Letters: Brooklyn Bridge Park deal is a shell game

To the editor,

The deal to approve housing on the John Street lot in Brooklyn Bridge Park — in return for the promise that less housing would be needed on Pier 6 — is a deal made without community involvement or support (“All eyes on Watchtower,” Aug. 5).

All that has resulted from this capitulation is that another housing tower will rise inside a public park’s borders and communities are pitted against one another. Just what did state Sen. Daniel Squadron, and Councilmen Steve Levin and Brad Lander mean when they campaigned on a “no more housing inside Brooklyn Bridge Park” platform? Was it a lie or did they have their fingers crossed behind their backs when they told the electorate that would not accept housing inside the park?

It was a major blunder not to have called the mayor’s bluff, and use the significant power they had with a veto. It is no wonder that citizens have stopped volunteering in their communities, don’t come to community meetings, or even come out to vote in local elections. Who can blame them with “representation” such as this?

Judi Francis, Cobble Hill

The writer is head of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund.

To the editor,

If you believe shellfish is edible, you might also belly up to the Brooklyn Bridge Park shell game.

Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D–Cobble Hill), state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D–Brooklyn Heights) and Mayor Bloomberg coughed up their vetoes over development at the park based on a formula fine printed with a two-year deadline of Jan. 1, 2014, for Watchtower properties to change ownership. After that date, the city will apparently release requests for proposals for the two other apartment buildings.

Any one of these properties take some time to close, and the only developer with skin in the park game backed out not long ago. The market is just not favorable for Watchtower to sell.

The deal was struck by our so-called representatives without consulting with community leaders or holding public meetings. These are backroom deals, but Albany politicians will maintain at election time that they completed the park in tough times!

If Mayor Bloomberg wanted a park funded through the Parks Department — in keeping with hundreds of years of history in the public trust, delivering what the private sector could not — it would be decreed.

Doug Biviano,
Brooklyn Heights

Hail, Ralph

To the editor,

I would like to acknowledge the outstanding contributions Ralph Perfetto has made to the lives of very many people in Bay Ridge and beyond (“Judge gives Ralph community service,” July 22). For decades, Ralph has been working to help people. If all who have been helped by him were asked to “raise their hand,” very many hands would go up, not just in Bay Ridge, but all over Brooklyn. I hope this fact will not be overlooked in the current political/judicial frenzy. Thank you, Ralph. We appreciate all you have done for so many.

Rev. Robert Emerick,
Bay Ridge

Poached eggs

To the editor,

Can we get real? A group of homeless that live in Prospect Park will now be fined for catching and using the wildlife as food “Cops nab poachers” (Aug. 5). Well, I am sure that fining a homeless person will definitely result in the practice being stopped, because what homeless person wants to pay a fine and decrease his 401K or have his savings account impacted?

This is the most idiodic way of dealing with this issue.

Let’s address the cause of the issue — why they are living in Prospect Park — and not target their actions with some silly slap of a fine that will never result in anything happening.

Ed Barisic, Greenpoint

Lane pains

To the editor,

While the city dithers over whether the Prospect Park West bike lane is permanent or a trial lane, “Bring on the bike suit,” (July 22), and whether it should stay or go, the lanes are not completely thought out, and people are getting hurt — namely my 14-year old son.

Almost a month ago, he had a collision on his bike with a car exiting Litchfield Villa parking lot. The car pulled out flush with the parked cars, blocking the bike lane without stopping. Jack got thrown from his bike and ended up with 12 stitches under his chin. He was incredibly lucky. And I am incredibly angry.

The driver was definitely negligent, but when I went to the scene, it’s easy to see how it happened. I could envision the driver crossing the bike lane to get a good look at the oncoming traffic from the north, not seeing the bike rider or pedestrian coming from the south. There are no stop signs and, probably equally important, no signs warning drivers that there’s two-way traffic.

We need signs. Plus, as Brad Lander pointed out, drivers need to be able to see whether there’s oncoming traffic without pulling into the bike lane. Mr. Lander tells me that he has been trying to get signs up at Litchfield Villa for over a year. A year? What in heaven’s name are we waiting for? Will someone have to be even more seriously injured before simple safety decisions are made?

This bike lane should never have been created without thinking it through completely. It makes me laugh (bitterly) when I read that surveys have been conducted and analyzed and debated, that lawsuits are being filed and counter-filed, and that legislators are arguing and accusing — while real people are crossing these lanes unsafely.

While we sit in this twilight zone of indecision over the bike lane, I urge the Department of Transportation to act immediately to make at least one thing crystal clear: look both ways before crossing the bike lane. Please, Janette Sadik-Khan, put up some signs.

Marietta Abrams Brill,
Park Slope

‘Roulette’ spun

To the editor,

I have been attending events at Roulette in SoHo for the past 30 years, and I can only express my utter astonishment at the behavior of the local chuckleheads who fear the drunken brawls that would ensue from serving liquor (“Spinning ‘Roulette,’ ” Aug. 5).

Are the homunculi of Community Board 2 so unfamiliar with the culture of that “other” borough, Manhattan, that they would earnestly believe that the oldschool hipsters who make Roulette their chosen place to perform and be entertained would be so uncouth as to ingest excessive numbers of Stellas, which they would proceed to barf all over Third Avenue? One shudders to think of the trouble that nefarious characters like Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed and Fred Frith could cause in the chic antiqueries that line Atlantic Avenue.

I can hardly wait for Roulette to open in September; I’m sure the members of Community Board 2 will lock up their wives and daughters and arm themselves to the teeth when brother Lou Reed is in the house.

Robert Berkman, Park Slope