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Let it grow! City OKs McCarren Park expansion, forcing drivers to look elsewhere for the kind of park space they crave

The Brooklyn Paper
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McCarren park is about to get bigger, forcing drivers to go around so that park lovers can go greener.

The city just gave the go-ahead to a park expansion that will have the Parks Department digging up a block of Union Avenue between Driggs Avenue and N. 12th Street to add green space the size of Michael Jordan’s mansion compound in the Chicago suburbs, leaving car commuters feeling dunked on while park patrons are walking on air.

“It is great news” said Joel Carrack, who lives near the park on N. 10th Street. “It is about the time we got some more park around here.”

The plan would connect a small triangular section of McCarren Park — which currently holds dog runs and the weekend farmers market — with the rest of the park’s southern end, replacing the roadway with plant beds featuring lush perennials, low-growing shrubs, loading zones for vendors, and subterranean catch basins to improve drainage.

Area motorists cried foul over the plan this spring, saying the 34 parking spaces the park expansion will block out are not worth the extra acreage.

The parks and transportation departments apparently disagree. The city agencies will work with the Open Space Alliance, a park activist group, to create a temporary design that the city will build by next summer, a parks department spokesman said. It will take longer to create and fund a permanent reconstruction of the area and the city does not know how much either design will cost, according to the parks department.

Updated 12:52 pm, September 17, 2013: Edited for style.
Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.
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Reader Feedback

Mike from Williamsburg says:
34 people lose something they weren't paying for so that many more people can benefit. Sounds like government is working correctly.
Sept. 17, 2013, 8:29 am
Rob from Greenpoint says:
Yes!
Sept. 17, 2013, 8:30 am
Joel from parkside says:
It is great news” said Joel Carrack, who lives near the park on N. Tenth Street. “It is about the time we got some more parking around here.”
Sept. 17, 2013, 8:39 am
Biz Mo from Pernt says:
"the Open Space Alliance, a park activist group..."
Ha.
Ha ha ha ha ha.
(coughs)
Ha.
(walks off)
Sept. 17, 2013, 12:16 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
"It will take longer to create and fund a permanent reconstruction of the area and the city does not know how much either design will cost, according to the parks department."

What could go wrong?
Sept. 17, 2013, 1:21 pm
jay from nyc says:
this has all the markings of a coming boondoogle. The thing I do wonder about though, is what if the city then built a 300 parking space underground garage under this land, I bet the people crying over the 34 spots will still complain.
Sept. 17, 2013, 9:03 pm
Senior from Greenpoint says:
Emergency vehicles are now detoured around the park where minutes could save lives.
Sept. 17, 2013, 10:34 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Senior, there will still be plenty of cars going through the park. Don't worry. http://goo.gl/maps/BMgHe
Sept. 18, 2013, 2:39 pm
Drew from Greenpoint says:
From a safety perspective, I'm most excited by the fact that this improvement will eliminate left turns from Driggs onto Union. Cars often come around that corner at considerable speed, posing a threat to pedestrians, park users, and bicyclists in the left-hand bike lane on Driggs. I'm thrilled to see this dangerous condition eliminated - and all the more so that the neighborhood will be getting a little more open space!
Sept. 18, 2013, 6:20 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Honestly, I don't see why there needs to be money to close of a road just to connect a park that will probably only be used when its weather permitting. Let's not forget that temperatures will be getting lower in the coming weeks and months, and not a lot will be outside that much. During the winter when it snows, it will just be seen as a waste of space. There are many other parks throughout NYC that are separated by roads and even highways in that matter, and I don't hear anyone calling for those to be taken down or removed just to connect them fully. More importantly, I am surprised how can there be money for this when so many hospitals have been closing lately, which feels more important than this.
Sept. 19, 2013, 4:24 pm

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