10 reasons to vote NO on the USTA expansion
1) USTA Taking Valuable Parkland Without Replacement.
Seeking to evade a long held legal precedent, the USTA will not replace any of the parkland that will be lost and then permanently turned over to USTA control.
(Crains “Tennis expansion in Queens nets locals a royal headache” by Annie Karni 12/16/12)
2) Power Plant in the Park?
The plan calls for building a dirty diesel fuel power plant to be built inside the park. Hidden inside the most recent DEIS report, the USTA seeks to build a 8 Megawatt, 20 foot high diesel-fueled power plant. Surrounding communities already suffer from air quality and asthma rates at epidemic levels. This power plant will emit a massive amount of air pollution into the park and surrounding communities. (page 11-17 DEIS Jan 2013)
3) USTA Moves Jobs to Westchester County.
NYC taxpayers have provided $322,025,000 in City Bonds for USTA construction - why hasn’t the Bloomberg Administration guaranteed that USTA base its headquarters in Queens? The full-time, high salary jobs for USTA executives are all based in Westchester. Why are we giving taxpayer funds and more parkland to a private corporation that won’t even keep jobs in our community?
(Internal Revenue Service Form 990 2010)
4) Destroying Precious Green Space.
The USTA destroys entire sections of the park by encouraging cars to drive and park on grass. Can you imagine cars parking on the Great Lawn in Central Park? (page 10-5 DEIS Jan 2013)
The USTA proposal will result in destroying 400 mature trees including state-listed endangered species willow oak trees. (Page S-8 DEIS Jan 2013; Page S-23DEIS Jan 2013)
5) The USTA is a Bad Neighbor.
USTA blocks community soccer leagues from playing during the US Open. (El Diario “Fuerade Juego” 8/17/12)
The USTA dominates the park with car and truck traffic which restricts community access and enjoyment. The courts are overpriced and there is very little community outreach and involvement. The expansion will result in the removal of a bike lane that is a critical link for cyclists to enter the park. (Figure S-6 DEIS Jan 2013)
6) USTA expansion plan would add 10,000 Spectators everyday during the US Open.
This will induce significantly more traffic congestion, overwhelm local parking, and strain subways with more overcrowding. (Page S-4 DEIS Jan 2013)
7) The USTA is not ‘open to the public’.
It has 8 foot high steel gates around the perimeter that are padlocked to keep the community out of the facility.There is no signage indicating that the USTA site is free and open to the public. The hourly court rental rates are more expensive than any public courts in NYC. The USTA has not provided the local neighborhoods with any grants in recent years. And finally, USTA seeks to build even more retail space on site which will negatively impact local small businesses
by preventing spectators from going into the community.
(Capital New York “Tennis Expansion Requires Tricky Definition of Public” by Dana Rubenstein 1/22/13; Page S-5 DEIS Jan 2013)
8) Just One of Three Major Proposals.
The Bloomberg Administration does not have a plan for Flushing Meadows-CoronaPark. They are three separate development projects, which are in direct conflict with each other, and each will
destroy parkland and reduce property values in Queens. This administration has failed to properly maintain the park and has abandoned even trying to adequate resources for it.
(Figure S-7 DEIS Jan 2013)
9) Labor Violations.
The New York Times reports a class action lawsuit in Federal Court against the USTA for
labor violations and failure to pay overtime to workers.
(New York Times “For Courtside Officials, a Pay Fight Resonates” by John Martin 1/17/13)
10) Flooding Problems.
The park is a natural wetlands that should be protected and enhanced to restore its ability to absorb flooding from storms. If more parkland is lost here, it will result in more flooding
in the surrounding residential communities.
(page 7-8 DEIS Jan 2013; Figure S-7DEIS Jan 2013)