At Brooklyn Bridge, Private Corporation Running Public Park Continues to be Evasive

Brooklyn Bridge Park Problems
Brooklyn Bridge Park Problems

The bridge within Brooklyn Bridge Park, which closed after it became too “bouncy,” is still not open after over a year and attempts to find out why have been stonewalled by the private group running the park. New York Times Parks writer Lisa Foderaro, usually not too critical in her stories, outlines how the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, the private organization allowed to run the public park, “refused” to reveal details and has remained “vague” on the matter for months. Local officials recently wrote the head of the private corporation a letter to push for answers and, a few months ago, Comptroller Scott Stringer was seeking transparency from the entity.

There was a years-long battle around Brooklyn Bridge Park with community sentiment against housing in the park. It is another example of something designed just a bit too glitzy and overdone; the argument then is made that the space must “perform” to survive (for Brooklyn Bridge Park this remarkably went to housing IN the park). Then, typically, the next step is privatization. (It reminds me of the High Line, “Pier 55” but, of course, there are others.) The concept of the bridge itself – the idea seems nice – but was it really necessary? A long-time Brooklyn Heights resident commented to the New York Times in May: “It’s a great idea for a bridge that is not used by a lot of people, like in the Amazon.” And indeed the Corporation stated at that time they believed the bridge began failing because it could not withstand teenagers jumping on it. (??) Now the mystery continues as information remains obscured.

Another example of how private management of public parks causes hidden and not-so-hidden issues that impact the public.

Previously at Washington Square Park Blog:

Mystery as to why Costly Bridge Went Asway as Comptroller Seeks Better Transparency from Private Corporation Running Brooklyn Bridge Park May 6, 2015

“The Worst Building in the Gilded City” is in Brooklyn Bridge Park — When Public Space Is Privatized and Forced to Earn Wages January 20, 2015

Photo: Brooklyn Heights Blog

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