NYCkayaker Expanding the NYC Water Access Universe.
Thu Nov 30 13:35:45 EST 2006
Here's the change for your quarter, bob. I think you may owe me a dime
I agree its time to start barraging the new administration. What are the
main issues we want to push from the get-go? I'd start with direct water
access and the size of the community who wants, needs, cherishes, and will
help manage and protect it.
I have a few comments on some of your points (surprise!!):
•Pier 26 did have an interim plan: both the dtbh and river project were
given temporary space at pier 40.
•They did shut everyone down somewhat prematurely vis-à-vis the actual
construction, but construction is going on and has been for months, in the
form of demolition.
•As far as no money for the construction, its a common misconception that
the park was granted the amount of $ they needed to build the park in one of
those big lottery-size checks. That's just not the way it works. In
reality they have to raise $ from the city and the state and elsewhere as
they go. There is and has never been $ for things they haven't started. In
fact, much of the city and state $, if they get it and don't actually use it
within a certain time frame, they lose and cannot get back. Its a balancing
act in a way--they need to secure funds (and matching funds, etc) from
administrations which change, and just the right amount for what they can do
as far as construction (which is not an exact science by any means as no one
knows what they'll find when they take the deck off a pier or find tangled
con ed lines, etc) to see that they have enough but not too much. This is
and has been an ongoing process. They will get the $ for pier 26. Do you
have any idea of how long the delay in disbursing the LMDC $ was? Really,
really long. The trust fought for it and got it, but several months after
the original date that it was supposed to be handed out.
•Pier 96: I totally agree. (I have used the shower once) the trust screwed
up here big-time. They had all those years of meetings and then didn't use
the information they should have gathered from this community.
•We need to demand direct contact with the architects for the pier 26
facility. Too much (all?) was lost in translation for 66 and 96 (not sure
•Pier 63: truth be told the pier 66 boathouse probably can actually
accommodate the current paddlers. It will be tight but it can be done. I've
spent a lot of time at pier 96 and you could probably (albeit with creative
design) fit at least twice as many boats in there as the dtbh has (various
reasons for this I wont go into) that said, it will not grow with the
•As far as the size of this community the trust did not make an effort to
count us. They get #s from the dtbh every year, because the dtbh publishes
their #s. How many independent paddlers do you see on a given beautiful
summer day on the Hudson? How visible are we on a day-to-day basis? When
our turf was threatened we organized and now they know how strong our
numbers actually are. In this case I feel like the onus is partly on the
•Pier 40: who would win in a race between a glacier and cold molasses? As
of now the proposals have just (last week) come in. In other words they
wont be starting construction anytime soon. How long ago was a developer
for pier 57 chosen? Anyone seen a hammer or a crane over there? I don't
know what their construction schedule will look like (no one does, no
developer has been chosen, nor the proposals evaluated yet) but I imagine
piers 25 and 26 will be well on their way, if not finished, by the time pier
40 gets going.
As far as interim use there, pier 40 is one of the most important
revenue-generating parts of the park. You can rest assured they wont shut
the whole thing down all at once. Minimum the parking lot and (new) ball
fields will be operational for as long as possible with as few possible
interruptions as they can do.
Going forward, I will try to find out what the interim use plans for pier 40
•Pier 66 and pier 84 are between the battery and 59th street and they will
both be open as PUBLIC LAUNCHES next summer. Plus we may have the barge
back by then. Long before pier 40 closes. And pier 40 is not technically a
public launch, anyway (no formal designation) although by permit the dtbh
dock there must allow public launching and landing.
Bob, I respect and share your attitude of taking matters into our own hands
and controlling our own destiny. But let's try to be consistent. We need
to make sure they hear us and not wait for them to ask what we think. We
need to be organized and coherent and consistent in our message, not to
mention constructive in our dialog.
I hate when I come off as defending the trust. But I do feel like I need to
share some stuff I've learned over the past few years about the way they
(are required to) operate. And I feel like we do need to take some
responsibility for our own situation, rather than waiting for someone else
to address and take care of our needs.
Again, when we organized over the barge issue we seemed to have some effect
(not sure if we'll get everything we want but they sat up and noticed).
Lets keep the momentum, figure out productive suggestions to bring to the
table, and bring them.
I plan to suggest to the advisory council a working group for pier 26 (maybe
25 and 26). What such a group can do is make a motion for the council to
make a formal recommendation to the trust about a particular issue. That's
what the council is for, as it was established to be in opposition to the
trust, meaning not that it is meant to be adversarial, but it is supposed to
provide the community's view on issues within the park, and to advise the
trust on what the community wants and needs. If people are interested in
being part of this (in action, not just in name) please let me know back
Bob, I've signed you up already!
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