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08.10.2013
A close look at the subway map suggests that a significant number of public parks are not represented, especially if those parks are in low-income or minority neighborhoods. Only three green spaces are named in Brooklyn: Prospect Park and Greenwood Cemetery, both abutting some of the borough’s more well-to-do neighborhoods, and Floyd Bennett Field, the former airfield on Jamaica Bay.
The situation is drastically different in Manhattan, especially below 125th Street, even though some of the parks represented are significantly smaller than those left out in Brooklyn and the outer boroughs. The case of Fort Greene Park is especially mysterious because it was present on the 1979 subway map designed by Michael Hertz, an edition of which is still used today.
And yet sometime in the next three decades, as the neighborhood’s fortunes sank with the crack epidemic and rose again in the gentrifying 90s, the park disappeared.
Herbie Gavins, an information technology technician who has lived in Fort Greene since the mid-90s, also believes that the park’s former reputation is to blame. But for Charles Jarden, chairman of the Fort Greene Park Conservancy, there is little to justify the park’s glaring absence. When it opened in 1847, it was Brooklyn’s first public park, and was redesigned some 20 years later by Fredrick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the famed duo responsible for Central and Prospect parks.
But according to Aaron Donovan, a press secretary for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, no nefarious plot bumped Fort Greene Park off the map and into oblivion. Bus flags, or call-outs, as they are also known, are the ubiquitous gray-and-white rectangles that show bus transfers at major subway stations.
The imminent restoration of Fort Greene Park appears to bode well for other communities who may want their parks represented on the subway map. And yet some in the neighborhood grouse at this concession, proving yet again that New Yorkers are an impossible bunch to satisfy.
I can’t count how many times the subway map was just useless to me when I moved here years ago. No mention here that the remains of more than 10,000 American prisoners of war, left to rot in the bilges of British ships in New York Harbor (another English war crime) lie beneath the column on the high ground in the park.


I also happen to see that Battery Park is missing in the new map, certainly not a place abutting a poor neighborhood. Marine Park, by far the largest park in Brooklyn at 798 acres (Prospect Park is about 527 acres) is not on the subway map.
You think you’re freaking entitled to a free atlas just because one day someone at the MTA was kind enough to add lots of extra details to the subway map?
By perspective, look at what the subway map was back in the 1970′s and tell me the current one is useless. I’m sorry, but I hate it when people live up to everything Republicans and Conservatives accuse of people who receive any kind of benefits. We're always looking for community members who are interested in writing for the Local.
The Local provides news, information, entertainment and informed conversation about the things that matter to you, your neighbors and your family, from bloggers and citizens who live, work and create in your community. After four years of work in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, this is the last week of publication at The Local. Get news about Fort Greene and Clinton Hill in our daily roundup, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s summer slate of youth-oriented programs and the third annual Art of Brooklyn Film Festival coming to St.
In this crime report, locals told police that their belongings were stolen from cars and trucks, their homes were burglarized and their bank accounts were used in unauthorized ways.
Find test scores and other performance data for your East Village school -- and how the numbers compare to peer schools throughout the state. On the subway map displayed in hundreds of subway stations around the city and unfurled daily by countless tourists, the swath of Brooklyn that stretches eastward from the Navy Yards is an uninterrupted streetscape of pale yellow, without the slightest patch of green.
In Brooklyn alone, Tompkins Park (Bedford-Stuyvesant), Maria Hernandez Park (Bushwick) and Sunset Park (Sunset Park) are all absent from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s map of New York City’s subway system. There it is, a lush little green quadrangle nestled in the sharp bend of the G-train, suspended just above the multicolored tangle at Atlantic Avenue.


After all, it has as much history as any patch of grass in New York: portions of the Battle of Long Island, in which George Washington’s troops narrowly escaped capture by the British, were fought here.
Added in the 90s, they were intended to create a more comprehensive map of the city’s transportation system. Greene Park is a victim of class and race prejudice on the part of the authorities in New York City. I’d prefer my neighborhood park to remain more on the DL and not overrun by tourists and such. It is run by students and faculty of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, in collaboration with The New York Times, which provides supervision to assure that the blog remains impartial, reporting-based, thorough and rooted in Times standards.
Donovan and Alicia Martinez, the MTA’s Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications, discovered the culprit: bus flags.
Donovan, bus call-outs were added for the Lawrence Street and DeKalb Avenue stops in 1996, and the closest open space to place the information was occupied by Fort Greene Park, which was removed to make place for the call-out.
Joseph, the map’s designers, said they also believe that Fort Greene Park deserves to regain its place on the map.
The trend of robberies on the B38 bus continued last week, with another incident on May 4 marking the tenth such robbery in the precinct this year so far. However, neither he nor Peter Joseph, a senior project manager at Michael Hertz Associates who has edited the map since its inception, could remember exactly why, or when, Fort Greene Park went missing.



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