Fenton and his 7-year-old daughter, Katie-Jo, like Battery Park City's "Tire Swing Park" the way it is.   Battery Park City residents are fighting a controversial NY State DOT plan to replace a popular playground and destroy more than two dozen trees to accommodate "Pataki's Promenade." (Photo:  Tamara Beckwith/NY Post)


For hundreds of Battery Park City families, the reconstruction in lower Manhattan will soon mean the loss of a tranquil, tree-lined refuge where children have played on tire swings in the shade for over 20 years, according to the New York Post.

State highway officials plan to bulldoze the playground -- affectionately known as Tire Swing Park --in an effort to rebuild West Street and to extend a pedestrian promenade, part of a master plan developed after 9/11 by then-Gov. George Pataki.

The project is set to begin Oct. 13 and should be done by May 2010.

While the state is promising to replace the park, parents don't like losing 28 fully grown trees and the rustic wooden playground they've enjoyed for a generation.

"What we'll get when they're done is a playground of plastic, metal and industrial materials for our kids to play on," said Matthew Fenton, a parent and a member of a group fighting to block the park project.

The group collected petitions with 500 signatures to save the site, formally West Thames Park, which includes a playground, garden and a small field on the eastern edge of Battery Park City, just south of the World Trade Center.

To the south of the park, a promenade built after 9/11 runs to Battery Park. State officials want to extend the promenade north, right through the playground.

On sunny afternoon last week, Tire Swing Park was packed with parents and kids, while the promenade to the south -- dubbed Pataki-stan by residents -- had only an occasional pedestrian.

Read More:

New York Post - September 8, 2009  - By Tom Topousis  

NY1 - September 17, 2009  - By Susan Jhun

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bloomberg's Plan to Take East Side Playground For UN Rears Its Ugly Head - Again

For years Turtle Bay residents, Community Board 6 and elected officials have fought to save Robert Moses Playground, a tiny asphalt lot located on 1st Ave. between 41/42nd street from being taken over by the UN. Compounding the issue is that the area has one of the least amounts of open space of any community in NYC. The mayor needs the support of the state legislature to alienate the park if he is to succeed in using this property for this non-park purpose. Things got so desperate a few years back that the mayor even dispatched his sister up to Albany to lobby. But no deal. The NY Post is reporting that he has attempted to reopen negotiations with electeds. Will someone also please inform the mayor, and his controlled agencies like City Planning and EDC and Design Commission that esplanades are not parks.

Sources tell A Walk In The Park that for years the UN has done their best to block a NYC Greenway waterfront connection from passing in front of their property due to "security concerns. However these concerns would magically disappear if they got the Robert Moses Playground site. The waterfront North of 37th Street to 60th St. has zero access along the river's edge. This comes after our elected officials recently wasted $ 60 million dollars by allowing a 3000 feet "temporary" outboard detour roadway built along the FDR to be taken down in 2007. The roadway provided a wonderful opportunity for at least partial access to this long neglected area. This project is exactly the type of wasteful and poor planning this city doesn't not need.

Read More:

Mayor Steps Up Pressure for U.N. Tower
NY Sun- April 12, 2007

At a Longstanding Playground, Yet Another Plan to End the Games
NY Times - April 1, 2007

Japanese Architect Wins U.N. Competition
NY Times February 14, 2004