Instead of shopping for a food processor at Bed Bath & Beyond, you may soon be popping front wheelies and getting air, free from the death cookies of the street in the Bronx's Kingsbridge Armory. After BP Ruben Diaz, Jr., successfully staved off Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to build a shopping mall in the cavernous, castle-looking structure, he commissioned a study from NYU's Wagner school of public service to determine what to do with the building, and one proposal gaining steam is to make it a velodrome. Building developer and former president of the Century Road Club Association tells the Daily News that the location's massive 600' by 300' floor makes it ideal for a BMX course, and a spokesman for Bloomberg said that his office would "listen to all feasible proposals that include private-sector investment and use city funds responsibly."
Converting the armory into a community space for exercise would make sense in light of the success of the 168th street armory track, and especially since the city only has a single velodrome in Kissena Park, Queens. The founder of Bike the Bronx is on board, saying "It could help solve the problem of obesity" in the neighborhood. What it may not solve is the problem of job creation, as one activist noted that the Bronx "need[s] schools build. We need living-wage jobs at the armory." But a velodrome that would revive the city's love affair with BMX racing sounds fine to us, and it has to be better than letting Will Smith make crappy movies in it.