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USTA Robert LoScalzo Testimony

USTA Robert LoScalzo Testimony

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Save FMCP Co-founder Robert Loscalzo's testimony before Queens Borough President Helen Marshall at the land use hearing held 4/4/2013 regarding the proposed USTA expansion.
Save FMCP Co-founder Robert Loscalzo's testimony before Queens Borough President Helen Marshall at the land use hearing held 4/4/2013 regarding the proposed USTA expansion.

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Published by: Save Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on Apr 06, 2013
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04/06/2013

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Testimony of Robert LoScalzoto Queens Borough President Helen Marshallconcerning the proposed expansion of theUnited States Tennis Association National Tennis Center within Flushing Meadows Corona Park April 4, 2013I am Robert LoScalzo, a resident of Queens. I'm opposed tounnecessarily sacrificing even more parkland to the USTA.I am very concerned that you may not be aware, that USTA isperfectly capable of renovating its facilities
while keeping within itspresent footprint
, and NOT expanding onto even more parkland.USTA's EIS for this project (chapter 17) sets forth two options – the"Alternative Without Additional Park Land" and the "AlternativeWithout New Park Land Alienation" – either of which would rebuildthe USTA stadiums, in place.So if you're in favor of creating construction and trade jobs, those tworeasonable options would absolutely do so, and would also satisfyUSTA's desire for new, state-of-the-art facilities – without further encroaching into Flushing Meadows Corona Park.USTA's self-serving conclusion is that rebuilding within its currentfootprint is not acceptable to USTA.USTA wants more parkland, for two main reasons:Number One:To increase the width of a walkway inside the tennis center, to providea more luxurious experience for tennis people during just two weeksof the U.S. Open. If that walkway really isn't wide enough, U.S. Openfans would have testified at the public hearings in support of wideningit. They haven't. Solving a non-existent problem two weeks out of theyear does not justify sacrificing sacred parkland.
 
Number Two:USTA wants to increase attendance at the U.S. Open by 10,000 morepeople every day. But who says that we want 10,000 more peoplethere, or that it's even reasonable to put them there?The impacts of those people are very significant. A very large number of them will travel by car, taxi or limousine. Hereare two photographs showing the effects on Roosevelt Avenue duringthe 2012 U.S. Open. Two entire lanes are coned off – one in eachdirection – to accommodate drop-off and pick-up of tennis people.This situation is already very bad – but USTA wants to attract another 10,000 people here per day? By the way, these conditions onRoosevelt are right next to the proposed site of the Mets mall in theCiti Field parking lot – which would be the largest mall in New YorkCity. How can you reconcile commandeering Roosevelt Avenue likethis, with the simultaneous traffic to be generated by a huge mall,right here?The prestige of the U.S. Open is already well established. It does notdepend on whether 10,000 more people attend it.This USTA proposal, like the two others that impinge on our park, areefforts to close deals on parkland while the Bloomberg administrationis still around to sign the papers. Please do right by the people of Queens: Tell USTA to renovate within its existing space, and reject itsself-serving application to expand its size and its impacts.Thank you.Robert LoScalzoWhitestone, New York718-352-4534

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