East River Park ACTION honored by Rev. Billy and the Stop Shopping choir
Talk New York
Council O.K.’s East Side resiliency plan despite disruptive protest
BY LINCOLN ANDERSON , The Village Sun, NOVEMBER 15, 2019
“Rising from their seats in the City Council Chamber’s balcony and angrily chanting “Vote No!” for several solid minutes, opponents disrupted Thursday’s vote on the contentious East Side Coastal Resiliency project. Council security ended the protest by ordering the balcony to be cleared.”
City Council Approves East Side Resiliency Plan
The Lo-Down, Nov. 14, 2019
East River Park ACTION said, “We are grief-stricken and furious and we will fight for this community. Your vote is a vote for climate change, not against it, your vote is a vote against community, and we will never forget and never forgive any of you for letting this happen and voting for a plan that is neither scientific nor resilient. The NYCHA speaks letter told you that this plan represents an assault on our families, and assault on our history. And you didn’t care. Shame.”
City Council votes in favor of East Side Coastal Resiliency
by Mark Hallum, amNY, Nov. 14, 2019
“Despite strong opposition by area residents, the City Council on Thursday greenlighted a $1.45 billion proposal to raise the elevation of East River Park by 8 to 10 feet to protect it from future flooding.”
East Side Storm Protection Plan Gets Greenlight From City Council
By Sydney Pereira, Patch, Nov 14, 2019 5:52 pm ET
“The City Council approved a $1.45 billion resiliency project for a stretch of Manhattan’s east side on Thursday afternoon.”
City Council approves $1.5B project to ‘weather-proof’ Lower Manhattan
By Rich Calder, the Post, November 14, 2019
East Side flood protection plan passes City Council, but legal challenge looms
Local opponents plan to sue against the city’s plan in the coming weeks
By Caroline Spivack, Curbed, Nov 14, 2019,
NY1 Inside City Hall, Interview with Carlina Rivera and Keith Powers about the plan 11/14/19
Climate change growing pains are real but necessary: Today, New York must advance its major resiliency projects
By AMY CHESTER and TOM WRIGHT, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS|, NOV 13, 2019
As the city grappled with redesigning East River Park to protect the community from flooding while maintaining its service as a beloved community asset they were faced with competing demands and trade-offs: build with nature, or build with concrete? Destroy a perfectly good, well-utilized park all at once, or let Mother Nature destroy it over time, and build the park back piecemeal? Cause the least destruction, understanding that it will lead to significant noise and traffic, or destroy and rebuild the entire park — at considerable expense — to speed construction and thereby ensure flood protection sooner?
East River Side Resiiency Project Moves One Step Closer to Final Approval
BY AMANDA FARINACCI, NY1, Nov. 13, 2019
“The fear is that this is much more about paving the way for gentrifying further the Lower East Side and the East Village than it is truly about flood protection,” said Harriet Hirshon, also of East Side Park Action.
HOW LOWER EAST SIDE COASTAL PLAN BRACES FOR CLIMATE CHANGE
By Rachel Holliday Smith, The City, Nov. 12, 2019
$1.45 Billion Plan To Elevate East River Park Advances, Despite Some Local Opposition
BY IZZIE RAMIREZ, Gothamist, NOV. 13, 2019
“The plan is about mitigating the construction,” said Harriet Hirshorn, an East River Alliance member. “No one is talking about the destruction of the park.”
Local City Council Members Must Head Back to Drawing Board on East River Park Plan
by Pat Arnow, Gotham Gazette, Nov. 13, 2019
“Have you gotten the free ferries from Corlears Hook to Governors Island you’ve been requesting? No, that’s not even mentioned in the agreement you reached with the city as announced on Tuesday.”
Council Members Chin, Powers and Rivera Reach Agreement on Construction Plans, Community Investments for East Side Coastal Resiliency Project
The Council of the City of New York, Nov. 12, 2019
“Council Members Margaret Chin, Keith Powers, and Carlina Rivera today announced an agreement with Mayor Bill de Blasio for a wide-range of community investments and commitments tied to the construction of the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, which will provide protection for the East Side of Manhattan from the impacts of climate change and storm surge over the next century, according to scientific projections produced and re-affirmed by the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC). The resiliency portions of the project will be completed in 2023, with full park improvements completed in 2025.”
Among the commitments made:
“New York City Emergency Management, in coordination with the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency and DDC, will conduct further feasibility evaluation to understand whether there is a potential for Interim Flood Protection Measures along the project area. The results of this analysis will be shared with the community.”
