New York’s first ever indoor cycling velodrome is not happening, at least not at its proposed location in the newly developed Brooklyn Bridge Park. Rich cycling enthusiast, Joshua P. Rechnitz is pulling out his $50 million donation (the largest in NYC park history) and looking elsewhere in NYC or New Jersey for someone who might be willing to take his most generous offer. Last time I checked, outdoor public spaces (besides Central Park) weren’t exactly inundated with huge lumps of funding. Mr. Rechnitz’s organization handling the project, NYC Fieldhouse is still very optimistic about fulfilling their bosses dream of an indoor track and eager to find a new home. The decision came after a meeting on Monday based on the park not being able to agree on a design that would work with the budgeted amount. There were also concerns about future hurricane flooding which means all those new condos built down there on the water must be just fine. The project has also met with a lot of resistance from local residents with a “what the hell is a velodrome and why would anyone need that,” attitude which would have also presented many obstacles in the approval phase. Well good to know the space will go to something we can all get behind, parking for maintenance vehicles. No surprise a cycling project was met with a lot of close minded people, just look at the fight to keep a bike lane on Prospect Park West. I mean Brooklyn doesn’t just give any millionaire:
Here is a New York Times article by cycling reporter J David Goodman:
Philanthropist Abandons Plan for Velodrome in Brooklyn Park
By: J. David Goodman
Published: January 10, 2013
Eight months after it was first announced to the surprise and bewilderment of many New Yorkers, an improbable but well-financed plan to bring a bicycle racing track to Brooklyn Bridge Park has collapsed.
Joshua P. Rechnitz, the reclusive philanthropist behind the project, said on Wednesday that he and his team had withdrawn their proposal for the park and would seek another location in or around the city for the indoor sports complex.
Read more: here.