Unify McCarren Park! 33,800 Sq. Ft. Available in OSA Proposal

by Heather Van De Mark on

McCarren Park is North Brooklyn’s largest park at 35 acres consisting of areas for kickball, soccer, baseball, bocce, handball, basketball, football, and tennis, not to mention a pool, running track and indoor and outdoor children’s play center’s. McCarren Park is a “year-round center of community life,” reads the NYC Parks & Recreation website. Indeed.

And the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn is looking to expand McCarren Park even farther. The proposed idea is to demap Union Ave between Driggs Ave and N. 12 Street. This would unify the McCarren Park triangle (that holds the dog run, compost project and a garden) with the southern end of the rest of the park, creating a pedestrian plaza.

The proposed stretch of Union Avenue for remapping is 33,800 square feet which is enough for about seven basketball courts. There is no design for the new space on the table as of yet.

Currently on Saturdays, Union Ave. is home to the Greenpoint/McCarren Greenmarket. There are concerns about what will happen to the market which had been a staple in McCarren park for 12 years before moving to its present off-the-grass location. At this time, the market would remain where it is, become a central feature in the pedestrian-focused environment. However, what would happen to the weekly farmers market during construction is unclear.

Originally conceived in 2001, and then revised in 2010 by the Parks Department, the demapping was brought before the Community Board 1 public hearing last month by Colleen Alderson, Director of Parkland for the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. After doing a study, the Department determined that the proposed change would not create significant hardship to the neighborhood.

Opposition to the proposal comes primarily from car owners who view the stretch of Union Ave. as prime parking because there are no residential homes around that immediate area. Demapping Union Ave. would remove 34 parking spaces.

“Edward Janoff, the executive director of the Open Space Alliance, said a “walk-through” with the DOT to identify such potential hidden spaces was planned for next week. Though he said he can’t say for sure precisely how many spaces will be uncovered, he’s “optimistic” that there will be at least 34 within a few blocks’ radius of the park. He agreed to have a more precise count delivered to the committee by the end of the month.” (Gothamist)

Once approved, it could be up to four years before the new open space is completed.

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Heather Van De Mark

Heather Van De Mark

Heather is a designer/writer specializing in non-profit organizations and social causes. Originally from central NY, Heather settled into the charming Greenpoint neighborhood in 2011. While most of her community activism takes place from behind a computer screen, Heather can often be found at CB1 meetings, the McCarren Park track and any of the parks along the waterfront.
  • Anthony commented:

    I am opposed to closing this portion of Union Avenue. Given all the development in the area and new construction you will force any truck traffic into a residential area that need to get to the BQE. If your looking for more park space, why don’t you ask all these greedy real estate developers to provide YOU with more park like space on their property given the insane amount of money you willing to pay them for a poorly made condo made with cheapest synthetic materials rather then depend on City to have to provide you with more space. I gotta love all these new commers in the area thinking they are the one that made this place attractive ! ha