As a member of a community garden we have sought for years to have our parcel of land made part of the Parks Department,, to no avail. It was always assumed that the behemoth in the neighborhood NYU objected to a group of green strips, a playground & a dog run being removed from the transportation authorities control.
The ever continuing expansion of NYU into the surrounding neighborhood reached a critical point when the city Council gave the go ahead for a massive expansion over the local communities wishes.
Now former Parks Commissioner under Ed Koch & Rudy Giuliani has stepped in & come to our aid. It's interesting reading the WSJ version as opposed to the Villager version of the story.
The strip of land comes from a time when the city tore down the houses along it in anticipation pof the thwarted lower Manhattan Expressway that would have decimated a good portion of Chinatown Soho & Little Italy and brought even more cars into this congested city.
The current Mayor has done the opposite & narrowed Broadway put in bus & bike lanes to discourage people from bringing cars into town
Here is a link that might be useful: it breaks a Village