The bike chain gang


To the Editor:

The optimistic report, “Bike to the Future,” by Bill Chenevert (Dec. 11), on the proposed building of a new sports facility within city owned FDR Park, leaves out some pertinent facts and serious questions.

For example, there is the big question of the privatization of yet another public asset. That four acres of public land is a “gift” from the City in exchange for future promises including one to build a park in the Packer Park area. Restricted parking during events will assure that this privately constructed park will be inaccessible to anyone who is not already a resident of that neighborhood.

With all the unused space available in South Philly, the main reason for choosing those particular four acres of FDR Park seems to be visibility to I-95 and South Broad Street, which of course means billboards and naming rights, a major source of revenue.

Nowhere in Chenevert’s article does it mention community meetings to discuss the cost/benefits of this deal prior to the Dec. 17 meeting between the Project 250 team and the Parks and Recreation Commission. The first question we hope is answered is how they expect to raise $100 million to fulfill all the promises, unless of course the deal is already pre-approved.

FDR Park may need refurbishing, but is it really necessary to accomplish that by losing more of our patrimony to private developers?

Gloria C. Endres
South Philadelphia

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