FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 09, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG, STATEN ISLAND BOROUGH PRESIDENT JAMES P. MOLINARO AND NYC2012 ANNOUNCE CYCLING VENUE FOR 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES IN STATEN ISLAND
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro today announced that the proposed venues for Mountain Biking and BMX for the 2012 Olympic Games have been moved from the Staten Island Greenbelt to Fresh Kills Park in Staten Island. These venues constitute the final change in the "Olympic X" venue plan for the City's bid, which will be submitted to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on November 15, 2004. Fresh Kills, once the home to the world's largest landfill has become the site of the most ambitious parks and open space projects in history, and it will be the largest expansion of the City's parks system in more than 100 years. City Council Member Andrew Lanza, Olympic Gold Medalist and NYC2012 Senior Advisor for Sports Donna de Varona (Swimming: 1960, 1964, 2 Gold), City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined the Mayor and Borough President for the announcement on site, where a demonstration of Mountain Biking and BMX, the Olympic Games' newest, exciting sport, took place.
"The commitment of moving Mountain Biking and BMX from Greenbelt Park to Fresh Kills will expedite the transformation of the area into one of New York City's most spectacular parks," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Should we be awarded the 2012 Olympic Games, a deadline will be in place to complete the south mound by early 2012, and will spur construction and landscaping of over 300 acres of this 2,200 acre site, a spectacular example of how existing City initiatives will benefit from the focus and deadlines imposed by the bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This tremendous new venue will strengthen our bid, enrich the legacy of parks and open space that the Games will leave for our City, and create an incredible Mountain Biking and BMX amenity for the community to enjoy for years to come."
"This is great news for Staten Islanders who have gone from having the largest dump in the world to the largest park in the City of New York, and now it will be a site for the 2012 Olympics," said Borough President Molinaro. "It is also worth mentioning that NYC2012 plans to invest over $21 million in the construction of mountain biking trails that will be left behind for Staten Islanders to enjoy after the Olympic Games."
"The Olympic and Paralympic Movement has inspired the world's greatest cities time and again to invest in the future," said Deputy Mayor Doctoroff. "We saw spectacular transformations in Seoul, Barcelona, Sydney, and most recently in Athens. New York has already been motivated by the Olympic Movement to start building a lasting legacy for the city and the world."
"Today's announcement is another concrete step forward in the transformation of this dreaded landfill into what will one day soon be one of the most spectacular public parks in this City's history," said Council Member Lanza. "Staten Islanders should have no doubts that this project is on schedule, and I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg and his team for their unwavering commitment to getting the job done."
In addition to accelerating the transformation of a former landfill into a public park, a 2012 Olympics would create New York's first permanent Mountain Biking and BMX competition courses. NYC2012 will invest $21 million to create the mountain biking trails and BMX course, in addition to the temporary facilities needed during the Games. Along a combination of shaded paths and broad open meadows, the challenging terrain would include a 5-mile (8-km) mountain biking course and 0.2-mile (350-meter) dirt BMX track. After the Olympic and Paralympic Games a portion of the Mountain Biking trails and BMX course will remain for competitive and recreational use affording New Yorkers with world class competitive and recreational biking facilities, scenic parkland, and an international model for integrating sport with the environment. BMX is the Olympic Games' newest sport, and is slated to join the Olympic program in 2008 in Beijing.
"Fresh Kills already has an unexpected beauty with rolling, grassy hills set amidst wetland and woodland habitats. These features present a unique opportunity to create a public park that balances recreational facilities and natural habitat," said City Planning Director Amanda Burden. "The Mountain Biking venue will benefit from and add to the character of the Fresh Kills site. We are committed to working with the public every step of the way on this exciting opportunity and the landmark transformation of Fresh Kills into an important park."
"The transformation of Fresh Kills into a premiere public park is one of our most ambitious and far-reaching plans," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "The prospect of hosting the Mountain Biking and BMX competitions in Fresh Kills will accelerate our drive to complete this magnificent new open space."
In September 2003, the Mayor kicked-off master the planning process to map out the future use of the 2,200-acre Fresh Kills site on Staten Island. The Olympic Mountain Biking and BMX venues will be located on the south mound portion of Fresh Kills, an area already designated for active recreational use and one of the first to be targeted for development within the site. The process to plan new uses for Fresh Kills is being conducted by a multi-disciplinary team led by Field Operations, a landscape architecture and urban design firm. In March 2004, the first public meeting was held to discuss the conceptual plan with the community and get feedback, which will be used to develop the Master Plan. The community has already made suggestions for active and passive recreation at Fresh Kills such as field and court sports, golf, boating, a nature preserve, greenways and equestrian trails. Another priority is the building of park drives that connect to nearby public streets; this, community leaders say, will help alleviate the Island's traffic congestion.
It is projected that some areas of Fresh Kills, with immediate planning and design, could be turned to beneficial use in as few as five years. The 2,200-acre Fresh Kills site, located on the western shore of Staten Island, is almost three times the size of Central Park, and was officially closed as a landfill in 2001. For more information about the redevelopment process, visit the Department of City Planning's master plan website at www.nyc.gov/freshkills.
In addition to the commitment at Fresh Kills, the City's bid for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will expedite the planning and completion of addition recreational and infrastructure projects citywide including:
This past August, NYC2012 unveiled its adjusted venue plan, the Olympic X, which positions the majority of venues in three main clusters along two transportation routes, one water and one rail, that intersect at the Olympic Village. The Village, located across the river from the United Nations, puts athletes at the center of the Games in the heart of the City. From the Village, athletes, coaches, and officials will enjoy quick and easy transportation to all venues and practice facilities. Last May, the architectural firm Morphosis of Santa Monica, CA, was selected to design the Olympic Village with their plan: a long, sinuous ribbon of primarily low-rise buildings that skirt the waterfront and have beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline, dramatically reducing the number of high-rise residences outlined in the original Village concept from 10 to 2.
An Olympic Games in New York would leave a powerful legacy that will restore New York's connection to Olympic sports, creating new world-class venues, training centers for elite athletes and renovated fields for youth. Additionally, the Games would spur the largest single investment in parks and recreational facilities in the City's history and bring a regional economic impact of over $12 billion, and creating over 135,000 jobs. For more information, visit NYC2012's official website at www.nyc2012.com.
New York is one of five Candidate Cities for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The other Candidate Cities are London, Madrid, Moscow and Paris. The IOC will select a Host City for the 2012 Games on July 6, 2005 in Singapore.
Edward Skyler / Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Iva Benson (NYC2012)
Rachaele Raynoff (City Planning)
Megan Sheekey / Warner Johnston (Parks)
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