Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Review documents are now available for the East Side Coastal Resiliency project

[East River Park view from Monday]

Back on Friday afternoon, the New York City Department of Design and Construction released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the East Side Coastal Resiliency project, quietly moving forward (via a tweet at 3:59 p.m.) the public review phase for the $1.45 billion project to stormproof the east side.

There are hundreds and hundreds of pages of documents with footnotes and collateral materials (the table of contents alone is a unwieldy 32 pages).

To date, Patch is the only media outlet that I've seen cover the release of these documents.

For starters, you can find all the materials at this link.

The documents offer several alternatives to protect the east side, though, as stated, the preferred method is the updated one unveiled last fall that caught community groups, residents and local elected officials by surprise ... the one in which the city plans to "lift" East River Park by up to 10 feet when work starts in March 2020.

However, to do this, the city will need to close East River Park for up to three and a half years, shutting down the current amenities, cutting down many of the trees and rebuilding the recently renovated running track, among other things.

City officials have said in various presentations that this approach will provide a reduced construction time, resulting in an operable flood protection system for the 2023 hurricane season.

The city is accepting public comments through Aug. 15, which might be enough time to make it through all the documents. This link has details on how — and where — to comment. (Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that the city is offering any quick recaps/overviews of the various alternatives to burying the park — you've have to wade through pages of impenetrable copy. I'm still going through the materials myself.)

A public hearing is set for July 31 with the City Planning Commission along with the Office of Management and Budget and the Parks & Recreation Department. More on the when and where closer to the date.

Meanwhile, the newly formed community group called the East River Alliance continues to help organize various East River Park stakeholders and to ensure that the design and reconstruction "reflects our community’s needs and values."

The group is hosting an informational meeting tonight between 6:30-8:30 at PS15, The Roberto Clemente School, 333 E. Fourth St. between Avenue C and Avenue D. Alliance members have been documenting life along the East River Park on Instagram. As they note, this is the last spring to enjoy the Park for the next several years...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: The reality of storm-proofing East River Park in 2020

Storm center: Questions linger over updated plans for the East Side Coastal Resiliency project


Anonymous said...

City planners should be paraded in front of the people so we could tell them just how bad a job they did in projecting what was required for the future, which is now, as they rebuilt the promenade and park over a period of years. Now that it is finally something worthwhile for NYers to use, they are going to deny us the pleasure of the park yet again.

Smart. Real smart.

Anonymous said...

This is absolute bullshit. It won't achieve anything.

I am VERY disappointed with DeBlassio. Two billion is a lot of dough to spearhead this vast undertaking. What happens after another ten years? Tear it up again? No problem. The city spent an enormous amount of cash to renovate the East River Park not too long ago, which is a such beautiful respite from the daily grind and our busy lives. What I see here is an opportunity for our clueless mayor to lure developers in creating new properties on this new stretch of land with incentives and tax breaks. His vision is similar to that of The Highline. To recreate a space that will bring more people together while remaining environmenally aware. What it will do is produce mayhem. This end result will eliminate yet another part of the city that belongs to us. There will be less places to visit and relax. And talk about an eye sore. The shown examples aren't complementary or aesthetically pleasing.

Is this going to be federally funded or is the state picking up the tab? Does the DeBlassio administration realize how far almost two billion dollars can go? The MTA. Education. Health Care. Public Housing. Shall I go on? This is a blatant miuse of power and money.

This idiot wants to appear as though he cares. He DOES NOT care about anything other than his own self interests including his insane desire to run for President. What about extending this until 34th street? Why now? Why just lower Manhattan? Aren't there other parts of the island that are also susceptible to flooding included in this renovation? Why aren't they being torn down? And, has all of the adequate research been compiled to determine a final conclusion of the outcome of this expansion? I believe all of my questions are valid.

Look at Amsterdam. What a superior place. That city was rebuilt during the fourteenth century and they are actually below sea level unlike us. They aren't demolishing their gorgeous town like ours with eye sores and massive barriers. They are managing and searching for other alternativess towards global warming. We could learn from their shining example.

As a concerned neighbor and citizen, I am wondering if those of us whom are against this measure can form an alliance or a resistance? How do we stop this madness?

Anonymous said...

A small fortune was recently spent on this park to rip it up based on a forecast of what could take place in the future without getting any real return on what was done is assine. Two billion goes a long way in other needed now infrastructure projects including mass transit. Roll the dice if it floods out ten years from now address it then get the use out of what has already been spent tearing it up against the next storm of a century is nuts.

MrNiceGuy said...

Outrage for the sake of outrage is not going to help this situation. In the spring and summer, not a week goes by that I don't visit the East River Park. It's well used, but compared to the upgrades the West Side Highway park has seen in recent years.... it's a dump. Poorly lit paths, very little green space (aside from ball fields), and if you follow the path far enough south, you literally run by trash heaps and unpaved ground.

Something needs to be done to protect the EV from hurricanes. It will kill me to lose this park for 3+ years, but if at the end of that time we get something that even closely resembles what they have on the west side, it may be worth it. Could there be a happy medium? Maybe. Does action need to be taken soon? Certainly. Sandy was scary enough, the next one might push us over the tipping point.

Anonymous said...

You get what you vote for

Giovanni said...

One climate change study revealed that if the ice pack in Antarctica melts, the water level in New York will be 150 feet above the top of the Brooklyn Bridge. New York, London and Tokyo will all be gone. But Denver will survive.

Anonymous said...

Somebody could notify the NY Times, NY Daily News, NY Post, NY1, etc. and see if we can get some MAJOR coverage of this BEFORE they spend money they don't have (they are going to pick our pockets) for a project that is so ill-conceived.

Anonymous said...

Try contacting Ginia Bellafante at the NY Times - she covers this kind of story.

Anonymous said...

Where are they getting this money? The projects on Avenue D are in desperate need of this funding. This closure of the park is so stupid!

Anonymous said...

They're tearing up the park so they don't have to inconvenience drivers on the FDR like the previous plan.