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PR- 203-11
June 12, 2011


The following is the text of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared

 “Good morning.  This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

“New York City’s parks are one of our greatest resources. They’re peaceful retreats amid the hustle and bustle of the city. They’re places to exercise and get fresh air. They’re focal points for our neighborhoods and catalysts for economic growth.  And because they’re so important to the quality of life in our ever-growing city, we’re committed to creating more parks – sometimes in the most unlikely places. 

“Take the once-famous Elmhurst Gas Tanks. Remember them? They were massive red-and-white steel structures, 275 feet wide and familiar to anyone who drove along the L.I.E. Starting in the1990s, Keyspan – which owned the tanks – began dismantling them and cleaning up the site. And in 2005 – in what’s got to be one of the best real estate deals in New York’s history – the City bought the land from Keyspan for the grand sum of one dollar.

“Last week, after planting hundreds of trees on the site, building a playground, and creating a beautiful green expanse, we cut the ribbon on the brand-new six-acre park. It’s a far cry from what the land used to be. And because Elmhurst is one of the fastest-growing and most densely populated neighborhoods in the city, it’s open space that’s especially important to the families who live there.

“The transformation of the Elmhurst gas tanks into a new park was the product of some great imagination and the creative reuse of industrial land. But it’s not the only example. On Manhattan’s West Side, we’ve turned an abandoned elevated freight line into one of the world’s most innovative urban parks: the High Line. In the two years since we’ve opened the first piece of the park, it’s been visited by four million people and has helped spark some $2 billion worth of investment in the neighborhood.

“Last week, we opened the second section of the High Line, doubling the length of the elevated park. This new section offers a slightly different experience than the first as it shoots through West Chelsea, and right past some of the most talked-about new apartment buildings designed by some of the most cutting-edge architects. It also offers more of what made the High Line so popular in the first place: a sliver of tranquility to relax or take a stroll, and views of our city from a vantage point you simply can’t find anywhere else.

“And here’s some more great news concerning our parks: As part of our effort to make New York the world’s leading digital city, we’ve been working with the private sector to provide free Wi-Fi service in public spaces across the city. With AT&T’s help, we are rolling out free wireless internet in 20 parks around the city this summer. Wi-Fi service in three of those parks – Battery Park & Thomas Jefferson Park in Manhattan, and Joyce Kilmer Park in Brooklyn – is already up and running. That’s going to give New Yorkers even more of a reason to get outside and enjoy our beautiful parks. And on a nice summer day, there’s simply no better place in the world.

“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.  Thanks for listening.”


Stu Loeser   (212) 788-2958


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