2007-08-10 / Letters

Increased Parking Fees For Riis Parking Lot

The following letter was sent to Barry Sullivan, general superintendent of Gateway National Recreation Area.

My name is Floyd Smith III. As you know I have been involved with Riis Park for 35 years. In that time I have seen many superintendents come and go, starting with Joe Antosca, who pretty much was an absentee landlord in 1972. We then had various superintendents come and go, such as Cables, Macintosh, Buckley and Garrett, and the guy you replaced, whose name I forgot. This makes seven superintendents I believe.

I have tried with very little success over the many years to convince the superintendents like you to establish a Patrons Advisory Council, to no avail.

At this time it has been suggested by your people that the parking lot at Riis Park have fees increased from $4 a day to $12 a day. This is the most scatterbrained idea, only topped by a suggestion a few years ago that the beautiful Riis Park parking lot be used for the NYPD storage depot for confiscated motor vehicles. That idea was immediately refused by the community at large and all editorial pages of the newspapers of the city as a bad idea. If this is necessary to increase the fees there must be a very clear understanding to the community what they are being used for and why they are necessary. As you know, Barry, this is a federal park, financed by taxpayer dollars. Regardless of the war and other expenditures, there should also be a concern for maintaining our beautiful park in New York City.

I hope that we can come to a reasonable agreement to eliminate this suggestion.

In closing, I look forward to meeting with you or your staff to discuss this suggestion and other alternatives, and also to discuss the recent study by the National Parks Conservation Association.




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