Want to build Brooklyn Bridge Park? Scale it back!

The Brooklyn Paper
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To the editor,

It is not surprising that costs have soared for the Brooklyn Bridge Park (“Bridge park costs soar,” May 31). The price for everything is going up. What is important is that there is enough money to start building the park as your article points out. The park does not have to build in one year. It can be built as money becomes available.

In the past few months, several hundred people attended planning sessions for Pier 6 at the foot of Atlantic Avenue, which was a late addition to the park. People are hungry for a public park with active, and fun year-round activities for all.

We are meeting with elected officials to convince them to start some programming on Pier 6 that will generate funding to help pay for the park and begin to attract park users. We find some encouragement and openness to these ideas. After all, elected officials wrote last year to the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) that urged the agency to “re-engage the community in the park design process.”

As to what is driving up costs, there are elements of the official ESDC plan that are unnecessary, that few people want, and worse still, will damage the environment. ESDC plans huge wave-calming devices in the East River to make a pond for kayaking, and building floating walkways to nowhere. Plans also call for buying a fleet of cars and paying for a private armed police force. They have no place in a public park, and we urging legislators to work to drop these from the plan and thereby lower park costs.

Irene Van Slyke, Boerum Hill

The writer is chair of the Sierra Club Task Force on Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Don’t be a baby

To the editor,

I read with interest the article, “Thief of Bad Bags” (The Brooklyn Angle, May 31), about the Park Slope Food Co-op’s vote to ban plastic bags.

It certainly is a great idea!

However, I never read anything about one of the greatest offenders to our environment: Pampers diapers.

I understand they cannot be recycled. What about an alternative to Pampers — perhaps something is being manufactured with recyclable materials?

Teresa Martin, Park Slope

Horse play

To the editor,

Thank you for highlighting the challenging conditions that horses and riders face in Prospect Park in your story, “They hurt horses, don’t they?” (June 7).

The article had a tone of resignation from the Parks Department and the Prospect Park Alliance. The dangerous conditions are not “top priority,” the cost is huge, and by implication, nothing will be done.

This is not acceptable. We’re not talking about a facility for only a handful of people here. Hundreds of people take a trail ride through the park every week and safety should be a priority.

It is a matter of actually putting the matter on the agenda and making it a capital improvement issue.

Let’s not forget what can be achieved. The bridle paths in Forest Park, Queens benefited from part of a $1.7-million capital improvement grant, largely thanks to then Councilmember, Tom Ognibene.

Attention Brooklyn — we need another Tom Ognibene to step up to the plate.

Ruth Moore, Windsor Terrace

• • •

To the editor,

On Saturday, more than one hundred thousand people attended the Belmont Stakes to watch the thoroughbreds, and huge crowds pass daily through the American Museum of Natural History’s exhibit, “the Horse,” to marvel over the many accomplishments of the horse.

Yet hard pressed would any one of them be, in this city, to actually see, touch or ride a real live horse.

The bridle trails of Prospect Park are one of the few places left in this city where children and adults alike have the opportunity to learn to ride or simply marvel over the beauty that is a horse cantering through the park.

Prospect Park Alliance director Tupper Thomas said that the repair of the bridle paths is not a top priority right now. I ask, “Why not?”

I wonder has she ever been to Kensington Stable on a beautiful Saturday and witnessed the crowds clamoring for a chance to interact with a live horse, not one in a museum exhibit, or through a television screen, but the real thing?

If the eroded trails result in pushing the horses out of Prospect Park, we will have succeeded in making our world that much smaller and less spectacular.

Susan Montross, Clinton Hill

Serve Somebody

To the editor,

Like The Brooklyn Paper, I am excited that Bob Dylan will be playing in Prospect Park (“‘Celebrate’ Dylan,” June 7).

Unlike the quoted David Shenk, I am willing to pay $100 to see this modern day Shakespeare.

I ask Mr. Shenk, how much did he pay to take his family to see “Sex and the City” and then dinner at the Olive Garden?

I am especially excited that Dylan is playing Brooklyn because of the lyrical connection he has to the borough.

I am not speaking about how famed Brooklyn author Jonathan Lethem suggested to Dylan during a Rolling Stone interview that he put the forgettable “Cat’s in Well” in his concert repertoire.

I am not speaking of the supposed Brooklyn Heights allusion in one of Dylan’s most famous songs, “Tangled up in Blue” (“I lived with him on Montague Street/A basement down the stairs/There was music in the cafes at night/And revolution in the air”).

No, the lyrical connection I refer to is the song, “Slow Train Coming”: obviously based on the F train.

Lawrence Gardner, Manhattan

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Reader Feedback

Alison Clarke from Kensington says:
Horse Play

To the Editor,

Thank you for your article (June 7) regarding horseback riding in Prospect Park. This is a very popular activity for adults and children alike and I believe the Prospect Park Alliance should direct more of its funds to the safe upkeep of the bridle paths and riding arena.

This historical and contemporary sport should be a priority now for the Parks Authorities; the state of the paths desperately need to be improved to cope with current demand.
June 15, 2008, 12:19 pm
PJ from Williamsburg says:
Alison you are right but the City and the Parks Dept. are to busy making dog runs.
June 15, 2008, 5:01 pm

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