Flood protection plan for East River waterfront heads to full City Council vote
Lawmakers will cast a final vote on the controversial plan on ThursdayLawmakers will cast a final vote on the controversial plan on Thursday
By Caroline Spivack Nov 12, 2019,
With City Council vote looming, NYCHA residents speak out against East Side stormproofing plan,
City Council Must Act Now to Protect the Lower East Side
Lynn Kelly, New Yorkers for Parks, Nov. 11, 2019
(Opinion) Don’t Kill East River Park for a Bad Flood Plan
by Pat Arnow, the Lo-Down, Nov. 2019
If the plan passes next week, our elected officials will have no power to gain answers or concessions from the city. The bulldozers will roll all over us next year.
OPINION: Carlina, listen to us on East River Park
by Pat Arnow, amNY, Oct. 2019
One person who opposes the plan said that a Rivera staffer “spent 15 minutes trying to convince me of how great the plan is, how much community input was taken and kind of brushing me off because I haven’t been in all the community board meetings to appreciate the scope and breath of that consultation with the community.”
It is inaccurate to imply that the community supports this plan. The caller might not have been at meetings, but I sure have, and if Rivera was listening, she heard a resounding No.
NYCHA tenants launch petition to stop current East Side flood plan
Gabe Herman, The Villager, Nov. 8, 2019
“Our homes are next to the East River Park,” the petition reads, “and we are concerned about the impact that the full-scale destruction of the park will have on our health and quality of life.”
High End Parks or Ball Fields? A Battle on Manhattan’s Waterfront, New York Times
Sophisticated plans are underway to redevelop the piers along the Hudson River. Young athletes, however, could lose out.
Seaport Section Remains Big Question Mark in NYC’s Flood Control Plans
By Neil deMause City Limits, Nov. 6, 2019
Includes plans for Battery Park. See, New York know how to build a resilient park: “To protect from storm surge, a raised bike path will be built in the inland part of the park, allowing most of the park to remain closer to river level, since a park can survive storm-surge flooding mostly unscathed.”
City Tech architecture professor Illya Azaroff, who has consulted with New York and other cities on climate resiliency plans. “In Shanghai, they’re looking at sponge cities 100 percent,” Azaroff says, replacing pavement with wetlands and creating “rain gardens” to retain water during flooding.
That’s bound to get local residents on edge, especially after a public planning process for the city’s sea-level resiliency plans immediately to the north ended in rancor and possible lawsuits. “In East River Park there was a whole four-year process where Rebuild By Design and the community spent years working on a park plan that was scrapped last year,” says Pat Arnow of East River Park Action. “They started pleading with us, ‘Oh, we’re listening to the community, we’re listening to our stakeholders.’ But they haven’t done any meaningful revisions based on community input. It’s a show.”
How trees can save us: They are the most effective, efficient, and immediate form of urban climate action—provided they’re planted where people need them most
By Alissa Walker, Curbed, July 10, 2019
Tree-planting can combat heat island effect by swapping hot hardscape surfaces for shaded permeable areas. But that’s not the only way trees cool cities. Water evaporation from leaves also reduces surrounding air temperatures. That’s why planting trees close enough together so they can grow to create a canopy is critical—shading paired with water evaporation can double the cooling benefits.
Trees also offer an additional countermeasure to extreme heat. Higher temperatures impact local air quality, as warm air traps toxic pollutants emitted by the burning of fossil fuels. This includes the fine-particulate matter from vehicles that creates especially dangerous breathing conditions during hot summer days. Trees can filter deadly air pollution, protecting people from chronic respiratory illness.
Trees can be the most effective, efficient, and immediate form of climate action a city can take—provided they’re planted where people need them most.
Concerns raised over big New York developer’s involvement in public projects
Mark Hallum, amNY Oct. 28, 2019
“From the new World Trade Center, to East Side Access, the East Coast Resiliency project at East River Park and the borough-based jails, AECOM has been rebuilding the city for a number of years with taxpayer funding, and the contracts are not lost on activist groups in the communities impacted.”
The East Side Coastal Resiliency project tapped AECOM to raise the East River Park by up to 10 feet before 2023, and the plan has residents worrying about accessing vital recreation space while the 2.4 miles of coastline from Montgomery Street to East 25th Street is built over.
Although residents were open in their objection to the plan at an Oct. 3 City Council hearing, the plan is not without political support from local politicians.
Pat Arnow from East River Park action expressed concern that the city was transparent in the way they have changed the plan for the park over the years. She feels that if the city cannot be a good neighbor, an international construction company like AECOM will not be either.
“They’re apparently just a huge construction company that has no interest in preserving our environment,” Arnow said.
Plan To Turn Staten Island Wetlands Into BJ’s Wholesale Club Moves Forward
BY ALEXIS SOTTILE, Gothamist Oct. 25, 2019
Letter to Councilmembers Rivera and Chin on ESCRP by Grand Street Dems, Oct. 23, 2019
$1.4B East River Park redesign is too short to prevent floods: expert
By Melissa Klein
via Lo-Down: On Thursday, Oct. 10, CB3’s parks committee will continue to discuss various aspects of the flood protection schemes along the East River. They’ll go over the draft final design, and receive an update about resiliency plans below Montgomery Street in the Two Bridges area.
