Rally for 3.5 acre park over the BQE to counter elevated asthma rates
It has been reported that asthma rates in our community are double that of the City’s average. Fingers point to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway as being a major cause, and the abundant truck traffic on local streets also contributes. Ten years ago Diana Reyna, our current Deputy Borough President, promoted the BQ Green initiative, which would build a park across South 3rd and South 5th Streets covering the BQE. A study revealed that this park could reduce the local asthma rate by 25%, not to mention adding much needed green space to a neighborhood that is open space deficient.
On July 26th a rally was held at Rodney Park on North 4th St. next to the BQE.
Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna was first to speak, and she pointed to the BQE and its ever increasing traffic backups when she said, “Today our lungs are filled with pollutants. This is a public health emergency! A city that cares about its children would not allow this open wound to exist. 108,852.40 vehicles pass through this section of the BQE daily.”
Reyna was joined by Council Member Antonio Reynoso, Evelyn Cruz (Community Coordinator for Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez), Public Advocate Letitia James, Assembly Member Maritza Davila, local community activists (UNO, Los Sures, St. Nicks Alliance, El Puente) and kids and seniors. All raised their voices and signs and called out to Mayor de Blasio and Govenor Cuomo for their help to create this park for the community’s health.