Ask the Mayoral Candidates a Question

Submitted by Parks1 Campaign on June 9, 2005 - 3:42pm.
Question Mark
What parks-related questions would you like to ask the candidates for City Hall or the Mayor?

We will ask these questions of the candidates and of the Mayor as the election season gets into high gear. Would you like to volunteer to help us ask them?

Either way, click "comment on this" to let us know what questions are important to you!

Submitted by Anonymous on July 29, 2005 - 3:04pm.

"I had one more question ready when the forum was ended... I was going to ask if the candidates thought poor-neighborhood parks were in worse shape and if so, why."

Submitted by Shorewalkers, Inc. (not verified) on July 26, 2005 - 1:44pm.

goes through over 20 waterfront parks and promenades on the rim of New York Island.

Question: How would you designate and promote the 32-mile Great Saunter Path?

Submitted by Shorewalkers, Inc. (not verified) on July 26, 2005 - 1:44pm.

by connecting the dozen parks along the Bronx and Manhattan shores by greenways. The Grand Harlem River Park will be bigger and more diverse than Central Park and will bring more people to the area.

Question: How would you help develop the Grand Harlem River Park?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 26, 2005 - 9:19am.

THERE IS EVIDENCE OF AN AFRICAN BURIAL GROUND THAT PREDATES THE WALL ST AREA BURIAL GROUND. THIS INFORMATION WAS REVEALED BY ARCHITECT RAY PLUMEY DURING THE POSITIVE DECLARATION PUBLIC HEARING FOR A PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT IN EAST HARLEM THAT THE COMMUNITY DOES NOT SUPPORT BECAUSE IT MIRRORS THE ENCROACHMENT OF THE WEST SIDE STADIUM FIASCO BYPASSING THE COMMUNITY PLANNING BOARD #11, PROPOSING EXPENSIVE LUXURY HOUSING WE CANNOT AFFORD. HOW WILL THE CANDIDATES PROTECT THIS BURIAL GROUND THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS PERHAPS BY DESIGNATING IT PARKLAND??? - Marion Bell, teacher,parent, CB#11mem.

Submitted by Fred on July 26, 2005 - 10:32am.

i would suggest you propose this to your City Council Member Philip Reed.

Protect the commons

Submitted by Anonymous on July 25, 2005 - 7:48pm.

The Public Health Association of New York City has proposed an Agenda for a Healthy New York, and has established the following policy goals: increasing access to both healthy food and physical activity for all New Yorkers. Do you, as a New York City mayoral candidate, support these goals, and as Mayor, what specifically would you do to help the city achieve these objectives?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 25, 2005 - 5:34pm.

There are more bikes on the streets than ever. This is a good thing, yet the city done very little to facilitate the growth of cycling in the city & protect those who are on the street with only helmets for protection. If elected, how would your administration respond to cyclists' safety needs and provide more infrastructure?

Submitted by Parks Lover (not verified) on July 25, 2005 - 2:54pm.

I use my bicycle for transportation & want to ask: When will NYC get serious about cycling & pedestrian safety? There are 1.23 million red lights run in NYC EACH DAY. Sounds like a great source of income! Also, thanks anyway for the so-called bike lanes. Cyclists know that they are actually extra parking lanes! goto www.webshots.com to see album SO_CALLED_BIKE_LANES.

Submitted by Anonymous on July 25, 2005 - 8:47am.

Cycling in NYC is on the rise, so much so that our existing city infrastructure is lagging behind bicycle use. Yet, the Bloomberg administration has refused to recognize this increase in cycling and respond by implementing the DOT Bicycle Master Plan from 1997!

By supporting car-free parks, cycling use in Parks increases, and cyclists become more confident on their bikes. Confident park riders may then begin commuting to work, and eventually lead to the reduction of car traffic in general. Safe Parks - Healthy Streets - Healthy New Yorkers.

If elected, how would you be a leader in the struggle to eliminate vehicular access to Central and Prospect Parks, and to promote cyclists' safety and infrastructure needs in general?"

Submitted by Anonymous on July 22, 2005 - 3:38pm.

New York City greenways are more popular than ever. Increases in path use volume occur every year; New Yorkers clearly love these car-free oases. Unfortunately, the popularity of the paths is becoming too much to handle in some places. Space conflicts between path users are increasingly common, especially in areas too narrow to accommodate traffic volumes. Cyclists, rollerbladers, and pedestrians are all competing for the same space, and their numbers keep growing. What steps are you prepared to take to accommodate the increasing demand for greenway space in New York and alleviate conflicts between different types of path users?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 22, 2005 - 3:38pm.