East Side Coastal Resiliency Project leaders grilled in City Council hearing
BY MARK HALLUM, The Villager
EV grieve reply
facebook photo link Stacie Joy
New Indy movie (old Indy movie)
Post flyer with kid in fountain
Links to post, put out there:
Howard’s opinion piecehttps://www.thevillager.com/2019/09/opinion-a-green-new-deal-for-the-lower-east-side-and-east-village/#comment-96156
Battery Park City Resiliency project Oct. 2019
NYC will remake the East River waterfront to fight climate change. It may not be enough by Nathan Kensinger, Curbed, Oct. 17, 2019
As the ESCR project moves towards being accepted by the City Council, it is worth considering what exactly would be lost if this plan is put into action. A recent walk along the shoreline of the East River revealed a landscape filled with fishermen, rollerbladers, musicians, and family celebrations. This waterfront has been an important part of daily life for generations of local residents, and it could soon be demolished, to be replaced with an entirely different version of the coast.
Mayor Blows Off Resiliency Meeting With Pols For Walk In The Park
Mayor Bill de Blasio was spotted walking through East River Park.
By Sydney Pereira, Patch, Sept. 28, 2019
East Side Flood Protection Plan Gets Go-Ahead From City Planning
By Sydney Pereira, Patch Staff, Sept. 23, 2019
“…A hotly contested plan to bury and rebuild East River Park to protect the area from flooding was approved by the City Planning Commission.”
“Hundreds of people protested the project on Saturday, holding a mock funeral for East River Park as summer comes to a close, the New York Post reported.”
At the March and Rally to Save East River Park
EV Grieve, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019
Great coverage of our march and rally Saturday in EV Grieve. Photos by the talented Stacie Joy.
Protesters hold mock funeral to urge city to save East River Park
by Melissa Klein and Olivia Bensimon, NY Post, Sept. 21, 2019
NY1 coverage of East River Park ACTION march and rally
East Village Marches in Protest of Plan to Bury East River Park
Miliana Bocher, Contributing Writer, Washington Square News, NYU’s Independent Student Newspaper, September 23, 2019
“Living on the Lower East Side, where there’s more and more traffic, we’re getting more and more kids with asthma,” Rachel Bernstein said. “We need trees more than ever to help us breathe.”
The fight to save East River Park
video by Sophia Lebowitz with The Indypendent, Sept. 17, 2019
The wonderful character and characters in our park and the reasons East River Park ACTION opposes the terrible plan to demolish it.
Fighting For Their Park, LES Residents Challenge the City’s Climate Change Plans
by John Tarleton, Aug. 9, 2019, The Indypendent
“They’re asking us to sacrifice something that’s essential for our well-being and for a generation of children,” said…April Merlin, a mother of two who has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years and comes to the park regularly to jog and ride her bike.
The East River Park’s Past and Future
JULY 26, 2019, BY SAM MOSKOWITZ, VILLAGE PRESERVATION BLOG, An excellent history of East River Park
One of the most dramatic and lasting transformations of the neighborhood took place on July 27, 1939, when the first sections of the East River Park opened with great fanfare at an event presided over by Robert Moses and Mayor La Guardia.
The roughly 50-acre, 1.5 mile-long park, which stretches from 12th to Montgomery Streets, has served generations of locals. But after 80 years, it’s future is uncertain, as the City has decided to protect Lower Manhattan from rising sea levels and flooding by demolishing the current park and rebuilding it ten feet higher.
East Side Resiliency Plan Faces Key Hearing
By Jose Cardoso, City Limits, July 16, 2019
It was an accomplishment when the community of the Lower East Side and the city agreed on a plan for resiliency. The effort took around four years.
In the original plan, the city was going to build multiple berms, floodgates or a small shelf of land next to the FDR Drive. The purpose of this would have left the East River Park as a sponge when a major storm hits. Then park would’ve taken the hit instead of the nearby homes.
On September 28, 2018, however, the de Blasio administration issued a press release announcing it was pursuing a new plan for some of the East Side Resiliency Project. Some of the community plan survive intact. But about 70 percent of it changed.
…The city’s main reason for making the change was because they wanted to accelerate the construction process and have less traffic disruption.
Panic and protest over East River Park-closure plan
The Villager, June 13, 2019 by Gabe Herman
An article about the 70 people who testified passionately, almost all of them against the flood plan, to Community Board 3 Manhattan. Here are excerpts quoting two East River Park ACTIONEERS:
“… Ted Pender, vice president of Friends of Corlears Hook Park, said he was concerned about air quality from all of the soil that would be dumped in the area. He said people would breathe in particles, and that the area already had high asthma rates….”
