To:        City Council Members
From:   Tri-State Transportation Campaign
Re:        Yankee Stadium ULURP Application
Date:     March 3, 2006

In the coming weeks you will be asked to vote on the ULURP application for the Yankee Stadium redevelopment project, as well as the use of PILOTs to fund the project. 

The project has engendered more controversy than anticipated because of several features of the plan which are not in fact fundamental to the stadium redevelopment. 

These issues are within the Council’s power to resolve with changes to the project.

  • The project includes the construction of four new parking garages to be built on top of public parkland in the vicinity of Yankee Stadium.

  • The capacity in the new garages represents a nearly 75% increase in parking availability at the stadium – any transportation expert not under contract to the backers of this project will admit that all this new parking will encourage more fans to drive to games.  More traffic will worsen already bad game-day traffic congestion and air pollution in the South Bronx.  These are significant impacts that the project environmental impact statement fails to identify – a major analytical and legal flaw. 

  • The community around Yankee Stadium has a very high asthma rate and the lowest rate of car ownership in the city. 

  • The city says the new garages are to prevent spill-over parking on neighborhood streets.  But the project team has not related in any way the scale of this problem with the amount of parking to be built, nor does the plan have any mechanism to stop fans from parking in the surrounding neighborhood, such as a resident-permit program.

    Someone in the Yankees leadership or city government has decided to build a huge amount of parking for unstated reasons and is now trying to justify it after the fact
     

  • As you know, the Yankees set a record for American League attendance last year, under the stadium’s current transportation arrangements.  More people than ever before made their way to Yankee Stadium.  That’s the largest number of people going to see an American League team ever, since the beginning of baseball.  The new stadium will contain fewer seats than the current one.  The Yankees and the Bloomberg administration have simply not made the case for all this park-destroying parking capacity.   

The Council can allay the controversy and give New York a project that everyone can support by removing some of the new parking garages from the project and saving the parkland that is now slated to end up under them.  Thank you for your consideration.