Tuesday, September 10, 2019

March and rally for East River Park on Sept. 21; another public hearing set

The above flyer has all the details about the march and rally for East River Park coming up on Sept. 21. (More info here.)

By now you likely now the story behind the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR), a coastal protection initiative jointly funded by the City of New York and the federal government, aimed at reducing flood risk due to coastal storms and sea-level rise. ESCR is the first element of the city’s "Big U" plan to protect Lower Manhattan from surges like those seen during Superstorm Sandy.

As part of the project, city officials, starting next spring, plan to close East River Park for three-plus years, elevating it with 8- to 10-feet of soil and chopping down trees, etc., from Montgomery Street to East 13th Street.

Some residents, referring to it as the Kill Our Park Plan, have asked for the demolition and reconstruction of East River Park to take part in phases so that they continue to enjoy some of the amenities that the public space provides.

And the residents will make their voices heard on Sept. 21.

Meanwhile, there are two more public meetings about the project in the days ahead:

• CB3 Parks, Recreation, Waterfront & Resiliency Committee Meeting
Thursday, Sept. 12, 6:30 p.m. (billed as an "update")
BRC Senior Services Center, 30 Delancey St. between Chrystie and Forsyth

• SAPA (Substantial Action Plan Amendment) Public Hearing
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 6:30 p.m.
Manny Cantor Center, 197 E. Broadway between Jefferson and Clinton

Patch has more details here about the Sept. 17 hearing, which is required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development after the previous plan was changed without public input nearly one year ago.

The City Planning Commission is expected to vote on the plan on Sept. 24 before it heads to City Council this fall.

Updated 9 a.m.

Curbed reports the city is getting an independent review of its plan:

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Councilmember Carlina Rivera announced Monday that they have heeded locals’ calls for an outside expert to assess the East Side Costal Resiliency (ESCR) Project, hiring Hans Gehrels of the Dutch environmental consulting group Deltares.

“We’ve heard the requests of the community for an independent review before this goes into effect, and we listened,” Brewer said in a statement. “Dr. Gehrels will bring his vast experience and expertise to his analysis of this project, and I look forward to seeing the results of his review.”

This week, Gehrels is conducting interviews and surveying the current and former plans put forward by the de Blasio administration, which last September suddenly scrapped 70 percent of the project in favor of a new proposal that will bury East River Park with at least eight feet of fill. This would avoid tricky nighttime highway closures, but require the heavily-used park to go offline for some three years.

Residents may submit public comments to Deltares via email.

Previously on EV Grieve:
• Last week to comment on the city's plans to close East River Park (Aug. 27)

• An annual reunion in East River Park (Aug. 4)

• City Planning Commission will hold its hearing on the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project tomorrow (July 30)

• Next steps in the plan to rebuild East River Park (July 19)

• This week's public meeting about stormproofing East River Park (July 16)

• A visit to East River Park (July 10)

• Here are the next meetings for you to learn more about stormproofing plans for East River Park (June 3)


Anonymous said...

the faceless Stalinist bureaucracy is shamelessly revealed in this corrupt money-grab by DiBlasio's cronies - the evil corruptocrats who use climate change as a bank account need to be stopped.

Anonymous said...

I certainly hope there is a shred of hope for this plan to be buried. Are there any people in city government whom actually care about our community? What happened to our concerns and wishes? There are numerous people including myself who love this park. Taking it away from us is cruel, misguided, and thoughtless. Surely there must be other avenues or methods to address climate change which doesn't include demolishing a natural habitat for animals and human beings who simply want respite from concrete and sirens.

If this is approved and carried out, I will leave the east village and never return. Seeing how long it has taken to "renovate/remodel" Tompkins Park over the past year, (what a joke) we are looking at least five to seven years of construction perhaps much more given how the city works at a glacial pace in getting things done. What also enrages me is the amount or money allocated for this project. Hundreds of millions of dollars probably. Where is this coming from? Our taxes? This will hemorrhage a city budget that is already struggling to stay afloat. If they can secure funding for this, why can't they secure funding for the projects that are in dire need of repair or improve the public school system or even our subways? This radical change to the downtown coastal area seems rushed and shady. I want to see scientific evidence that having an eight foot wall is the ONLY way to move forward in combatting rising sea levels. I don't like it one bit. This entire agenda is the essence of what greed and corruption are under the guise of caring about the future of our city.

