Where is the rest of “Asthma Alley’s” Bushwick Inlet Park?
By Jessica Podkalicki
Greenpoint and Williamsburg residents and NAG followers are probably aware by now about all this talk of Bushwick Inlet Park, for which there is a Rally on March 12th, 1pm, at City Hall. Here’s some history on why this is a vital issue for our neighborhood:
In the 2005 Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront Rezoning, we were promised a 28-acre park. The addition of this open space was a partial remediation for the impact of increased population density resulting from the residential development planned for in the rezoning. The 2015 Bushwick Inlet Park consists of a green building, a multipurpose field, a small playground, and a viewing deck. According to the NYC Parks Department website, this area known as Bushwick Inlet Park (along Kent Avenue) is 9.01 acres.
In other words, nearly two-thirds of the city-promised Bushwick Inlet Park is missing, with no currently public city schedule for its completion. According to the Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park website, Brooklyn Borough has the lowest Open Space ratio of all the five NYC boroughs, at 1.47 acres per 1000 residents. Even the NYC Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination acknowledges the deficit for our area, noting that Greenpoint is an “underserved” area for open space.
This isn’t just about aesthetics and nice views — it is a serious health matter. As a part of “Asthma Alley,” Greenpoint and Williamsburg have some of the highest rates of asthma hospitalizations throughout Brooklyn. Greenery and parks are known to decrease asthma symptoms. Also, Greenpoint has some of the worst childhood obesity rates in the entire city! The delivery of the final 19 acres would be a huge asset for all Brooklyn residents and visitors.
This week, on Thursday March 12th at 1PM at City Hall in Manhattan, there will be a rally. The purpose of the rally, “WheresOurPark” is to pressure the city to live up to its promises and give answers for the stalled progress of the park.
With the onset of the large, disastrous warehouse fire between N. 11th Street and N. 12th Street along Kent Avenue, the topic of our incomplete Bushwick Inlet Park has resurfaced. The 11-acre Citistorage building was originally promised to become a large part of Bushwick Inlet Park, but the site is still privately owned.
As originally envisioned, the 28-acre park would have had stretched from North 9th Street to Quay street along the Bushwick Inlet and would have included a boat launch, a museum dedicated to the USS Monitor, volleyball courts, gardens, performance spaces, a dog run, and a two mile bicycle path.
To learn more about and/or sign up for the March 12th rally go to: http://www.bushwickinletpark.
To learn more about the Citistorage fire and the area promised to Bushwick Inlet Park check out this great New York Times article: