NYCkayaker Expanding the NYC Water Access Universe.

Rob Buchanan
Thu Nov 30 16:20:50 EST 2006


Thanks for that very detailed and thoughtful barrage, and for your larger
point about the need to comment constructively and, above all, shape the
agenda ourselves. 

A couple of questions, an addendum, and a comment:

You say that pier 66 and pier 84 will both be open as public launches next
summer. I didn¹t know that, and would be curious to hear more about how that
will work, what sorts of rules, seasonal dates, and daily hours will apply,
if any. Has the HRPT publicized that information? If not, how can I confirm
it? And what about pier 40, which is much more convenient for downtowners?
Is the de facto policy that we can just launch?

Also, in your final comment you say you¹re going to suggest to the advisory
council a working group for pier 26. At the last CB1 waterfront committee
meeting, the chair, Julie Nadel, proposed establishing a similar group
specifically to address boathouse design issues on pier 26. It would
probably be worthwhile to check in with her, and them, as things develop.

Finally, I hope we can use this whole process of coming together and
gathering community support as a springboard for approaching the EDC about
access to the east river as well. The way I see it, it¹s a battle‹sorry, I
mean a conversation‹on two fronts.


On 11/30/06 1:35 PM, "Nancy Brous" <> wrote:

> Here's the change for your quarter, bob.  I think you may owe me a dime back!!
> 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
> about 84).
> €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
> community. 
> €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 community.
> €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
> are.
> €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 channel.
> Bob, I've signed you up already!
> -nancy
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