Thursday, July 07, 2005

No Olympics? No Problem.

Yesterday New Yorkers got the news we’ve been waiting for: the 2012 Olympics will not be coming to New York City. Few were surprised and fewer were disappointed, as the Olympics promised to be a financial disaster for the city.

New York doesn’t need the Olympics. We already have millions of tourists coming here every year. We already have enough facilities in the greater metropolitan area to host the Olympic Games. In light of this, it looked more and more like a well-crafted excuse to give away large parcels of real estate and tax dollars to private developers.

While the stadium plan for the West side of Manhattan fortunately fizzled, the plans to destroy the Prospect Heights area of Brooklyn with the Brooklyn Atlantic Yards development project continue unabated. One of the borough’s most interesting neighborhoods will be destroyed by this project. The effort to blight the area in advance of construction has already taken its toll.

The Brooklyn Atlantic Yards project threatens to be another sad chapter in city history unless we can stop it. Also, whatever happens to be built over the West side rail yards, it likely won’t benefit the average New Yorker one bit – just like the proposed stadium.

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