Given the wildly popular support for increased car-free hours in Central and Prospect Parks, and the explosion in cycling evident on greenways Citywide, it's clear that New Yorkers are clamoring for more opportunities for car-free cycling. Do you recognize the importance of increasing safe, car-free cycling opportunities in New York, and what are you prepared to do as mayor to realize this goal?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 22, 2005 - 3:36pm.

Greenways in New York City represent some of the only car-free space for cyclists and pedestrians. And yet cars stopping, standing, parking, and even DRIVING on greenways is an all too common problem for path users. By allowing cars easy and uncontrolled access to the greenway, and not enforcing these violations when they do occur, the City and Parks Enforcement Patrol are essentially encouraging illegal, dangerous and potentially deadly behavior. As mayor, what would you do address this issue?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 22, 2005 - 3:36pm.

Currently, many calls to 311 regarding NYC greenways cannot be adequately addressed. There is no system in place to report infrastructure conflicts, potholes, or other dangerous conditions because calls placed to 311 regarding these problems are bounced between DOT, the Parks Dept., and 311 without a sufficient City agency response. The success of 311 rests entirely on its ability to empower New Yorkers to easily address their problems with City resources, yet greenway users are being denied this opportunity. As mayor, what would you do to address this issue?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 22, 2005 - 3:35pm.

The value and safety of many City greenway paths are undermined by inter-agency squabbling and buck-passing. The Economic Development Corporation, The Department of City Planning, The Parks Department, NYPD, and the Department of Transportation all have a hand in formulating Greenway policy, with the end result being utter confusion for path users. As mayor, would you support one agency overseeing all greenway operations, the development of an interagency Greenway taskforce, or some other solution to the incoherence of current City Greenway policy?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 22, 2005 - 3:34pm.

New Yorker's love car-free cycling and the city's greenways, but greenway safety is often undermined by the lack of safe on-street access to the paths. The West Side Highway and FDR DRIVE border the Hudson River Greenway, and path users must navigate these two dangerous traffic corridors without the aid of East-West connecting bike lanes. The Pelham Parkway Greenway is similarly cut off by Pelham Parkway, accessible to only the most daring cyclists. In South Brooklyn, access to the Shore Parkway Greenway is also limited, with only 4 direct connections to the on-street bike lane network along its 15-mile length. As mayor, what would you do to address the lack of safe bike access to greenways and other car-free bike paths?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 22, 2005 - 3:33pm.

The city's car-free greenways are valuable assets to all New Yorkers. These recreation and transportation corridors, however, are undermined by their discontinuity. Key portions of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway are either neglected, such as the portions just south of the George Washington Bridge and adjacent to the South Street Seaport, or entirely missing, such as the critical East-side section near the United Nations. The Brooklyn-Queens Greenway is a string of off-street paths, divided by busy streets. As mayor, what would you do to safely connect the city's popular car-free bikes to people's neighborhoods?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 22, 2005 - 3:32pm.

At the western edge of South Brooklyn's Shore Parkway Greenway, construction equipment and safety fencing installed at the site of a collapsed sea wall have narrowed the bike path considerably and may have played a significant part in the recent death of cyclist Keith Alexander. At the other end of the greenway, between Pennsylvania Avenue and Erskine Street, path users are forced to use a deteriorating, glass-covered highway shoulder much too narrow for two-way pedestrian and bicycle traffic. It's only a matter of time before someone is injured or killed at this site, too. As mayor, what would you do to improve the condition of South Brooklyn's Shore Parkway Greenway and ensure that all NYC greenways are well maintained?

Submitted by Matt (not verified) on July 21, 2005 - 2:03pm.

Are there any Plans for Governors Island, commercial or otherwise, and what percentage of Governors Island will be committed to Public Parks use? How will this Park land be made more accessible?

Submitted by Matt (not verified) on July 21, 2005 - 2:02pm.

The price of a tennis permit is expensive for most
New Yorkers and it alienates many from the sport.
Where do the Candidates stand on permit costs and
maintaince fees for public parks?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 21, 2005 - 1:39pm.

During the Guiliani administration, although there was never a threat to city hall, many gates were closed and access to substantial portions of the park and the steps to city hall was denied to the public. Will you as mayor fully reopen the park and pull back the ppressive security that makes the area more like a "war zone" then a pbulic park.

