Bridge Park people ready to listen
Leaders of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy want you to help decide what kind of recreational activities should be available when the project’s promised public spaces are built.
“Every park begins with a dream,” said Conservancy President Marianna Koval, who said she is hoping for a big crowd at the Oct. 30 public meeting.
“We have a beautiful design, but we need to plan for how the park will be used. Decisions that are made in the next year will define Brooklyn Bridge Park for generations.”
The proposal for the open-space and condo development calls for a 1.3-mile-long strip of greenspace along the DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights waterfront — and upkeep of the parkland would be funded through maintenance fees assessed against the owners of the luxury apartments on its edges.
That funding scheme has drawn fire from critics who say that the people paying for the maintenance — i.e. the condo owners — will eventually demand control of what goes on in their back yard.
Take, for example, the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, a popular event organized by a local promoter that has been in the park two years running. As The Brooklyn Paper reported this month, next year’s festival is in limbo after a top state official publicly questioned whether it was appropriate for the park.
“I believe the true purpose of this meeting is to emphasize that the conservancy has dominion over the park,” said Roy Sloane, a Cobble Hill activist who once served on a citizen’s group that drafted an initial plan for a park along the waterfront.
Koval dismissed Sloane’s claims that the conservancy wants to turn the park into a private playground for Brooklyn Heights residents.
“Brooklyn Bridge Park will be a regional park, not simply a spectacular front yard to the adjoining neighborhoods,” Koval said.
If built, Brooklyn Bridge Park would be the largest new park project undertaken by the city since Prospect Park blossomed in Park Slope 135 years ago.
Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy programming and recreation meeting. Congregation Mount Sinai (250 Cadman Plaza West at Clark Street), Oct. 30, 6:30 pm. Call (718) 802-0603 for information.
By Adam F. Hutton