Monday, May 13, 2019

3 chances to hear about the city's plan to stormproof East River Park — and the East Side


[Photo of East River Park from last week]

You have several chances this week to learn more about the city's plans to stormproof the East Side of Manhattan ...



Per the invite via the city's Department of Design and Construction (DDC):

Please stop by to learn more about current plans for flood protection along Manhattan’s Lower East Side and planned park improvements. City agencies and members of the design team will be available to explain and answer questions about the design, the associated Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) application, and the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Community members are encouraged to drop in to the Open House at their convenience.

Community Open Houses
• Tuesday, May 14
4-8 p.m.

• Wednesday, May 15
2-8 p.m.

Both info sessions are at the Lower Eastside Girls Club, 402 E. Eighth St. at Avenue D.

And on Thursday, DDC reps will make a presentation before CB3's Parks, Recreation, Waterfront, & Resiliency Committee at 6:30 p.m. That public meeting is at the BRC Senior Services Center, 30 Delancey St. between Chrystie and Forsyth.

As previously reported, to stormproof the East Side and protect residents from storms the magnitude of Sandy, the city plans to "lift" East River Park by up to 10 feet when work starts in March 2020.

Creating the intricate flood protection system would see the city 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 newly renovated running track, among other things.

The draft environmental impact statement — 900-plus pages — for the East Side Coastal Resiliency project is currently available for review and comment. My previous post here has more details on the review process and links to relevant materials.

Last fall, the city unveiled an updated plan, which took residents, community leaders and local-elected officials by surprise after years of outreach and groundwork. The revamped plan — released without any community input — is radically different than what had been discussed, and its expected cost will increase from $760 million to $1.45 billion. 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.

Meanwhile, community coalition group East River Alliance has a petition in circulation calling for a change to the plans.

Per the petition:

East River Park is the largest park in Manhattan below 59th Street and a precious recreation space for a community where many residents cannot afford vacations.

There will be no access to a 3-mile stretch of waterfront from 23rd Street to Montgomery Street. No ball games, barbecues, sprinklers and playgrounds, runners, bikes, walkers — for nearly four years.

We demand that the City reconsider this plan. Our community deserves a resiliency plan that includes:
• Flood protection now and during construction
• Phased closing during construction and immediate reopening of completed sections
• Real alternatives for healthy recreation during construction
• Consideration of other options including flood protection along the FDR and covering the highway to create additional parkland

Find the petition here.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why don’t they invest the money in ice machines and freeze the river when it floods, or even ray guns and turn it into steam. Many viable alternative solutions haven’t been looked into!

Anonymous said...

I would say it will be closed for AT LEAST four years. The current plan is not the plan that included input from affected communities. A phased approach that prevents the total closure of the park is possible. The current plan is more akin to burying the existing park, cutting down healthy established trees, damaging an important part of the ecosystem for migrating birds, as well as reducing green space for pollinating insects; not good for healthy biodiversity. But probably good for big real estate in the long run; this mayor seems good at helping them at the expense of everyone else.

Anonymous said...

total absurdity, with you know who just seeking money for crony conservancy rather than fighting this ludicrous plan to make a new park for the tower dwellers in two bridges and the nycha infill on D to come

Anonymous said...

They may as well just announce that the entire area is going to get walled off, paved over, and developed into (luxury) high-rises, b/c that SEEMS to me to be the actual intention.

The genuine issues of quality-of-life, and the desires of this community, count for ZERO in De Blasio's corrupt administration.

Anonymous said...

The whole country is going to be laughing at NYC for this tomfoolery. The East Side Disaster of 2020. We need to attach DiBlasio's name to this. DiBlasio's Elevated Park. And we know that when the actual hurricane comes it will fail with the lousy sub-sub-sub-subcontracted work.

noble neolani said...

"world class park" a quote for the mayor is a dog whistle to developers "this land will be your in the near future once we empty the under funded public housing along the east river. I. thought my fellow New Yorkers were smart enough not to re-elect this con-artist mayor for a second term. write you reps in city hall, Carolina Rivera don't stab us in the back again as you did with the tech hub.

Giovanni said...

Fool, meet Errand.

First of all, who is to say that the current climate change predictions are accurate? It’s more likely that they are either over-predicting the amount of ocean rise, meaning this project is not necessary, or more likely they are under-predicting the ocean rise, which also means this project is unnecessary since it is ultimately doomed to failure.

