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‘Dangerous’ vehicles are out of control in Prospect Park

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To the editor,

Just a few hours after reading your story about the prospect of having no cars in Prospect Park (“Bloomy: I’d love car-free park,” online, Aug. 29), I witnessed a white Toyota nearly run down a mother pushing her baby in a stroller. She was in the clearly designated pedestrian lane. The car was speeding and cutting the corner near the Third Street entrance on the park’s West side.

The Department of Transportation’s policy of allowing cars in the park is very dangerous, and it’s only a matter of time before it results in another less-lucky mother and baby getting mowed down, or one of the kids in the soccer school in the Long Meadow being killed while chasing a ball. You cannot bring high-speed cars into close proximity to children and families at play without causing disaster.

The current situation is compounded by the 78th Precinct’s inability to properly enforce traffic regulations in the park. There are plenty of foot patrols and squad cars circling the Park loop, but they are unable to stop drivers from treating the route like a racetrack. It is clear that the NYPD cannot make up for the gross negligence of the state DOT’s traffic rules.

The state must act now and do the right thing: Close Prospect Park to automotive traffic, period.

Scott C. Powell, Park Slope

A win for all

To the editor,

To all who turned out to vote this week, you’ll be pleased to learn that the candidate for a real Brooklyn Bridge Park, Daniel Squadron, won handily against the 26-year incumbent, Marty Connor (“A state Senate upset,” Sept. 10).

Voters remembered that Connor sponsored legislation that allows private housing inside our public parks. In Brooklyn, Daniel won by more than 80 percent in the areas surrounding the park. Early polling showed that the park issue — no housing in the park — was worth 25 percentage points for Squadron. The vote in Brooklyn Heights alone finally put to rest the lies of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, the Brooklyn Heights Association and their house organ, the Heights Press, that theirs is the majority opinion on the Park’s design, financing and governance. Daniel Squadron’s position in favor of year-round recreation in the Brooklyn Bridge Park helped win the day.

We are hopeful that the remaining elected officials will finally hear the voice of the people who have written, spoken and now, acted, to get a real park back on the front burner. We thank each of you for your continued support on this issue and we urge you to write to your local officials to tell them, once again, that you want a real park, not mere landscaping for private condos.

Bob Stone, Brooklyn Heights

The writer is the treasurer of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund

Freakin’ Giuliani!

To the editor,

I am writing in response to your article, “This Bust’s for You” (Sept. 4).

A number of years ago, while Rudy Giuliani was mayor of New York, my wife received a ticket for riding her bicycle for less than a block on the sidewalk alongside Prospect Park as she tried to avoid a traffic jam caused by a police checkpoint. This was, as they called it, a quality of life crime.

She went to the Red Hook facility to pay her ticket, but was told that she would not have to pay if she pleaded guilty and attended a 45-minute class on quality of life crimes. If she pleaded not guilty, she would have to wait more than an hour for the judge and would then have to take the same class. So she pleaded guilty and attended the class.

The mediator asked all members of the class to explain what they had done and why it was wrong. Most of these quality of life criminals had been drinking beer or wine on their stoops. When they got to my wife, she said, “You are all people from warm climates — the South or the Caribbean — and in your cultures, you spend lots of time outside your homes, often drinking and socializing. Giuliani wants you in your homes, alone, watching television and buying the products they are advertising.”

All of her classmates agreed. Even the mediator seemed to nod his assent.

Lew Friedman, Park Slope

Slope haters

To the editor,

In Sarah Portlock’s news story about the closing of Pumpkin’s Organic Market (“Squashed! Eco-grocer can’t survive in green Slope,” Park Slope Edition and online, Sept. 13), was it really necessary to include the nasty little editorial comment about the Park Slope Food Co-op being “user-unfriendly”? I’m sure most of the Co-op’s 13,000-plus members would disagree with her and are glad to do their work slots.

While you are at it, why not also criticize the YMCA, private health clubs, and all of your advertisers who charge fees or have other membership requirements?

I don’t think it’s odd at all that Pumpkin’s failed. While it was a very warm and cozy store, its selection was extremely small as natural foods store go and its location, not on a busy pedestrian commercial street, limited its customer base. Plenty of other natural foods markets are surviving and growing.Andy Feldman, Park Slope

Grills destroy park

To the editor,

I am a 40-year Brooklyn resident and live directly across the street from Prospect Park. The problem of barbecuing has indeed grown out of control (“Park is BBQ crazy!” June 28). I have photos showing the enormous amount of trash left behind by park grillers, as well as pictures of burnt branches and destroyed grass from the coal discarded throughout the entrance of the park.

Besides having to keep my windows closed due to the coal gasses and food odors that come from the large number of grills (my house, clothes and furniture all smell like hamburgers now), the view is absolutely horrendous. I have taken ongoing air quality tests to show the difference in air quality during the height of the grilling season. Those of us that live here are forced to live with this terrible condition all summer.

I have seen gas burning grills that you would see in a backyard being used in the park, which is also illegal. And the most I have seen any Park employee do is tell people they could not erect tents around the grilling sites (which they do anyway).

My neighbors and I are being held hostage by these conditions and leave the area on weekends to find a peaceful dwelling. As an American citizen, I am entitled to a peaceful dwelling. I work all week. Why can’t I enjoy my own home on the weekends?

Chicken bones, raw food, old banners, balloons, ribbons and huge piles of garbage that lean against the tree are now ruling the park and playground.

Are we going to wait for further injury, further destruction to our park to enforce these rules?

What does it take to control and prevent this situation? I am officially putting the city on notice!

Lisa (last name withheld), Park Slope

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Reader Feedback

Green Grass from DUMBO says:
If pols are successful in significantly altering the current plans for Brooklyn Bridge Park, when is this park ever going to get built? Is there objective to delay its construction indefinitely? I don't understand. A park with condos may not be ideal, but a park with condos and grass is a lot better than crumbled asphalt, rusted metal and barbed wire for eternity. I just want some green grass and a foot/bike path to walk/ride along the water...how hard is that? I hope the park is built in time for my young children to enjoy for at least some of their younger years.
Sept. 19, 2008, 5:01 pm

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