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October 16, 2011 / Brooklyn news / Williamsburg / Meadows of Shame

Hey, dude, where’s our park?

The Brooklyn Paper
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These people are parking mad.

Williamsburg residents demanded that the city make good on its promise to build Bushwick Inlet Park, decrying Bloomberg officials who said this summer there was no funding and no timetable to acquire the needed properties in the Kent Avenue site.

“We have fought hard for public access to the waterfront — and it is important that the city follow through on its promises to Williamsburg and Greenpoint,” said Ward Dennis of Neighbors Allied for Good Growth. “We are seeing thousands of new housing units created annually, but the acreage that residents were promised is much slower to come.”

The “Where’s Our Park?” protest event, organized by a handful of North Brooklyn community groups, was timed to coincide with the city-sponsored “It’s My Park Day” on Saturday, where more than 5,000 volunteers engaged in parks improvement projects citywide.

Instead, parks advocates marched from the N. Ninth Street soccer fields — the first and only working recreational field at Bushwick Inlet — up Kent Avenue to Quay Street, the site of a long-delayed museum.

The properties in those waterfront blocks have been zoned as parkland since 2005, when the city promised to build a state-of-the-art park as part of a large rezoning that opened up much of the industrial riverbank to residential development.

The city has purchased several lots around the inlet in the past six years — but two-thirds of the land remains privately owned because the city doesn’t have money to buy it.

Public officials allege that the Bloomberg administration has not put forward any effort to acquire the properties since then.

“They haven’t said anything since nor have they tried to conduct negotiations … to try to purchase the last piece of the pie,” said Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D-Williamsburg). “The mayor and the Parks commissioner can’t brag about their legacy of building parks when they haven’t fulfilled their commitment to build parks in our area five years ago.”

Parks officials declined to comment about the “Where’s Our Park” demonstration.

Updated 5:27 pm, July 9, 2018
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