NYCkayaker Expanding the NYC Water Access Universe.

Robert Huszar
Thu Nov 30 17:05:11 EST 2006

On Thu, 30 Nov 2006, Robert Huszar wrote:

> Hi Nancy,
> Okay, maybe I even owe you eleven or twelve cents. So they kinda had an 
> interim plan for Pier 26.  But "kinda" is the operative word. And any way you 
> slice it, we are -- since you can't count Pier 40 as a public launch site -- 
> still reduced to one access point for the west side of Manhattan. So it's an 
> interim plan that really hasn't covered things. And, yes, I hear you, that 
> maybe someday we will have 4 access points, but as with Pier 26, it may take 
> years instead of the 6 to 8 months originally talked about.  So that is still 
> ineffecient planning as far as I am concerned.
> And as far as the HRPT's funding problems, you know what, I only know that 
> they were in a big hurry to get everyone out and it's going to take a long 
> time until we get that site back.  If you hired a contractor to repair your 
> roof, and he tore the roof off and then said, I don't have the time or the 
> money to build you a new one.  You would not care that he was broke because 
> his wife divorced him, you would only be concerned with getting a roof back 
> on your house before winter set in.  The Trusts management problems -- or 
> lack of management -- don't concern me.  What concerns me is that there 
> problems have totally devastated large portions of the paddling community. 
> The Trusts intentions might be absolutely wonderful; so far, their results 
> are not. River access is at an all time low. Nobody really likes the new boat 
> house.  And there are many, many displaces paddlers out there.
> Who knows, I may even owe you a few more coins.  But I'm still mad and feel 
> no reason to take it any longer.  Count me in on your group.
> Bob
> On Thu, 30 Nov 2006, 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 wth 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-a-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 thos big lottery-size 
>> checks. thats 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 havent started. in fact, much of the city and 
>> state $, if they get it and dont 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 didnt 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 mich (all?) was 
>> lost in translation for 66 and 96 (not sure about 84). •pier 63: truth be 
>> told it probably can actually accomodate 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 
>> 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 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 now 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 developper for pier 
>> 57 chosen? anyone seen a hammer or a crane over there? i dont know what 
>> their construction schedule will look like (no one does, no developper 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 consistant. 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 consistant 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. thats 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!
>> -----Original Message----- From: To: Cc: 
>>; Sent: Thu, 30 
>> Nov 2006 11:26 AM Subject: Re: Expanding the NYC Water Access Universe.
>>  Well, if Nancy and Daniel put in their two cents, allow me to throw in a 
>> quarter.
>> Let's start with this: Eliot Spitzer is the new governor-elect and, 
>> hopefully, that means that the pork-barrel cronyism of George "Yeah, I'm a 
>> Paddler" Pataki is finally done. Let's get real. We have seen the 
>> efficiency of the Pataki team:
>> Pier 26 (The Downtown Boathouse) closed prematurely without a good interim 
>> plan, because THEY NEEDED TO START CONSTRUCTION. A year later, there's been 
>> no construction and HRPT announces there's no money for construction. Yeah 
>> -- that's planning. Where did HRPT go to management school, the MTA????
>> Pier 96 built by "Gee-whiz" designers who valued look over function, and 
>> completely ignored the input of six years worth of community meetings that 
>> were fairly well attended by our kayaking community. Result: A boat house 
>> and launch site that no one is really happy with and doesn't serve the 
>> needs of the community. But, hey, it looks good and has showers. Anyone 
>> actually use those showers???
>> Now Pier 63 is closed. But never fear, the HRPT has a new boathouse that's 
>> going to open in the spring -- yeah, just like Pier 23 -- the only problem 
>> is that it won't accommodate a quarter of the paddlers already using the 
>> barge. The HRPT's reaction: they're shocked! They had no idea there were 
>> that many paddlers. IMAGINE THAT!!! Sounds like someone wasn't doing their 
>> planning. Or maybe, someone had "you know what" stuffed in their ears 
>> during the last few years of community meetings. Or worse, maybe they just 
>> ignored all the comments they received at all those community meetings. 
>> After all, they are the governor-appointed experts, surly they know better 
>> what a community needs then the community itself.
>> Also, consider this, if the Trust moves ahead with the revamping of pier 40 
>> -- again without an interim plan -- there will be no river access or egress 
