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What’s Happening on the Waterfront

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Economic Development Corp.

News about several projects impacting the East River waterfront has been percolating this week. We’ll be following all of them in the months ahead. In the meantime here’s a summary of what’s going to be happening this spring and summer:

  • Next month NYC’s Economic Development Corp. begins a major overhaul of South Street, from Montgomery to the Manhattan Bridge. They’ll be reconstructing the roadway to improve traffic flow and to add new bike lanes. In recent years, the street has become a “waiting station” for dozens of charter buses. Once the construction starts, they will be required to move. At the same time, work on Pier 35, which is being turned into a “destination pier with open space” is scheduled to begin.
  • The Manhattan Borough President is preparing to allocate $650,000 awarded as part of the Blueway Trail planning grant. The grant is meant to lay the groundwork (through visioning and educational activities) for a series of interconnected attractions along the waterfront, from 38th Street to the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • CB3’s Waterfront Subcommittee resumed meetings after being dormant for many months. Among their top priorities: considering new community concerns about Basketball City, a private company that signed a long-term lease on a section of Pier 36. The panel includes four new members. They met last night for an initial planning session.
  • The city announced the kickoff of “Vision 2020, the NYC comprehensive waterfront plan.” As part of the planning process, there will be a public hearing (mandated by a new law) on April 8th at 6pm. It will be held at Murray Bergtraum High School, 411 Pearl Street. Earlier this week, City planner Arthur Huh took some heat from CB3 members, who wanted to know why NYC officials have essentially ignored a comprehensive waterfront plan CB3 prepared a couple of years ago.
  • The O.U.R. Waterfront Coalition announced a community education and media campaign to build support for the “People’s Plan for the East River Waterfront.” The proposal, unveiled last year, calls on the city to tailor the East Side waterfront for working families and low income residents, many of whom live in public housing in the area. The plan also suggests ways to finance no-cost and low-cost facilities along the East River.

So there’s the broad overview. We’ll fill in more details later on.

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