Thursday, October 2, 2008

Judges Give Finger to Downtown Brooklyn, Take Over Columbus Park for Parking Lot

No more sitting on the benches in the Rose Walkway in Columbus Park at Brooklyn Borough Hall. No more walking through the park to get to work, the subway or school, either.

In a move of breathtaking audacity, the city has granted judges a new parking lot -- the Rose Walkway, the main thoroughfare of Borough Hall's Columbus Park -- while their controversial old one is renovated. From 6 a.m. till 7 p.m., armed guards stand behind fences, telling hundreds of puzzled pedestrians to beat it.

"You have to go out to Cadman Plaza," one told a group of high schoolers trying to get to school. There is another walkway further east, not as easily accessible because of the necessity of taking stairs at the north end.

When asked how long this would be going on, he said, "Oh, one month, maybe two." He told another pedestrian, a man with a briefcase, "A couple of months."

Hundreds of pedestrians heading through the Borough Hall area this morning on their way to work were annoyed.

One woman said, "Teachers lost their parking spaces. Why should the judges get special privileges? This is our park."

Another, visibly upset, said she was going to call the newspapers.

"They're mad because we took away their little lot by Borough Hall," she said. "They are so petty."

The city recently decided to return a walkway at the south end of the park, connecting to Joralemon Street, to the public (shown at left). The judges had been parking there for several years, but citizens complained about the loss of what had been a pedestrian walkway.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, some judges "objected to this unanticipated decision by the city and parks department, and contemplated filing a lawsuit to keep their parking spaces."

"Blame the city," one of the guards said. "They issued the permit."

UPDATE: The Brooklyn Eagle is covering this story here.
UPDATE 2: Now the Daily News is covering it, here.
Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.


Katia said...

Their arrogance is simply amazing.
Thanks for putting the story out there.

Anonymous said...

They have a free parking lot one and a half blocks north of this park, but it's "too far" to walk.

Philip said...

How many plazas and pedestrian malls are there in Brooklyn? Something like this wouldn't be tolerated in any European country.

Anonymous said...

How is this not alienation of parkland? (Illegal under the NYS Constitution)

Janet said...

What's amusing is that their excuse for stealing the other space rather than parking a little farther away was security, the "9/11 card", but apparently in order to renovate the space they've now been granted, that walk through the park is OK.

David said...

Even more obnoxious: Look how few cars are actually using that huge space! One or two! And pedestrians are kicked out for that?!?!

Totally outrageous. They should be the ones getting sued; these pictures should be admitted as evidence; they'd be damning.