Submitted by Anonymous on July 21, 2005 - 1:15pm.

I use my bicycle for exercise in Central Park and Prospect Park, attending (wonderful) parks events, shopping, and commuting to work. Car traffic in the parks is so dangerous! Isn't it time to ban cars from the parks?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 21, 2005 - 12:06am.

Would it be possible to draft a question regarding recycling in parks, such as below for example?

Since many New Yorkers and tourists while in the parks produce many recyclables (reading the newspaper, eating at picnics and lunches, joggers with sports drinks, etc.) but won't necessarily carry them home to be recycled, would you as Mayor install recycling receptacles in the parks?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 20, 2005 - 6:20pm.

In the Guiliani administration, the Parks commissioner got into the habit of changing parks rules without public comment or notificiation - e.g. the extension of a "courtesy" to dog owners to allow dogs off the leash at certain times. This unwritten policy is contrary to posted rules and encourages a lack of safety and consideration among parks users. What actions will you undertake to involve the public in rule changes, specifically to ensure that parks are shared among all users?

Submitted by Parks Lover (not verified) on July 20, 2005 - 4:32pm.

"No questions have been deleted by the moderator. Some posts are moved to reply to or to speak to a related question further down the conversation thread when applicable. Such is the case with yesterday's version of this question."

--Moderator

crosstown greenways to connect the east side of new york with hudson river park on the west side are a necessity for a city like new york. presently, there is no safe routes for cyclists wishing to bike along the hudson river park bike path to reach it. as mayor, would you commit to extending the success of projects like hudson river park by creating similarly structured crosstown greenways?

Submitted by Parks Lover (not verified) on July 20, 2005 - 9:23am.

Given that it is mostly the Parks Department that has come down on Times Up! and Critical Mass, requiring a permit to be sought when the law clearly sides with the bike riders not needing one, Critical Mass is a parks issue. Not only because of what I just mentioned but also because the events of the last year involving a host of popular movements (Critical Mass, counter-RNC events and other anti-war dissent) are part of a larger campaign by Mayor Bloomberg, the NYPD, the Parks Dept. and others, to restrict the use of public space for uses they deem appropriate, regardless of whether or not their actions violate the constitution, people's rights or the character and spirit of New York City. Let's not forget that despite the fact that New York is a global center for wealth and capitalism, it is still one of the world's great working-class cities. Therefore parks and public spaces belong to the People of this city, not it's elected officials and should not be administered against the interests of those People to whom the city really belongs. Thus I pose the question: in light of the city's unconstitutional and outrageous actions against Critical Mass participants and the activist/anti-war community in general (mass arrests, illegal and lengthy detention, denial of permits for marches rallies, etc.), what is the position of the mayoral candidates with regard to those actions and what changes in policy do they advocate in that regard?

Submitted by Fred on July 20, 2005 - 11:10pm.

this question. Did you attend the public hearings on the use of parks and protests therein, organized the Public Advocate? Afterall, civic engagement is imperative for a healthy democracy. Thank you for caring so much.


Protect the commons

Submitted by Anonymous on July 19, 2005 - 6:50pm.

As mayor, how much of a priority will it be for you to unlock the gates to City Hall Park?

The locked gates not only serve as a barrier to businesses, workers, residents and tourists but also make the statement that we have surrendered our lives to fear rather than encouraging full participation and enjoyment of daily life and the life of our city.

Submitted by Anonymous on July 19, 2005 - 3:47pm.

WILL YOU REOPEN THE LOCKED PORTIONS OF OUR MUCH NEEDED PARK? PLEASE GIVE IT BACK TO US! Bibi Lencek and the Lencek-Inagaki family

Submitted by Anonymous on July 19, 2005 - 3:24pm.

As you know, CIVITAS, the Manhattan Borough President, and the NYS Department of State have hired a consultant, RPA, to look at creating a new pedestrian bridge linking East Harlem to Randall's Island. This bridge would also improve connections between East Harlem and Harlem River Park. It's too important of a project to be left unmentioned. How would you as Mayor make sure this happened?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 19, 2005 - 1:25pm.

New research conducted by Transportation Alternatives on use of Prospect Park shows that nearly 3 out of 4 of the park users surveyed said that they would use the park more often if cars were permanently banned from the loop drive and just under half of the people surveyed thought getting to the park is “dangerous” when driving is allowed in the park.
Does this data concern any of the candidates? What ACTIONS would they take as mayor to make Prospect Park safer and more accessible to its users?
Thank you.

