PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Public Health Emergency in South Williamsburg Prompts Rally and Press Conference on July 26 Urging Funding for BQGreen
Brooklyn, New York, July 24, 2017: The Friends of BQGreen, community leaders and elected officials will hold a rally and press conference on Wednesday, July 26, at 4:00 PM at Rodney Park North at the corner of Rodney and S. 4th Streets in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
The traffic on the BQE and on / off ramps of the Williamsburg Bridge have caused a public health emergency. Asthma rates in South Williamsburg are double the citywide average. The neighborhood has the unwelcome distinction of having the 3rd highest number of asthma cases out of 59 districts in New York City.
The air pollution from the BQE and the on / off ramp to the Williamsburg Bridge are particularly hazardous for the the users of the 4 parks adjacent to these highways. An air quality study, co-sponsored by El Puente and the New School’s Tischman Environment and Design Center, conducted an analysis of La Guardia Playground, Jaime Campiz Playground, Rodney Park and Marcy Green. All four parks have elevated levels of PM2.5 levels that make them unsafe for park users and contribute to the health crisis in the neighborhood.
In addition to the health issues, South Williamsburg is “park poor.” It is one of the of neighborhoods with the least amount of parkland per capita the city. The existing parkland in the neighborhood is all hard scrabble. There isn’t a single park with a decent sized patch of grass.
The location of the rally and press conference is part of the solution to the public health emergency — the future site of BQGreen site. BQGreen will create a 3.5 acre park “out of thin air” by building a concrete platform over a portion of the BQE that runs below the street level between S. Third and S. Fifth Streets. BQGreen will include grassy and wooded areas, a flower garden, a playground, a water play zone and a baseball diamond.
Friends of BQGreen urge Mayor de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo to end this environmental and social injustice against the residents of the Southside of Williamsburg by funding the construction of BQGreen.
To help call attention to the urgency of remediating the public health emergency, members of the community will put up crime tape around Rodney Park North for the rally and wear gas masks at the event.
For more information about BQGreen, please visit www.bqgreen.org.