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Here’s Community Board 3’s Stance on the East River Flood Barrier Plan

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Rendering shows new bridge over Delancey Street to East River Park.
Rendering shows new bridge over Delancey Street to East River Park.

Yesterday morning we linked to a NY1 story regarding the city’s plans for a flood barrier along the East River. The report stated that Community Board 3 had, “passed (a) unanimous resolution opposing the plan.” That’s not exactly accurate.

Here’s some clarification. At last month’s CB3 meeting, a resolution was approved, stating that the board has “serious concerns about the design” and “does not approve” of the proposal unless a number of changes are made. Here’s a summary of those concerns:

–A lack of new lighting in sections of East River Park which are set to be renovated as part of the project.

–The absence of “solar and wind energy lighting” as part of the design.

–The lack of “signage and wayfinding” in the park to tell the story of Hurricane Sandy and to educate park visitors about features of New York’s first resilient park.

–Worries about the height of fencing (8 feet) that will run the length of the park from Montgomery Street up to 14th Street. CB3 would like the height lowered and has asked the city to look at a more aesthetically pleasing design.

–The absence of innovative design elements, such as the use of recycled items.

–A dearth of plantings along “concrete barrier areas with an emphasis on increasing overall greenery, shading and reducing exposed concrete.”

–Worries about the potential elimination of recreational facilities, specifically “basketball courts both north and south of Houston Street.”

More generally, the resolution stated:

Community Board 3 has participated and led no fewer than ten State, City, and local efforts to address the challenges of rebuilding and recovering post Superstorm Sandy since 2012, paying particular attention to local outreach and input from residents directly impacted by Superstorm Sandy… Community Board 3 was disappointed that the current East Side Coastal Resiliency Design did not reflect many of the community concerns articulated over the past five + years of outreach and engagement efforts.

Many of the concerns expressed by the board were voiced by CB3 members at a meeting of the parks committee last month. You can read our recap of that meeting here. You can read CB3’s final resolution here.

The East Side Coastal Resiliency Project will create a series of berms and flood walls from East 24th Street to Montgomery Street. The city is racing to complete the design by the end of this year, and to comply with federal deadlines ($335 million in funding from Washington is on the line).

Community Board 6 also expressed serious concerns about the city’s plans. You can read CB6’s resolution here.

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