If you watch the PBS special on this specific issue of protecting lower Manhattan, many experts conclude that cities like ours cannot just build walls to keep water out, they need to think bigger and holistically about how to channel and store flood water underground and after pump it out, as some cities in Europe are already doing with their underground garages. If water cant get in on one side of the wall, it will find a way around, and this plan likely just pushes more flood waters north when they do come. That means East Harlem or Midtown will get the flooding, which then will spill back into downtown.

And lastly, cutting down all those tress is a crime.

Second, almost every major project in East River Park with the exception of the new track and field has been met by problems and delays. I still remember when the benches were literally falling into the ground as the cement slabs supporting them collapsed. The city shut down huge portions of the park for years, and most days it didn't look like any construction was underway. They should have closed the park down in sections back then, and they should do the same now. Closing it all down at once means if anything major goes wrong (and with a project this unprecedented, it will) the whole park is lost until the problems are fixed.

Anonymous said...

Don’t get how any money is buying the apartments at the old pathmark at two bridges. It’d work as a rental building, but buying down there for millions... fuck that...

cmarrtyy said...

The Dutch stop the water before it overwhelms the land. Why are we elevating it? MON-NAE. FOLLOW THE MON-NAE!

Anonymous said...

By all measures a poor and wasteful solution need to consult with the Dutch they built this city to begin with. Much has been spent on the park for restoration so just tear it apart? Reminds be of a time they would repave a street then come back a few weeks later to rip it up to replace a gas pipe or water main.


Anonymous said...

We have many beautiful community gardens but they are volunteer led and barely open, I cannot see this project being good for anyone OR lasting an already unreasonable 3.5 years....it's destroying a park to build it up again. That's going to take a lot of time and even more resources. Go to the meetings everyone!

Anonymous said...

De Blassio is a world class loser. This is awful for the environment and the community. I cannot believe this has not only been approved, but it has also been funded. As a long time resident of Alphabet City, I use this park almost everyday in the warmer months. It has been a respite for me numerous times. There is no need for this monumental demoliiton. It literally makes me sick to my stomach to witness this stretch of land destroyed. This will certainly take at least four years if not five or six. And I would not be surprised if real estate popped its head along after everything is complete. Our mayor is the biggest joke. He makes Gulliani, who I never liked or respected seem like an altar boy. That is saying a lot seeing as he is one of Trump's cronies. Our mayor is also corrupt, self serving and unaware of just how ineffective and harmful he is to NYC. I am very liberal across the board and truly regret voting for him. What a mistake I made in believing what he promised.

Anonymous said...

This plan is an absolute disgrace. The East River Park is one of the few parks we have on the lower east side and the only park to give residents access to the East River. To close it down for some massive obscenity of a construction project that will supposedly take over 3 years which really means 4 + years or more when there are far better options such as installing a marshland/wetland protection barrier with plants out onto the East River from the shoreline which would help to absorb any floodwaters. There is always a better way.

Anonymous said...

I hope everyone who has commented here plans to show up for this meeting tonight. I commented above, and I will be there. There is another big meeting about this project in July.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for ripping on our deluded mayor and his ridiculous national aspirations but I really don't see how this is a corrupt/stupid plan. The seas are rising. The city will be underwater unless we do something. The way this was done sucks. The plan is probably inadequate. But it's prudent to do *something* about an imminent existential threat to NYC's viability as a city. Sucks bad for the nabe. Especially for the people on Ave. D. If the city is going to rely on community gardens to make up for the loss, it should throw some money at them instead of harassing their volunteer groundskeepers with onerous new permit requirements and fees and such (which they're doing with their new Green Thumb license).

Anonymous said...

I wonder what will happen if the next "super-storm" strikes NYC *while* this work is being done? What if supplies & equipment get washed into the East River?

Anonymous said...

Community Board 3's meeting on Thursday (May 16th) will have time dedicated to this topic.

Anonymous said...

I am so angry at the city over this plan. My son is only 11 years old, and this will be the second long-term entire closure of the park that he will have to live through. Our access to green space, our quality of air, our well being, our health are all at stake. Can you imagine a similar proposal to close-raze-and-raise any of the parks in richer neighborhoods? I attended one of the first so-called "informational" meetings, where the parks representative responded to a legitimate question about where people are supposed to go for fresh air and recreation during an entire-park closure for who knows how many years, with "that's up to you." Meanwhile, they haven't even been able to replace a single bathroom structure in Luther Gulick Park. Plus, apparently our neighborhood won't have *any* flood protection during the time the park will be under construction. At this point, I have NO trust in this administration, which has demonstrated absolutely no respect for or interest in community engagement and well being. I said to my husband, it's like they just want us all to clear out, so they can build another Hudson Yards...