I am supporting my fellow neighbors with this plight. See all of you at the rally on Saturday!

Anonymous said...

@9:00am - well-said. This whole plan is dishonest. Not only will it take much longer than projected, and will no doubt cost much more, there will be a select few who profit. The city is actively ignoring the residents of the LES, hoping we'll just give up or forget. It's insulting, unethical and unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

This plan is so absurd! Listen to the people! You don't just tear down all of the environment and turn it into some glossy bullshit park. This is not about flood resiliency. Figure it out. This is unacceptable.

afbp said...

A LOT OF TALK---'preserve our park'/'we don't have the hampton's---my wife /i use the park 4-5 times a week (mostly biking)---we see a TREMENDOUS DISRESPECT for the property---please visit any saturday/sunday morning and you can witness the ABSOLUTE CARNAGE/INCREDIBLE FILTH that is left behind by party goers---IT IS HORRIFYING :(

cmarrtyy said...

Politics has become a Dog 'n Pony Show. So now.... Ruin-the-EV-Rivera and Brewer-the-Betrayer hire Dr. Gerbels... I mean Dr. Gerhels to examine the plan...Why is this happening at this late date... Several consultants should have been called in a lot earlier in the process. Right now... most of us feel that this is a done deal. The trucks are lined up. The earth moving equipment in around the corner... In other word the real estate industry has won... Not surprising since the Dems are no better than the Repubs when it comes to dealing with corporate America... and the voters. sorry, that's the cynic in me... But like everything in life... there are surprises... Maybe... the good Dr. will find fault with the plan and embarrass Rivera, Brewer and Death-of-the City de Blasio. And force them to return to the planning stage for further development. Always hope. ALWAYS HOPE... even with ONE PARTY RULE.

Anonymous said...

Gee, I wonder why it didn't occur to anyone to hire the famous Dr. Gerhels EARLIER in the game???

How completely brain-dead the government of this city is.

Anonymous said...

I just returned from a walk in ERP from Corlear's Hook to the track at 6th St. 6pm on a Tuesday and the place was PACKED. Runners, walkers, cyclists, kids playing, people hanging out on benches, sports happening in every field. There must have been thousands using the park in the two hours I was there. People USE and NEED this park! Where are they expected to go while it's closed? Is Ave D going to be pedestrianized???

Anonymous said...

Stop this plan! See you at the rally Sept. 21. Make sure the city know how many people are outraged about closing and demolishing our wonderful park.

james said...

What is motivating this well the Federal Recovery money from Sandy over 1 Billion dollars which must be used or lost soon. The funds have a expiration date attached so the expensive knee jerk plan which will enrich contractors with contracts. A politician in this city never misses a chance at "free" money. There is no immediate need to do this no future pending 100 year storm on the horizon the risk is small against the destruction of this park and the long years of wait for it to return.

Anonymous said...

whoever came up with "bury the plan not the park" is a genius! also, SUPPORT!

Giovanni said...

Now just try to imagine where all those people will be walking, jogging, cycling, sunbathing and hanging out the next four years. Tompkins Square Park will be so overrun that the chess tables will look like Paradise Island by the time they finish levitating East River Park.

Once they complete their little Park Levitation Trick, anyone who dares harm a blade of grass will be on the receiving and of some harsh enforcement by the Park Police. That’s what happened after they renovated Washington Square, Bryant and Madison Square Parks. They constantly fence off areas for reseeding, close large areas down for big corporate and holiday events, and hand out tickets for minor offenses.

We need to save the park we already have, not tear it down along with all the old, beautiful trees. Just look at the bland sterility of Domino Park to see what will be lost with the new, not improved curated design. People don’t go to a parks to study minimalist design principles as they are desperately looking for a place to find some shade which no longer exists since all the trees and mature plants have been cut down. Save Our Park!

Anonymous said...

This has the potential to be a major health crisis. In addition to the dust and noise, there will be fewer spaces for exercise, especially for people who like distance running and biking without the risk of street traffic. The rats that live in the park will need to go somewhere, and I don't think as many will swim across the East River as head inland.