Requiem and Reconsideration

 "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."- Proverbs 16:18

 THE GRAY LADY SNIPES 

“The opponents included the City Club of New York, which has few members and was almost dead just a few years ago. It was revived by a group of activists to fight zoning changes under the Bloomberg administration…..The opposition — the City Club and two activists, Tom Fox and Rob Buchanan — have assailed the secrecy surrounding the project and its potential danger to a protected estuary. Mr. Durst, who leads a large Manhattan real estate family, had financed the lawsuits secretly, until a year ago, when Mr. Diller accused him of bankrolling the opposition.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/13/nyregion/diller-hudson-river-pier.html

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THE GRAY LADY RECONSIDERS

“How Parks Lose Their Playfulness....In our liberal democracy, any occupation of public space — even, sometimes especially, at play — is a celebration of the rights of assembly and expression. The greatest success of parks and plazas is not in some efficient, one-to-one mapping of activities to facilities, or in the controlled consumption of culture, but in the ways that, as a matter of policy and design, they encourage the taking of liberties.  In our liberal democracy, any occupation of public space — even, sometimes especially, at play — is a celebration of the rights of assembly and expression. The greatest success of parks and plazas is not in some efficient, one-to-one mapping of activities to facilities, or in the controlled consumption of culture, but in the ways that, as a matter of policy and design, they encourage the taking of liberties.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/opinion/parks-public-spaces-philanthropy.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

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THE NEW YORK POST SNIPES

 

Requiem for the Pier 55 park — killed by cranks.... All in all, it’s a reminder of how anti-development New York law has become: A half-dozen well-funded malcontents can kill a popular public park project — enthusiastically backed by the local community board, Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo." http://nypost.com/2017/09/14/requiem-for-the-pier-55-park-killed-by-cranks/

 

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THE NEW YORK POST RECONSIDERS

 

“And though donors ponied up a lot, the projects required public money. So it was unavoidable to ask: Is this the best use, in New York’s case, of $35 million in taxpayer cash?  That question becomes even more important to answer when you consider the fact that the Hudson River Park is nearly 20 years old — but not complete. The cost to finish it up — about $200 million, spread over several years — isn’t all that great in the context of city and state budgets that together exceed $200 billion annually. It’s unwise to build fancy new things before finishing the old first — something the public, stuck on ever-delayed subways and studying in libraries without air conditioning.”  http://nypost.com/2017/09/17/how-the-citys-infrastructure-woes-set-a-park-up-to-fail/

 

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THE NEIGHBORHOOD SPEAKS.  NO RECONSIDER REQUIRED

 

From: Kathleen Treat 
Date: Wed, Sep 13, 2017 at 9:11 PM
Subject: The Beautiful and Mighty Hudson River
To: Michael Gruen/The City Club

Date: September 13, 2017

 

Dear Mr. Gruen & Mr. Fox:

 

We who reside in Hell’s Kitchen salute you and your colleagues. We believe that the river must remain a river. The Hudson River is a national treasure. One is curious to know if those involved in the ‘fantasy island’ project are interested in contributing generously, annually, to the maintenance of the Hudson River Park. And it would be grand to see the West Side Highway medians planted with daffodils, day lilies and other perennial flowers requiring little upkeep. The medians are a New York State responsibility.  Thank you for saving the Hudson River. Our gratitude to you all.  

Kathleen McGee Treat, Chair

Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Association

 

cc: Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council Members Corey Johnson and Jimmy VanBremer, NYS Senator Brad Hoylman, Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, CB4 Chair, Delores Rubin, CB4 District Manager, Jesse Bodine, Sarah Gallagher, Upper Green Side

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…AND ON ANOTHER CONTENTIOUS SUBJECT

 

“Recently I attended a Parks Without Borders event, Reclaiming the Public Realm: How Can Design Improve Our Streets, Sidewalks and Cities featuring NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver and former NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, now Principal for Transportation at Bloomberg Associates and author of Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution at Kaufmann Theatre inside the American Museum of Natural History.  The event was well attended with Commissioner Silver talking about how NYC Parks have taken down fences and gates in several parkland areas in NYC and opened them up becoming inviting and revitalized areas within those neighborhoods. Ms. Sadik-Khan spoke about her efforts to transform traffic lanes into pedestrian and bicycle paths while she was DOT Commissioner under Mayor Bloomberg. After both Silver and Sadik-Khan presentation the audience had the opportunity to ask questions.  I asked Sadik-Khan if she is familiar with the DOT Carshare pilot program that will be rolled out in the near future and if she was aware if it is being used elsewhere (her job takes her to many cities around the world)? She said she was aware of Carshare and it is being utilized in other countries successfully.  I was not able to question her position on congestion pricing during the Q&A (they cut that segment off when the clock was getting passed their schedule) but I did challenge her as we gathered after the meeting had concluded.   If the objective of congestion pricing is to reduce traffic (now it appears the main objective is to fund mass transit repair and renovations) I mentioned to her my idea (others as well) of restricting commercial deliveries to midtown Manhattan to early morning or late night hours which would free up traffic, double parking and other causes of traffic crawl and at the same time allow commercial delivery times to be cut in half. This is done at all Disney entertainment locations and it was the way the 1964-65 World's Fair in Flushing Meadow Park operated. She acknowledged the idea could work but would not go any further. “ 

Phil Konigsberg

bayterracephil@msn.com

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