Fewer Seats But More Cars at Yankee Stadium

yankee_stadium_traffic.jpg

Anybody else catch the Discovery Channel’s 2-hour special on global warming on Sunday night?  It recapped the many problems we can expect to see from global warming: potential death for millions of people, millions more forced to move as coastal cities are permanently flooded, extinction for many species of plants and animals, more frequent severe weather events like forest fires, hurricanes and tornadoes, and positive feedback loops that reinforce the warming. It all would sort of a change life as we’ve come to know it – for the worse. Complete transformation of the planet: Every other issue sort of pales in comparison, and it makes one wonder, how can we be concerned about anything else?

A matter of this magnitude ought to guide every single public policy decision, starting 10 years ago. Urban planners in particular should be on the forefront of finding ways to reduce emission of greenhouse gases by encouraging the creation or revitalization of walkable, transit-served cities, and by reducing automobile use in them.

Given global warming, the plan for a new Yankee Stadium — one that increases the number of parking spaces by 75% (while reducing the number of seats) — is absolutely bonkers. Yes, the plan has an unfunded commitment to construct a new Metro-North station, but the focus is clearly on increasing parking in a community that already suffers from high rates of asthma.

It is all the more incomprehensible because the new stadium will continue to sit atop the 161st Street station served by the B, D and 4 trains. Taking a train to the game is a more fun way to get to the game than driving is anyway: You feel the collective energy of the crowd well before you get to the stadium; leaving is a breeze on the subway compared to sitting in a parking garage motionless as you jocky for position against all the other ill-tempered motorists.

New Yorkers for Parks is reporting that the plan is approved, but a commenter notes that the IRS still need to approve the tax-exempt bonds.

Photo: Mikeystrike’s "Post-Game Traffic" on Flickr

  • One specific comment is that Mass Transit could be done somewhat better for major events around NYC. For Mets games, in the evening going back to Manhattan and both ways on the weekends, there is no express #7 service, which lengthens the trip time significantly back to Queensboro Plaza and Manhattan. Improved service for these major events would help encourage more mass transit ridership.

  • Jeeves

    Speaking of global warming, do you think the Yankees and HOK have considered a likely rise in sea level when designing the new ballpark? Shouldn’t the playing field be approximately 20 feet above current sea level if the oceans are going to rise by 20 feet in the next 50 years? I guess Yankee Stadium will be only a small concern if the island Manhattan is gradually destroyed in the next 50 years.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

The Ultimate System: Free Mass Transit and Congestion Pricing

|
WABC’s John Gambling spoke with Michael Bloomberg this morning. In anticipation of the Mayor’s Earth Day speech, they discussed everything from congestion charging to light bulbs. Below are some highlights from their conversation; you can download to the entire show here. On congestion pricing: If you were to charge, and I’ll let you know on […]

PBS to America: Fight Global Warming, Drive an SUV

|
In 2005, PBS came out with a widely promoted documentary narrated by Alanis Morissette called "Global Warming: The Signs and the Science." For people interested in learning more about the topic of global warming and climate change, this DVD is widely available. Being produced and distributed by a well known and highly respected organization, serves […]

An Old Car Interred

|
Bud & Walter Brewer Collection/Tulsa Historical Society, via The New York Times. Fifty years ago last Friday, the people of Tulsa, Oklahoma, assembled downtown and buried a brand new Plymouth Belvedere hardtop as a time capsule to be opened in 2007. The car, and $100 plus 50 years worth of accrued compound interest (a bit more than $700), would […]