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DISTRICT OFFICE 618 WEST 177TH STREET NEW YORK, NY 10033 (917) 521-2616 FAX: (917) 521-1293 CITY

HALL OFFICE 250 BROADWAY, ROOM 1731 NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10007 (212) 788-7053 FAX: (212) 227-1215
http://council.nyc.gov/d10/html/members/home.shtml

CHAIR
TRANSPORTATION

COMMITTEES
FINANCE HOUSING & BUILDINGS

THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK

RULES, PRIVILEGES & ELECTION LANDUSE

YDANIS RODRIGUEZ
COUNCIL MEMBER, 10TH DISTRICT, MANHATTAN

January 27th, 2014 Liam Cavanagh, First Deputy Commissioner NYC Department of Parks and Recreation The Arsenal, Central Park 830 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10065 Polly Trottenberg, Commissioner NYC Department of Transportation 55 Water St. 9th Floor New York, NY 10041 Dear Mr. Cavanagh and Ms. Trottenberg: Constituents have brought to our attention a number of concerns related to the NYC Department of Parks & Recreations proposed project to bring water access to Isham Park in Northern Manhattan. As you may know, Isham Park contains a public garden that is integral to the fabric of the Inwood neighborhood and the Park Terrace community in particular. The garden was built and maintained through countless hours of work by local resident J.A. Reynolds and many volunteers, with the intention of bringing residents of this area together during a time of turmoil and high crime in the 1970s. It was officially renamed Bruces Garden to honor the memory of Mr. Reynolds son, a Port Authority Police Officer who was killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Bruce was a constant presence in the garden, planting and cultivating new flora to the joy of community residents and visitors alike and the garden is a testament to his life. Our constituents fear that DPRs plan to install water service will disturb this treasured oasis. While we support plumbing the garden and recognize that this capital project is in response to a request initiated by many of these very volunteers we share their concerns about any negative impacts the construction may have on the garden itself. The possibility of damaging the garden in order to install an improvement is more than the garden or the community could bear.

We look forward to your response, specifically to the items raised in the attached petition. We hope that you are able to proceed with the project in a way that minimizes work in the garden itself, and does not negatively impact it. Thank you for your attention to this important matter. Sincerely,!

Ydanis Rodriguez Council Member, District 10 Chair, Committee on Transportation Recreation

Mark Levine Council Member, District 7 Chair, Committee on Parks and

Adriano Espaillat State Senator, District 31 cc:

Gabriela Rosa Assembly Member, District 72

William Castro, Parks and Recreation, Manhattan Borough Commissioner Jennifer Hoppa, Northern Manhattan Parks Administrator Josh Orzeck, Intergovernmental Liaison, Department of Transportation J.A. Reynolds, Founder of Bruces Garden

Copy of Petition:

Change the construction site for the installation of a water service within Isham Park from Park Terrace East to Park Terrace West.
Petition by Isham Park Restoration Program 1970, Inc. January 10, 2014 Dear Friends and Neighbors of Bruce Reynolds Memorial Garden in Isham Park, During the month of March, 2014 NYC Parks Department will begin construction on Park Terrace East south of 215th. St. and within Bruce's Garden to provide water service for Isham Park. Although a welcomed and much needed resource, the current construction plans will adversely affect and endanger several community conveniences for at least 2 to 3 weeks. * Emergency vehicle services will be compromised * Sanitation service may be effected for 10 Park Terrace East * Park Terrace West is a better site for accessing the water main as it is a through street Park Terrace East is 28 feet wide and a Dead End Street An 8' x 12' trench will be dug on the west side of the street to access the water main. However, the fenced off construction area will be 20' to 24' wide x 12' long and will be perpendicular to the curb, just north of the birdbath in Bruce's Garden. This creates a 20' wide x 12' long barrier which will protrude into the street, leaving only a 16' passage lane for vehicles. Cars, on average, are 6 feet wide With parked cars across from the construction site, the passage lane for vehicles is reduced to 10'. The average fire truck or ambulance is 8' wide, leaving 1' on either side for passage. This is problematic for several reasons. In the event of an emergency, the emergency vehicle must utilize this area due to necessity: 1. Emergency vehicle's capabilities will be compromised due to area constraints. 2. Emergency vehicle would effectively block 'through access', making it impossible for other emergency service vehicles to assist in a potential rescue effort. 3. If Park Terrace East is blocked, use of the cul-de-sac would be cut off, taking away the ability for larger vehicles to turn around. If many vehicles are summoned, only one has access to the cul-de-sac, potentially causing inaccessibility in either direction. 4. Parked vehicles, especially SUV's (which are wider), may be damaged due to area constraints. 5. Sanitation service may be impacted for 10 Park Terrace East.

In the event of an emergency, these issues create very serious hazardous safety conditions for the 300 occupants of 10 and 30 park terrace east. What NYC Parks Department and Department Of Transportation may do To alleviate these issues, Parks and DOT may decide to reduce parking on Park Terrace East. Removing 10 to 12 cars on the east side of the street opposite the construction site would indeed open a 16' passage lane for vehicles, yet with emergency vehicles being on average 8' wide, blockage could still occur. The best solution is to reduce parking on both sides of the street As such, all issues are solved, except in the eventuality that an emergency vehicle absolutely must stand opposite the construction site in order to be more effective. We can only hope no severe tragedies occur during construction. It is our contention the better way to provide water service to Isham Park is through Park Terrace West Park Terrace West is also 28' wide. Construction could ensue on the east side of Park Terrace West midway between Isham Street and 215th street (between the retaining walls). Unfortunately, parking for 10 to 12 cars on the west side of the street may be restricted just opposite the construction site to open a 16' corridor. HAZARDOUS SAFETY CONDITIONS, HOWEVER, WILL BE ALLEVIATED AS PARK TERRACE WEST IS A THROUGH STREET. Further, this section of Park Terrace West has no buildings and is completely on Parks property. What you can do 1. Call the following representatives and demand construction and installation of the water service in Isham Park slated for Park Terrace East be moved to Park Terrace West: Public Advocate Letitia James - 212.669.7200 Senator Adriano Espaillat - 212.544.0173 Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa - 212.544.2278 Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez - 917.521.2616 Manhattan Borough Commissioner William Castro - 212.408.0201 Northern Manhattan Parks Administrator Jennifer Hoppa - 212.795.1388 x300 2. Sign this petition. If you've already signed our paper petition, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! However, please sign this one as it addresses different issues. Then, pass it on to other interested, concerned neighbors. These actions by NYC Parks Department affect YOU. Your voice matters! The integrity of Isham Park, Bruces Garden and Inwood must be respected. Sincerely and Best Wishes,

J. A. Reynolds, Founder Isham Park Restoration Program 1970, Inc. billiemarie3@aol.com 917.414.6339 Aaron Scott, Coordinator Isham Park Restoration Program 1970, Inc. aarosco@gmail.com 917.478.4423