New gate for Netherland Gardens
By Adam Wisnieski
The passageway between Netherland Gardens and the Skyview Shopping Center is going to be under lock and key after the construction of a new gate, which has many North Riverdalians in a huff.
For years, the walkway between Netherland Gardens and the Skyview Shopping Center, located on Riverdale Avenue near West 259th Street, has been open to the public. Despite a “Public Property, No Trespassing” sign, many residents of nearby buildings, including Skyview and Riverdale Gardens, have used the pathway to make an easy trek to the A & P and other nearby stores.
“In order to make NG a safer place to live, we will soon be erecting gates to secure the entrance to it by the lower garage,” read a notice that appeared in the Netherland Gardens summer newsletter.
A crew began construction on the gate on Oct. 1. According to a notice sent from Cooper Management, the construction was scheduled to take two to three weeks. The fence was still being constructed on Monday.
Netherland Gardens residents will need a key to enter the property, according to the notice, but neighbors are upset that their shortcut is being cut off.
“I hope they don’t do it,” said Betty Sarci, an 84-year-old Fieldston Road resident.
Mr. Sarci said she walks through the property from her home on Fieldston Road to take a short story class at the Riverdale YM-YWHA once a week.
The Riverdale Press received numerous calls from people who live at buildings near Netherland Gardens complaining about the possibility of the new gate.
A representative of Netherland Gardens did not respond to a call seeking comment.
Though many residents loathed the idea of their regular routes being changed, one resident said he thought the extra walking might not be so bad.
Jim Breidenbach, 65, who played hockey for 37 years and was an off-ice official for the National Hockey League, said he didn’t think the gate was necessary for security purposes, but said that he would just take the long route home down Riverdale Avenue when it went up.
“It’s good exercise,” he said on Monday, leaving the A & P carrying bags of groceries.