Bikers beware: Tickets possible on closed down B.P.C. path

Volume 21, Number 30 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | DECEMBER 5 – 11, 2008

Ballfields’ safety plan is almost ready

Milstein Properties says its safety plan to build two residential towers adjacent to the Battery Park City ballfields is close to being finalized and they expect to present it to Community Board 1 in January.

“It is my intention to attend the next meeting,” Maria Rosenfeld, a development adviser to Milstein, told Downtown Express on Wednesday.

The previous night, members of C.B. 1’s B.P.C. Committee were angry that once again, Milstein put off a presentation for another month.

“What’s disturbing is they promised a plan in October,” said Mark Costello, president of the Downtown Little League, which uses the fields next to the construction. “Goldman produced a plan in two weeks.”

Milstein’s consultants said in September that the safety plan would take about a month. In May, a large piece of metal fell off the Goldman Sachs construction project onto the field while children were playing. No one was hurt, but the accident heightened concerns about construction safety near the fields.

Costello, also a C.B. 1 member, said Goldman went beyond city regulations to implement better safety measures after the accident, and he and other members were expecting similar steps from Milstein.

The committee passed a resolution Tuesday calling on Milstein to present a plan by January to the board. Members said they would ask Julie Menin, C.B. 1’s chairperson, to write a letter to Milstein this week, and if she did not receive a satisfactory answer by the full board meeting Dec. 16, the committee would put the resolution up for a full board vote.

Rosenfeld said she doesn’t want to present a plan until the city Buildings Dept. approved it.

“It’s not appropriate to discuss something as serious and important as a site safety plan until all of the required approvals are in place,” she said.

She said she met with the Buildings Dept. on Tuesday and the city made suggestions on how to improve the plan. She said it would take a week or so to include the suggested changes to the plan and she hopes the city will be able to approve them soon after that.

She would not say what the suggestions were and spokespersons for the Buildings Dept. did not return a call for comment.

C.B. 1 members said they wanted to see the most up-to-date version of the plan in January regardless of whether it has been approved yet, because if need be, they want to have enough time to get changes made before the Little League’s Opening Day in April.

— Josh Rogers