Submitted by Marjorie Kouns on July 19, 2005 - 8:40am.

Hello. I invite the Tuesday evening candidates and forum attendees to stroll through Washington Square Park to see Well-Lit Chess Pieces and Lampshades, a public art project by Marjorie Kouns and fiscally sponsored by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

What would it be like for Well-Lit Chess Pieces to become a best practice model of arts and culture in NYC's urban parks, thereby setting a precedent for art in park venues nationwide?

Thanks.
My site.

My flickr site.

Submitted by Anonymous on July 18, 2005 - 9:12am.

Everyone talks about Lower Manhattan still needing all the help it can get in a post-9/11 world. It seems to me that reopening City Hall Park would be an amazing symbol, and only draw more attention to an area that can use it. So my question for the candidates is this: How soon after being elected will you do something about City Hall Park?

Submitted by Parks Lover (not verified) on July 17, 2005 - 6:28am.

One way to advance a better way of life for New Yorkers would be to make Central and Prospect Parks car-free. As it stands now, the parks are only open to cars during the most dangerous parts of the day for humans - rush hour - when there are more people using the parks than any other time.

This does not jive with common wisdom - why should the parks be open to cars when the most people are using it? And why should those people have to deal with the pollution, smog, noise and danger of recreating with them?

It is truly sad that an organization like New Yorkers for Parks does not more actively support such a view. It flies in the face of the name of the organization every day it exists.

Submitted by Anonymous on July 15, 2005 - 5:56pm.

To the candidates including Mayor Bloomberg: Please open the closed portions of City Hall Park. We need more parks downtown. The residential population is doubling again and we need more parks. they are making all the parks either memorials or ornamental gardens. They're so careful with the lawns in the parks downtown that you can't go on them for most of the spring. the closed park also creates a wall that divides our neighborhood and is an illegal de-accessing of a public park.

Submitted by Anonymous on July 13, 2005 - 8:52pm.

(For Weiner or Miller) At the Landmarks West Forum you expressed your support for comprehensive citywide zoning and planning analysis. Community-based plans harness the creativity of residents who understand the needs of their neighborhood and who have thought long and hard about opportunities for new open space. What process or mechanism would you use to make community-based open space plans the building blocks of any new comprehensive city plan?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 13, 2005 - 8:51pm.

Much of the development occurring in New York City today is driven by the goal of achieving the “highest and best use”. How will you ensure that market driven development will not outpace the need to implement community-based planning goals for open space?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 13, 2005 - 8:28pm.

The City, in its lawsuit against Times Up! and others, is again asserting that any use of a park by 20 or more people engaged in the same activity - be that activity picnicing, tossing a frisbee, throwing snowballs, or riding bikes - requires a permit. Given that they have also stated an intention to drastically reduce the number of activity permits issued for parks, this issue has the potential to essentially criminalize many or most of the events and activities (office picnics, snowball fights, pick-up soccer games, etc) that make parks so appealing. Do you support the City's current permit policy, and, if not, how would you rectify the City's desire for control with the public's desire to peacefully enjoy the commons?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 19, 2005 - 1:50am.

What will you do as Mayor of NYC, to stop police harassment of cyclists (through false arrests in Critical Mass, illegally clipping bike locks, preventing 1st Amendment rights of Assembly in city parks, etc.), and make cycling safer and a more viable mode of transportation for more citizens in NYC?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 19, 2005 - 1:53am.

Bicycling as a form of non-polluting transportation is on the rise in New York City. However, safe routes for bicyclists is still extremely lacking in this city and in Manhattan are limited to over-crowded greenways in river parks and the "drives" in Central and Prospect Parks. New York City needs a network of safe and separated bicycle routes that includes park greenways, bicycle lanes on bridges and safe and separated bicycle routes along major thoroughfares throughout the city.

If elected mayor, would you support the development and construction of a contiguous network of bicycle transportation routes that would link greenways in parks with bridge bike lanes and on-street lanes?

Thank you.

Submitted by Anonymous on July 19, 2005 - 1:56am.

Over the last few years there has been an increase in cycling in NYC. The Bloomberg administration has refused to recognize this increase in cycling and create safe infrastructure for bicycles. If elected, how would your administration respond to cyclists' safety needs and provide more infrastructure?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 19, 2005 - 4:38pm.

