NYCkayaker boathouses on the Hudson river in NYC

David Gottlieb
Thu Nov 2 06:25:09 EST 2006


I agree whole heartedly with you. I don't need a permit to a ride a bicycle
in the streets of New York, why shouldn't kayakers be free to access the
river in NYC, which is a public navigable waterway in NY State and thus
gives us the right to freely use it. The complete system in NYC is awkward
and unfair, and the real issue of access appears to be obfuscated by layers
and layers of bureaucracy and government control. (When I lived in the city,
I was on a community board for nearly 10 years and was amazed at the petty
bureaucracy and some of the inane and archaic rules.)

I can go down the block from where I live in Rockland and launch on the
river, so I am lucky. I can go up to Piermont and use the public launch on
the river or put in by Tallman State Park on the creek which leads to the
river.  I can launch in numerous towns freely and unencumbered up and down
the Hudson River, except in NYC. This is absurd. I can launch in Liberty
State Park in NJ, at Alpine Beach location in NJ beneath the Palisades
cliffs, but only in NYC does unimpeded, public access to the Hudson River
become nearly impossible.... 

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Janowski, Davis
Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2006 11:48 AM
To: Mr. Softeee;;
Subject: Re: NYCkayaker boathouses on the Hudson river in NYC

I did do that very thing (bought a folding kayak), but it is no panacea.
The lemonade Mr. Softee refers to needs some sugar.

First let me get this out of the way. I think the DTBH is the noblest of
endeavors and I dote on it among my colleagues and friends all the time
and extol the virtuous nature of its mission as well as declare it the
best free thing to do in Manhattan bar none.

That said I was born and raised in Florida and spent the majority of my
free time growing up on or in the water with my father. I've been a
scuba diver, fisherman, spear fisherman, marine archaeological
enthusiast and volunteer for the last two decades. Before that I was a
flounder gigger, crabber (the chicken net on a string method as well as
the net-in-the-surf method), cast netter, catfish trot-liner, canoeist,
bushwhacking canoeist as well as power boater from the time I was a
tike. I moved to NYC for my career and wife's career and it meant big
tradeoffs. First, we're both career journalists and that means that the
bulk of our salary has gone for housing and now that we have a young
daughter child care and education. My boating is much less a part of my
life here but I look forward to it no less---probably even more so since
actually getting on the water is a rarity.

Why the long drawn out explanation? All I want is free and unfettered
access to the water, which in Florida always seemed an innate human
right at least on public land. There is a plethora of public boat ramps
that can be used without anyone watching over them at most any time of
the day and into the night. At public ramps you don't have to check in
with anyone, sign a waiver or have some fresh-faced volunteer who hasn't
a fingernail's worth of experience on the water I do questioning me
about launching.

This is in no way an attack on the DTBH, I fully support its mission,
I'm fully aware that without its efforts there would be no public
human-powered access to the water (and doubt that the 79th Street Boat
Basin would be as open as it is now kayakers). What I seek though with
my trips on the water is a sense of freedom and solitude, it's an
escape. For me it's not nearly as enjoyable when it is a group

Perhaps some of the liability lawyers on the list could elaborate on why
this cannot be done here in Manhattan? Why can't/won't the city or Trust
allow me (and any other adult) to use a ramp and floating dock near my
home at my own risk? In this case I'm really really really hoping I'll
be allowed this freedom at Pier 84, but thus far I haven't gotten a
straight answer out of any Trust or public officials. I've tried to go
to several of the CB4 waterfront committee meetings to lend my voice on
this, but like I've said I have a young daughter that I usually have to
pick up from daycare after work and the 6 pm timing of the meetings
never seems to work out.

Again, just venting and raising this as a question and philosophical
discussion, not an attack. 

Davis D. Janowski 
Lead Analyst for Web Services & Software
Formerly Section Editor
Consumer Networking, GPS products, Phones & PDAs (mobile & VoIP)
PC Magazine Online & Print
11th Floor 
28 E. 28th Street 
New York, NY 10016-7930 

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Mr. Softeee
Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2006 10:09 AM
Subject: Re: NYCkayaker boathouses on the Hudson river in NYC


     Here we go! A voice of reason! Thats why I like you Jim! A problem 

     If you can't store your kayak get a folding boat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
called making lemonade out of lemons!!!!!!!!!!!!!


