Next American City Invites You to Their Spring Party, Thursday

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The good people over at Next American City have extended an invitation to Streetsblog readers to the launch party for their Spring issue this coming Thursday.

Seth Pinsky from the New York City Economic Development Corporation will be their guest of honor. It might be a great opportunity to ask him why his agency so often assumes that massive amounts of off-street parking is necessary to encourage "economic development" in the most transit-oriented city in the nation. But don’t be a party pooper, OK? Here are the event details:

Next American City is throwing a party in NYC in the Hines Gallery at the AIA Center for Architecture – and you are invited! Come celebrate the launch of Issue 22 with food, drinks and great conversation. Editor/Publisher Diana Lind will recap highlights from the new issue, including features on the financial crisis’s effects on American cities, municipal biodiesel programs around the country, an enormous swirling trash heap in the Pacific Ocean and transportation enthusiasts’ who are taking transit maps into their own hands. Plus interviews with Cary Moon, Richard Saul Wurman and Roope Mokka.

March 5, 6-8 PM
Hines Gallery, AIA Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place, New York

Admission for non-subscribers is $15 in advance or $20 at the door and includes a free one-year subscription to Next American City, and entry to all NAC events & free food/drink.

  • If Next American City’s is, as their web site claims, “a national quarterly magazine about making cities better,” why in the world would they choose to honor Seth Pinsky?

    In addition to your question about off-site parking, maybe they can ask Pinsky why seizing parks from the people in the nation’s poorest Congressional district and handing them over to the nation’s wealthiest baseball team wasn’t enough? Why they had to ladle on another several hundred million in tax breaks and subsidies for a new ballpark when four million fans visited the “old” one last year? Why the city had two separate land valuations for the site of the new stadium, the first lowballed to facilitate the land grab and the second about 1000% higher in order to justify a billion dollars’ worth of triple-tax-exempt bonds? And why the city wouldn’t turn over documents about the deal requested by Congress?

    Some honoree.

  • You, sir, are a party pooper!

  • vnm

    The Yankees’ land grab is less of a problem than the use of tax-exempt bonds to finance parking garages that encourage VMT by resulting in a net increase of 2,788 parking spaces (according to my calculations).

    Imagine it is 2003 and you are presented with the following fact: Despite the highest attendance in baseball and sellout crowds that other franchises would only dream of, the Yankees are unhappy with their storied stadium and want to build a new one.

    If you let them move to the Meadowlands, you’ve A) lost a lot of jobs, B) lost an iconic business that is part of the indelible fabric of New York, C) contributed to sprawl, D) contributed to VMT, E) prevent non-car-owning fans from getting to games easily. There stadium where it is, everything else being equal, is at a great location, central regionally and accessible by Interborough subway, Independent subway, local bus, express bus, ferry (and soon also commuter rail lines fanning out to Poughkeepsie, Wassaic and New Haven). To keep a stadium at that great location, you pretty much have to alienate the parkland conveniently located across the street if you want to keep jobs in the South Bronx and let fans take transit to the game.

    The waterfront replacement park in the early stages of construction along the Harlem River replaces 440 parking spaces in the former “Lot 16,” and looks like it will be terrific, although out-of-the-way. The park that was lost for the new stadium, according to Google satellite images, sadly looks like it was used for parking cars on game days (in addition to having an Olympic track that is being rebuilt across the street). The site of the old stadium will become a park of sorts, used for baseball games.

    The real problem is building new parking garages, thereby encouraging fans to drive to the game. As soon as the City and the MTA agreed to build the new Metro-North station, which is expected to handle 10,000 fans per game, the bond issue for the parking garages should have been scrapped. This is especially true given that the adjacent Gateway Center at the Bronx Terminal Market also contains a net increase of 2,069 parking spaces (by my calculations).

    Is the land grab a bad thing? I think it’s mixed. It would have been worse to let the Yankees move to a less transit-oriented location.

  • vnm,

    The Yankees weren’t moving. There’s zero evidence that they were moving. The city could have called their bluff. But they were more interested in abetting their shakedown.

    And ultimately, if they did move, who cares? Fewer asthma-causing emissions in the Bronx, intact park space, and more money for schools and transit and whatever else. Don’t get me wrong — I’m a big sports fan — but pro sports is one big taxpayer swindle, and idiotic city governments get suckered into bidding against each other.

    Now add the Bronx’s new parking spaces on top of all that. What a deal for New York City.

  • Eric,

    In response to your initial comment about Next American City honoring Seth Pinsky, I would like to clarify that NAC is not honoring him, per se, but rather we have invited him to speak at the event regarding the state of cities in the present urban crisis. The goal of the event and our invitation to him is to incite dialogue. If you have questions or issues that you’d like to voice at the event, we encourage you to come out and make them heard.

    Hope to see you there,
    NextAmericanCitizen

  • NAC,

    Thanks for the clarification. I do have plenty of questions, some of which I listed in my original post, but I unfortunately have a long-standing commitment that conflicts with your event. Hope someone else might ask some similar questions.

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