>> from the Battery to 59th Street. In the old days, before the Park was 
>> built, you could find multiple -- albeit slightly tricky -- places to take 
>> out amongst the deteriorating piers. Thanks to the modernization and 
>> transformation of the old waterfront, all the local, "unofficial" exit 
>> points have been cemented away and replaced with 8 to 10 foot, unscalable 
>> seawalls. So official access points are now more important then ever.
>> Solution: Call, write, fax Eliot Spitzer (contact info below) and tell him 
>> you are fed up with bureaucrats who don't do their job and don't listen to 
>> the community they are suppose to represent. Tell him we want this park to 
>> be built, and it seems the only way to get it properly built, is to remove 
>> the current HRPT management. Tell him, we want a user-friendly, 
>> waterfront-accessible, community park; not some bureaucrat's sterile, 
>> can't-touch-anything, design competition.
>> Tell him: Day One -- Everything Changes.
>> Bob Huszar
>> The Honorable Eliot Spitzer 120 Broadway New York City, NY 10271 (212) 
>> 416-8000
>> 212-416-8942 (Fax)
>> On Wed, 29 Nov 2006, wrote:
>> > great thoughts!
>> >
>> > oddly, NY Kayk Polo has had people join us from all over the world. > 
>> they google kayak polo in nyc and find us. we've gotten members this > way 
>> (including 2 new recent transplants from italy and one from > beijing by 
>> way of london).
>> >
>> > the dtbh also gets lots and lost of tourists from their website--even > 
>> entire tour groups!
>> >
>> > i think, as you say, this is beyond the HRPT--theyre not much in the > 
>> marketing business. but perhaps some of the other relevant > organixations: 
>> hrwa, nyo, mkc, nykp, the guild, etc, and some of our > individual paddlers 
>> who write for such magazines should start some > grassroots spreading of 
>> the word. i've seen a few articles over the > years about paddling in 
>> manhattan, particularly those about > circumnavigations, statue trips, etc.
>> >
>> > if we want to make an impression on the HRPT, NYC Parks, and more > 
>> importantly, the new waterfront concerns now in the planning phases, > lets 
>> do a sort of a press kit. we should gather all the articles and > news 
>> stories and video (check out tim gamble on japanese tv, for > instance!) 
>> and present our "body of work" to the agencies who are > right now 
>> considering the prosepct of water access on the east river > and in the 
>> rest of the NYC area where potential public launch sites > are being 
>> reviewed for funding/development.
>> >
>> > thats just another 2¢. . .
>> >
>> > -----Original Message----- From: To: > 
>> Sent: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 5:06 PM > Subject: 
>> [pier63holdtrips] Expanding the NYC Water Access Universe.
>> >
>> >
>> > Hey guys and gals,
>> >
>> > I've been doing a lot of traveling and work lately so I apologize > about 
>> being a little mute about all the various kayak access issues > with the 
>> HRPT. However the idea struck me today that why is it that > only NYC area 
>> paddlers should be concerned with this. To me, at least, > NYC would appear 
>> to be a "Kayaking Destination."
>> >
>> > If I was a seakayaker in Michigan or surfskier in Kauai or kayak polo > 
>> player in London, I might like to know that I could get on the water > 
>> easily when I visit NY. Maybe if I knew that I couldn't get convenient > 
>> access, I might not book that hotel or go to that restaurant or visit > NY 
>> at all.
>> >
>> > We, the hundreds of local kayakers, like to think of this river and > 
>> these waters as our own, but perhaps it really belongs to the tens if > not 
>> hundreds of thousands of global kayakers of all stripes that want > to 
>> enjoy the waters of one of the greatest cities in the world.
>> >
>> > If the HRPT understood that the water not just the waterfront of New > 
>> York could be as much of a tourist destination as the beach is to > Miami 
>> or the mountains are to Denver, then perhaps they'd adjust their > 
>> priorities. How many people would be rethinking their vacations if > there 
>> was a chain-link fence between the sand and the water down at > southbeach?
>> >
>> > I think we need to start approaching this latest challenge not so much > 
>> as a local issue but a global one., ACA, BCU, > seakayakermag 
>> etc. all should know about this. We should also suggest > that the HRPT 
>> partner with these and any other pertinent organizations > to promote "NYC 
>> Aqua-tourism."
>> >
>> > That's my $0.02, anyways.....
>> >
>> > ________________________________________________________________________ 
>> > Check out the new AOL. Most comprehensive set of free safety and > 
>> security tools, free access to millions of high-quality videos from > 
>> across the web, free AOL Mail and more.
>> >
>> ________________________________________________________________________ 
>> Check out the new AOL.  Most comprehensive set of free safety and security 
>> tools, free access to millions of high-quality videos from across the web, 
>> free AOL Mail and more.

More information about the NYCKayaker mailing list