Photos Monday by Daniel Efram
A judge has issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to East River Park Action, halting the demolition of East River Park as part of the $1.45-billion East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) project.
Here's more via an email from East River Park Action last night:
Appellate court judge Judith Gische heard arguments from Arthur Schwartz and Kathryn Freed, attorneys for East River Park Action, who requested the TRO.The City's lawyer argued that the city was only doing preparatory work, and would not impose "irreparable harm" … until Thanksgiving.The judge decided that because park users were already excluded from the tennis courts, she would grant the TRO and cause all work to cease pending further expedited hearings on our Parkland Alienation appeal.The City has until [noon today] to file a reply, and our attorneys have until Monday at 10 to reply to the reply. The hearing should be in the afternoon. Stay tuned!One notable thing was that the judge did, at one point, refer to the "formidable appeal." Kudos to our pro bono attorney wizards.
East River Park Action and opponents of this version of the reconstruction project continue to speak out, stressing there's a better path forward to protect the Lower East Side and surrounding neighborhoods from a 100-year-flood event and sea-level rise — one that doesn't cause 1,000 mature trees to be chopped down.
Right now in East River Park work has stopped because the community has fought back pic.twitter.com/rgdScRMGNQ— Our Park (@ERPAction) November 5, 2021
"Phased work operations" began on Monday below Houston Street at the Brian Watkins Tennis Center. According to the construction notice, four tennis courts on the north side and the tennis center will remain open through the end of the 2021 permit season on Nov. 21. All tennis courts and the tennis center including restrooms will be closed until 2024 — subject to change, per the city.
Two activists were arrested on Monday at the site for not heeding freshly posted "no trespassing" signs at the tennis courts.CBS 2 and The Village Sun also have coverage.