As mayor, would you revive the efforts of projects like the 42nd street lightrail which would provide safe crosstown spaces for cyclists and pedestrians? Would you examine the possibility of creating several crosstown greenways to safely connect the east side of NYC to the Hudson River Park on the west side?

If not, would you at least do more to insure that city bike lanes are unobstructed by motor vehicles and maintained so as to have safer, smoother, wider surfaces?

Traffic calming is becoming a vital necessity in New York. Encouraging more New Yorkers to cycle and providing a safer environment to cyclists should be a primary component of these measures.

Submitted by Anonymous on July 19, 2005 - 4:41pm.

Presently, the Parks Department is supporting the harrassment of cyclists by working in conjunction with the NYPD to impinge upon the rights of individuals to peacefully assemble at the start of a monthly, global celebration of cycling called, "critical mass." This harrassment invariably includes the molestation and false arrest of cyclists by scores of uniformed and undercover police officers, dozens of officers on motor scooters and bicycles, dozens of officers in squad cars, flatbed trucks and SUV's, and generally, at least 1-2 police helicopters. All of these motor vehicles and the command presence of the NYPD make for an incredibly unenjoyable atmosphere in the park. The stress generated by the police and the pollution generated by their vehicles are both unnecessary (and have been historically absent from the ride--up until the 2004 republican National Convention). As mayor, would you act to prevent the NYPD from engaging in such repressive activities in the parks and on the streets of New York? Also, as mayor, would you call for an investigation as to how much tax-payer money has been spent on policing Union Square Park since the RNC on the last Friday of each month of this past year?

?
Submitted by Jon (not verified) on July 19, 2005 - 2:00am.

How exactly is that question appropriate for a forum on parks?

It's not.

Submitted by Anonymous on July 13, 2005 - 5:20pm.

WILL YOU RE-OPEN THE CLOSED PORTIONS OF OUR MUCH NEEDED PARK?

Submitted by Fred on July 19, 2005 - 1:57am.

Thank you for this Parks question. It has been noted.

Protect the commons

Submitted by Anthony Rivieccio (not verified) on July 13, 2005 - 3:18pm.

Dear Dave,

My name is Anthony Rivieccio, President of Bronxites for Parks

2 Questions:

It was agreed by The Mayor, State and City officals to build a water filtration plant in exchange for $200 million in money for Bronx Parks. Question? How come Mosholu parkway is not receiving any money from this?

2nd:
In my questioning Mayor Bloomberg on the water filtration issue last year his response at a press conference in St. James park was he believes "It makes good long term economic sense to take parkland and use it for industial uses. Question? Do the other candidates feel the same way?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 11, 2005 - 3:02pm.

I would like to suggest the topic of Community Gardens under Parks be discussed. Specific questions on funding, goverance and long term plans to make the community gardens regular parkland.

Submitted by Anonymous on July 19, 2005 - 10:38am.

I would like to know why the community gardens currently protected and under Parks jurisdiction have still not been officially mapped as such by the city.

Submitted by Anonymous on July 7, 2005 - 5:55pm.

The residential population in Lower Manhattan has doubled during the current Mayoral administration and will double again during the next.

We need more parks downtown yet more than half of City Hall Park has been closed since 9/11.

The locked gates:
1. Inconvenience and frustrate thousands of residents, workers, businesses, shoppers and visitors daily.
2. Communicate an anti-democratic and authoritarian symbol for our city commons.
3. Waste taxpayers' $20,000,000 spent for the 1999 Park renovation.
4. Are constant emotional reminders of that destructive act of terrorism.

If the Park stays closed, the terrorists have won. Or is it truly dangerous to live and work in Lower Manhattan?

Most of the public spaces closed after 9-11 have re-opened.

As Mayor will you re-open City Hall Park, giving us back our wonderful park and proving that it is safe to live and work in Lower Manhattan?

- Skip Blumberg, Friends of City Hall Park

Submitted by Anonymous on July 6, 2005 - 5:48pm.

will you remain committed to maintaing smaller parks and vest-pocket playgrounds in areas underserved by larger parks? will you commit the parks department to a property inventory to address neglect and blight at many lots and deteriorated parks, especially in outer boros? will you work to extend programs into neigborhoods that are not serviced by large, showcase parks? and, will you support community based gardens and projects that exist or could exist in parks department space?