Students spearheading effort to get New York City to reopen at least part of popular Brooklyn Banks skatepark
NEW YORK — A popular park broadly recognized for skateboarding on the Manhattan facet of the Brooklyn Bridge has been closed for years whereas present process important repairs. But the group has been combating to get at least part of it reopened, arguing there is a means town can do each.
The pleas had been just lately shared with CBS2’as Jenna DeAngelis.
There’s a freedom Jonathan Becker feels when there is a skateboard underneath his ft.
“Skateboarding means the world to me. I’ve been skateboarding for like 10 years now,” the downtown Brooklyn resident stated.
And the Lower East Side Coleman Skatepark has grow to be a secure haven.
“I found a community within my own community that I wasn’t even aware of,” Becker stated.
But there is a space beneath the Brooklyn Bridge generally known as the Brooklyn Banks that the previous Pace University pupil has been eyeing.
“My dorm room actually looked out right above the Brooklyn Banks and me being a skateboarder, I was naturally just like looking at it every single day,” Becker stated.
At the time, it was closed. It has been since 2010 for bridge repairs. Two years in the past, Becker helped create a petition called “Save The Brooklyn Banks.”
“Brooklyn Banks was even more than a very major skateboard area. For example, right here there was basketball courts and loads of kids came here,” stated Paul Goldstein, a member of Community Board 1.
Community Board 1 has been advocating for its reopening for years.
“In 2020, we wrote a resolution asking city DOT to reopen the space and I’m very sad to say that the city and DOT has been very unresponsive,’ Goldstein said.
CBS2 reached out to the DOT, which would only provide a statement noting the area is closed for essential bridge repairs, saying, “The space informally generally known as the ‘Brooklyn Banks’ has been closed to facilitate important repairs to the Brooklyn Bridge. DOT is conscious of group requests to open and improve areas round and underneath the bridge, and is at the moment exploring ideas that could be doable as soon as development ends in 2024.”
“What has town and the DOT instructed the group board?” DeAngelis asked Chair Tammy Meltzer.
“That they want storage space for his or her automobiles and a few of the tools,” Meltzer replied.
She stated she feels the DOT could make some space obtainable now, arguing the realm lacks public park entry and the placement is vital.
“It connects FiDi, it connects the civic center, it connects Chinatown,” Meltzer stated.
Right subsequent to the park is a faculty with college students keen to use the space.
“After I get lunch I can come here and just like chill with some friends,” tenth grader Mehdi Rahmani stated.
“Having an outdoor space, it would be very beneficial for their mental and physical well being,” twelfth grader Marcela Rivera stated.
“It’s also about the community members,” eleventh grader Phebe Kwarteng added.
The college students at Urban Assembly Maker Academy have executed their very own advocacy, presenting to the group board and reaching out to native leaders.
“Working with the student leadership team has been a great experience that really enabled me and the rest of the student body to have a voice in this process,” eleventh grader Liam Rice stated.
“We want to create the problem solvers that will make this world a better place and you’re currently seeing them in action,” added the college’s principal, Chad Frade.
All day, the combat to restore the Brooklyn Banks is way from over.
“There’s nowhere else like it,” Becker stated.
DeAngelis was instructed the closed areas are both energetic work zones or contractually obligated staging areas which can keep closed till work is accomplished in 2024. For a hyperlink to the petition, please click here.