The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

$1.75 Million Rim Job

The perimeter of Prospect Park has been the subject of much concern to advocates on "our" side of the Park, and rightly so. It's often been difficult to tell exactly who has jurisdiction over which aspect of the areas outside the fence along the rim of the park. But thx to some dogged locals (including but by no means limited to Amy M., Stanley G. and Seth K. add name here), word has recently reached the Q's ear that $1.75 million in capital monies will be ponied up to extend the Prospect Park Alliance's efforts to include not just Flatbush from GAP to Empire, but also the park rim along Ocean Avenue.

Interestingly, no such funds will be made available to improve Parkside from Ocean to PPW SW (alternately known as TD Bank Place). Why the piecemeal approach? The answer lies in the strange ways that our fair City draws maps, both politically and agency-wise. For instance, DOT gets the sidewalk to sidewalk, but Parks has the dirt closer to the park. Councilperson Brad Lander has Prospect Park, but NOT the perimeter outSIDE the fence. Oddly, no one seems to have or want the area from sidewalk to fence near the Botanic Garden. Perhaps Ms. Cumbo wants to stake a claim - it's already clear that bike lane is needed, but that's yet another set of agency and funding conundrums. As a result of the gerrymandering, we get attention paid to parts of our public spaces in the order of their priority. And who sets the priority? YOU have a lot more to do with that than you probably know.

By getting to know your elected officials and agency reps (Parks, DOT, DEP, DCP etc through the alphabets) you can become THAT guy or gal who keeps an issue at the top of the City's agenda. This City is lousy with individuals who have become "the High Line guy," or the "Brooklyn needs a baseball team" guy or the "Smith Street lady" or the "Atlantic Yards gadfly" or the "No Development on Empire Blvd lady (and I use the term loosely)" and on and on. In the Q's mere 27 years in the BK, I've witnessed numerous turns of civic fortune happen because of the vision and vigilance of individuals who outlast the bureaucrats and politicians to see projects to their fruition. It could be as modest as speed humps, as lavish as the Brooklyn Bridge Park and/or DUMBO and Navy Yard. Because NYC runs on the temerity and tenacity of its citizens (remember, the City IS us after all - the buildings and government are things WE built to make life more manageable and protect us from the excesses of individuals), I'm not exaggerating or getting all Ayn Rand on you to is up to you. Truly.

Good job all. Please do send me any other names of people whose vision contributed to this very good news.

(It's come to my attention that despite the popularity of crude comedy from such foul-mouthed writers as Louis C.K. and Chris Rock, some adults find the post title in poor taste. Apparently, the internet is attempting to clean up its act. The Q assures you that this gag is merely an attempt to prevent being linked to, but I'll never again take to using such crass language when referring to our beautiful park or its perineum.)


Anji said...

The space between GAP and Empire feels quite neglected at the moment. Do you know what specific improvements are planbed?

diak said...

Anji, These links from the Park website should give you some idea of what's in the works:

Anonymous said...

Parkside avenue bewtween Ocean and Coney Island avenues is not only neglected, filthy, but dangerous at night; with very little light. It's a stock difference from Prospect Park South. What give?