President’s Blog: 1/8/09 – Bronx CB 8 Contentious Parks Parks Committee Meeting

January 11th, 2009 Posted in President's Blog

President’s Blog: Bronx CB 8 Contentious Parks Committee Meeting – Thursday 01/08/009 -7PM –
Anne Marie Garti, President of Jerome Park Conservancy gave me the heads up on this meeting, and led me to the article by Nick Judd in The Riverdale Press.  My handicapped sticker made it easy to park at the Riverdale Avenue Community Offices, so got there on time.  Glenn Flesichmann was kind enough to relinquish his seat in the front row alongside AMG, who took detailed notes throughout the meeting, as she does at all those too contentious meetings she’s attentively attended for many years.  Others I recognized included Jeff Dinowitz, Hector Aponte, Karen Argenti, Dart Westphal, Richard Barr, Ezra Glazer, Ed Yaker, …

The meeting was chaired by Bob Bender, who’d been described as a “man in the middle” regarding a slight disagreement among the Jerome Park activist community.  I’m still not decided as to what’s right, and hope I don’t have to choose sides.  I support all projects around the JPReservoir.

The Parks Dep’t gave a well-delivered presentation by the Architects. The plan was detailed and appealing. One contentious issue seems to be where to place a jogging track and how close can community residents get to the water.

There were a few neighbors complaining vigorously about the abuse of a land set aside as a Dog Run.  A recent article in NYTimes CityBlog reminded us all that by law, owners must clean up after their dogs, so I think a little more effective enforcement (increased signage) would solve the poop problem. Or shut down the Dog Run.

Among some of the “takeaway” ideas were (1) Jeff’s “Out-of-The-Box” suggestions that the Reservoir Avenue traffic flow be studied to see if it could be changed to one-way (since all the other streets in Kingsbridge Heights neighborhood are also one way) and if so then the sidewalk could be widened to allow for a jogging path.  (2) Dart’s comments about the overcrowded meeting room, as if Bob Bender didn’t expect a crowd, and his request for playing fields for the chidren.  (3) Hector describing the community feedback/input as about 50:50, which I doubt is for real. (4) AMG’s emotional plea that she be able to go as close as possible to the water, without fears of jogger jostling. (5) Richard Barr from BxSciencePTA asking when the area presently under DEP destruction will be restored.

For quite a few years AMG has discouraged me (as chairperson) from bringing up the Outdoor Urban Ecology Labe (OUEL) at NYC DEP meetings. Although she gave me the “OK” to bring it up at this parks meeting, I declined to speak because the group seemed focused on how the alotted JPC FUND$ should be spent.

Mention was made as to how the Municipal BailOut might add new dollars to Saving Bx Parks.

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This post was submitted by I.C. Levenberg-Engel.

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  1. 3 Responses to “President’s Blog: 1/8/09 – Bronx CB 8 Contentious Parks Parks Committee Meeting”

  2. By karen on Jan 11, 2009

    See all the other comments on and concerning this discussion.

  3. By George D. Zulch on Nov 13, 2009


    Planned cutting down of 87 trees on Pelham Parkway:

    As a resident of the Bronx, who goes back to the 1950s in this area, I am adamantly opposed to the cutting down of old tree growth along Pelham Parkway for “any purpose.” I saw that Mr. Santiago, noted in the Bronx Reporter, expressed a view that I fully support. The trees along that parkway, and in particular the European Lindens that line the roadways, are not “replaceable.” Taking these down is completely brainless and expedient and mars the beauty and history of this parkway. Robert Moses, one of the great civil engineers and urban planners of the 20th century, designed this parkway to create a continuity of two of the larges park areas in New York City, namely, Pelham Bay Park with Bronx Park (including Botanical Gardens and Bronx Zoo). Mosholu Parkway extends that brilliant continuity into Van Cortland park as well. Every decade or so this hairbrain idea comes up but now seems to be seriously taking shape. I just found out and I will fight it. I need support and alliances in this.
    My cell number is (Editor removed number)
    If anyone wants to help me form a caucus against this please call me. We need to beat this back.
    As far as the safety issue: they should just build the barrier and leave it at that, or, if its possible, and I doubt it very much, transplant the trees further in. Given their age and extensive root system at this point I would not expect that could easily be done.
    In any event I am determined to beat this. We liv

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