>From: "Jim Bixler" <>
>Subject: Re: NYCkayaker boathouses on the Hudson river in NYC
>Date: Wed, 01 Nov 2006 05:39:10 -0500
>Two-words: Folding Boat
>Keep it behind your couch and you don't have to volunteer at DTBH
> >Message: 3
> >Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2006 18:46:21 -0500
> >From: mike pidel <>
> >Subject: Re: NYCkayaker boathouses on the Hudson river in NYC
> >To: "'Nancy Brous'" <>,
> >Message-ID: <00b401c6fd46$c57428a0$0200a8c0@e510>
> >Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> >
> >The church of the downtown boathouse always brings up these
> >There are other churches out there.
> >
> >In fact with the current method of boat storage at the DTBH is very
> >exclusionary to the public, only certain people are allowed to store
> >their boats there.
> >
> >If they truly believed in what is posted, there would be no private
> >boats in the DTBH. Very few paddlers have the amount of time to set
> >aside to do the volunteer work that is required.
> >
> >In NYC parks there are private restaurants, concessions, softball
> >with a hierarchy of fee's to third party operators.
> >
> >79 th street marina is a subsided large vessel storage facility, the
> >chelsa piers was sold at below market rate, I believe it was supposed
> >have public access to the water.
> >
> >  They are Dog runs, skateboards parks,  private trapeze schools in
> >park.   The tennis courts at central park have locker rooms with
> >storage available. The model boat house in central park has storage
> >the private model boats.
> >
> >Every free on street parking space is subsided public space.  I
> >doubt the 79th street marina has subsided indoor parking for the
> >boat owners.
> >
> >I am hoping the the pier 66 facility turns out with a storage
> >for the people that just want to paddle.
> >
> >My concern was that if the DTBH is denied their original downtown
> >location, they may try to compete for the pier 66 location.
> >
> >
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From:
> >[] On Behalf Of Nancy Brous
> >Sent: Monday, October 30, 2006 12:02 PM
> >To:
> >Subject: NYCkayaker boathouses on the hudson river in NYC
> >
> >
> >
> >mike, i assume that you refer to the downtown boathouse in the below
> >post?
> >
> >i would like to provide a little background information which might
> >broaden your perspective on boathouses on the hudson in NYC.
> >
> >hudson river park, the subject of this article, occupies just about 6
> >miles of the hudson river waterfront in nyc (roughly from the top of
> >rockefeller park to 59th street).  that is hardly the whole of NYC's
> >hudson waterfront.  there is a NYC Parks Department-run human-powered
> >boating launch and storage facility at 79th street, and a canoe club
> >inwood.
> >
> >the hudson river park act provided for the construction of 4 new
> >boathouses to be built on this public land with public funds at piers
> >26, 66, 84, and 96.
> >right now 2 of the boathouses are complete:  piers 96 and 84.  (84 is
> >yet to open for use).
> >
> >almost 2 years ago a request for proposals (rfp) was issued for the
> >operation of the first boathouse to come online, at pier 96.  this is
> >open and fairly transparent process.  i personally posted the
> >information here and on many other lists around the country, as did
> >other members of the park's advisory council, park officials, and
> >concerned members of the public.  anyone was welcome to submit a
> >proposal.
> >only the downtown boathouse submitted a proposal for operation of
> >facility.  they now operate that facility.
> >
> >the next boathouse to open will be at 44th street. it will be
> >by Floating the Apple.  there was no rfp process for this facility.
> >this organization was chosen by the hudson river park trust in a
> >process.
> >
> >another rfp will be released in the next few weeks for an operator
> >the next boathouse to be completed, at pier 66 (26th street).  again,
> >this will be open to anyone who chooses to make a proposal for its
> >operation.
> >when that rfp comes out i will post the info here and elsewhere.
> >the operation of the new pier 26 boathouse was to be determined
> >an rfp process as well, but if this article is correct, that process
> >now be indefinitely delayed.
> >
> >while jim wetteroth's being interviewed for this article may appear
> >suggest that he expects his organization to eventually operate that
> >boathouse, if you read carefully, he is quoted at least in part
> >he was at the CB1 waterfront committee meeting.  the interviewer's
> >description of the dtbh programs is actually a bit out of context, in
> >opinion.
> >
> >as mr. wetteroth has operated a public boating facility in the area
> >nearly 20 years, his comments provide useful insight into the current
> >financial issues facing the new boathouse for any operator, not just
> >dtbh program.  while the new boathouse at pier 96 is quite nice
> >water and heat in the winter, as mentioned) a facility for seasonal
> >boating use could certainly function quite well without such
> >if it meant the difference between a fully appointed facility and no
> >facility at all.
> >
> >there are many individuals and organizations (including but certainly
> >not limited to the dtbh) throughout this city and general area who
> >tirelessly to ensure the future of human-powered boating and free
> >water-access for this entire community.
> >and we are a community, not a series of competing factions out to
> >monopolize the boathouses and the waterfront.
> >
> >i encourage everyone on this list to keep an eye out for the rfp when
> >is released, to make proposals for its operation, to use their
> >constructively, and to generally act like the community of people
with a
> >common goal that we are, or should be.
> >
> >nancy brous
> >metropolitan region director
> >
> >
> ><<
> >
> >Today's Topics:
> >
> >    1.  Tribeca's boathouse on Hudson Park's chopping block (mike
> >
> >
> >
> >Message: 1
> >Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2006 15:51:13 -0400
> >From: mike pidel <>
> >Subject: NYCkayaker Tribeca's boathouse on Hudson Park's chopping
> >         block
> >To:
> >Message-ID: <00e101c6faca$6e4596f0$0200a8c0@e510>
> >Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> >
> >
> >
> >Why does one  organization try and monopolize all the boathouses on
> >Hudson?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >-------------- next part --------------
> >An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
> >URL:
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> >------------------------------
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