One Park Divided and Citizens denied

11/6/2013

One Park Divided

Written by Dorothea Poggi

Unfair treatment of one side of a local Park that should benefit all New Yorkers.

Ferry Point Park is physically divided by the Bronx Whitestone Bridge and the Hutchinson River Parkway. At the same time it is divided financially in the amount of Mayoral Funds made available at the request of Councilman James Vacca. There has been a huge input of over 100 million dollars on the East side versus the 3.5 million from the Croton Water Filtration Project on the West side (with 1 mil. on hold for restroom). This park is also divided in the fact that 200 acres on the East side will basically service high end Golfers (Trump Links at Ferry Point Park) while the west side services middle and lower economic families.

The Park is also separated by the intensity of permitted and illegal uses allowed by the NYC Parks Dept. The public 9 acre east side has quiet occasional use of playground, basketball and baseball. While the 110 acre public west side has thousands of chaotic visitors engaged in 8 adult hispanic soccer leagues along with cricket leagues and Hindu religious ceremonies which saddle weekday visitors with a filthy mess for seven months of the year. Illegal Parking along the “Ring Road” puts visitors in danger. Gambling, indecent exposure and broken water fountains encourage unsanitary, unhealthy and criminal behaviors.  These are all conditions which are unsuitable for the enjoyment of our Parks by the young, the convalescing, and our seniors.

In a month or two the divided Park will also offer a newly constructed restroom for the sparsely populated 9 acre public east side.  While we still wait for the construction of the (2007 pre-funded one million dollar) restroom to begin. This restroom is sorely needed to serve the sanitary needs of the thousands of players, visitors and children from all over the City and region.

Although many articles have been written about this awkward division of sanitary and safety concerns in the two sides of Ferry Point Park, nothing has really been done to solve this problem. The Friends of Ferry Point Park volunteer group that has spent thousands of volunteer hours in this park have gone on strike until they get the promised restroom constructed on the west side where they have been doing all their work while the construction of the 9 acre public Park and the Golf Course on the east side is being drawn out for more than 12 years.

The West side of this beautiful waterfront Park is home to the only NYC 9/11 Living Memorial Forest of Blossoming Trees donated by the Prince of Monaco and planted mostly by volunteers. There is a Hilltop Memorial Grove overlooking the Manhattan Skyline where the Freedom Tower stands. Many New Yorkers and visitors hope to see this 1939 World’s Fair Park renewed to the dignity that it deserves.  With restored dignity and purpose, this Park can then provide the quality service that all the people of New York so justly deserve .

 

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