The reservoir's historic structures & ecosystems are an opportunity to create a unique environmental education center for our children & their future.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Error or deception

In my last post I wrote that The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation created a webpage with several online surveys. The page is called "PlaNYC Park Surveys" and has survey forms for:

* McCarren Park Pool
* Rockaway Beach
* The High Bridge
* Fort Washington Park
* Highland Park (Ridgewood Reservoir)

Unfortunately, I discovered a troubling HTML code error on the survey pages. Despite the department's request for feedback from the public for several different parks, some responses are programmed to be routed incorrectly. I have written to the parks department twice and have not received a response, nor have the webpages been corrected. In addition, the public has only just been notified of the survey and given 10 days to respond.

Below are the lines of code in question. I have included the relevant HTML code from the other survey pages for comparison. You can see that there are errors, intentional or otherwise, for both Highland Park and Fort Washington Park. The apparent result would be that any submissions from the Highland Park, McCarren Park Pool, and Fort Washington Park survey pages would all be submitted as McCarren Park Pool responses:

I fear that parks might claim public disinterest with respect to the development of Ridgewood Reservoir and proceed with any plan that they desire. The Department of Parks and Recreation has to be pressured to make public that there was an error on the website and that they have corrected it and are extending the comment period.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Article and reservoir survey

The following excerpt is from an article in the New York Daily News:

Field of green for 2 parks - Help sought on how to spend 80M at former reservoir, beach

By Brendan Brosh
Daily News Writer

Monday, August 20th 2007, 4:00 AM

Two Queens parks have been slated to receive more than $80million for major overhauls, and city officials want parkgoers to weigh in - quickly - on how that money should be spent.

Highland Park, on the Queens-Brooklyn border, and Far Rockaway will be revamped as part of Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC initiative - part of which seeks to improve underdeveloped parks. [...]

Highland Park, just south of the Jackie Robinson Parkway, will receive $46 million.

The 50-acre park is the site of the former Ridgewood Reservoir, which was an active water source until 1959 and served as a backup reservoir for Brooklyn and Queens until 1989.

Parkgoers applauded the influx of money, but previous community meetings have shown a preference for keeping Highland Park more for passive recreation.

"We totally reject the idea that the Ridgewood Reservoir should be turned into a conventional park," said Paul Kerzner, president of the Ridgewood Property Owners and Civic Association. "It should be a natural preserve with more parking, comfort stations and an area for model boating like in Central Park."

"Migratory birds have been using the site for at least 30 years," Kerzner added. "This is their Holiday Inn. Why take it away from them?"

The deadline for submitting the survey is Aug. 31.

I urge anyone concerned with our urban green spaces and the welfare of migratory birds passing through NYC to take a brief moment to fill in and submit the survey at the following link:

PlaNYC Parks Survey : Highland Park

The Department of Parks and Recreation held two community meetings for input from residents of the surrounding areas. You can read summaries of those sessions here and here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Visiting the Reservoir

BY SUBWAY: J train to Cleveland Street walk 3 blocks to the park, up the hill and to the reservoir.