“We deserve a safer plan, and don’t need another World Trade [Center] respiratory event in our city,” he said to more cheers.
“A local woman [Pat Arnow] echoed concerns about pollution from the project and about the area already having high asthma rates…”
“Don’t cut the heart out of our neighborhood,” she said, adding, “Let’s see you try this crap in a rich neighborhood.”
Unfortunately, the Board was not swayed. They voted overwhelmingly to accept the plan. They did request revisions that would make the plan less horrible, but the city has been unresponsive to community, and there’s no reason to think they’ll accommodate us in any way.
East Village and Lower East Side neighbors called for an independent review of the city’s east side resiliency plan.
by Sydney Pereira, Patch, June 12, 2019
“Closing up the parks is one of the stupidest ideas they’ve had in a long time,” said Dave Brasuell, who’s lived in New York City Housing Authority’s Jacob Riis Houses for 65 years. “It’s a good idea to fix the park, but they should do it in phases.”
Can New York Protect Itself from Rising Seas by Just Getting Bigger?
New York will swallow the East River before the East River swallows New York.
by HENRY GRABAR, Mother Jones, March, 2019
After years of community consultation and planning, the Lower East Side was all set for an 8-foot berm at the edge of East River Park, which would have protected ballfields and tennis courts (as well as the apartment buildings behind them) from storm surge. In September, the city abruptly canceled the plan, and after three months, it released its own vision: Bury the entire park under 10 feet of landfill, at an additional cost of $700 million. One advantage of doing that? It would avoid causing lengthy disruptions on the nearby highway, a city commissioner told the New York Times in January. The rising seas may force us to abandon air travel and eating beef, but they will not stop traffic on the FDR Drive.
BIG U (East Side Coastal Resiliency) UPDATE FOR JUNE 2019
Summing up, with links, where the project is now.
“To Save East River Park, the City Intends to Bury It”
by Joseph Hanania, January 18, 2019
A cogent article in the New York Times about the new plan and our community’s problems with it:
Other earlier news stories about East River Park are listed in the East River Alliance In The News page: East River Alliance News
Can Lower Manhattan survive climate change? New York’s sea level rise plan faces pushback
David Knowles, Editor, Yahoo News, June 4, 2019
“…in September, following years of planning and community meetings, the plan to begin the 10-mile barrier ring with an 8-foot berm bordering East River Park was abruptly halted so as to avert a lengthy shutdown of traffic lanes on the FDR Drive. In its place, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration announced the city would dump more landfill over the existing park, creating a narrower 10-foot high obstruction to keep seawater from again reaching the streets of the Lower East Side.”
City Plans Playground, Turf Upgrades On Manhattan’s East Side
by Sydney Pereira, Patch,
To make up for closing and flattening East River Park, other spaces will be spruced up, the Parks Department outlines in this story. “Parks says the department will execute the plans ‘quickly.’” Those promises are dubious, if history is any guide, as the article points out: “A complete transformation of Pier 42 has been riddled with delays for years, but a passive open space in the upland area of the pier will be open by 2021, Parks said.”
BQE and the road to New York’s future: Highways that split neighborhoods are things of the past
by Amy Chester, Rebuild by Design, NY Daily News, April 25, 2019.
“Rather than plow ahead with a rebuild of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway running through Brooklyn Heights, Mayor de Blasio set up a panel to discuss alternatives.”
“The panel was appointed only because the residents of Brooklyn Heights — one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city — greeted with a deafening “NO!” the city’s plan to turn the beloved Promenade into a temporary highway, spending more than $100,000 of their own money on consulting experts and lobbyists to fight this plan.”
Chester tells how other, less well-to-do neighborhoods beg for the same consideration and how other cities are covering highways.
East Side Storm Protection Project’s Public Review Moves Forward
“The city is still evaluating options to re-open portions of East River Park during construction and will re-route bike lanes inland,”
by Sydney Pereira, The Patch, April 5, 2019.
RIP East River Park
EV Grieve, March 21, 2019
“Someone placed memorial ribbons commemorating the life of East River Park: ‘We will miss your breeze, your trees, your plants and flowers and your birds and bees.’
Overhaul Of Storm Protection Plan Outrages Downtown Residents
By Sydney Pereira, The Patch, March 5, 2019
“EAST VILLAGE — A massive $1.45 billion project designed to avoid a repeat of the devastation Hurricane Sandy wreaked on Downtown Manhattan will close the East River Park for years — and has left many locals furious.
Nearly seven years after the storm left Downtown basements flooded and the South Street Seaport a virtual no-go area for months, the city has yet to break ground on the East Side Coastal Resiliency project that’s intended to protect residents from the impacts of climate change.”
“City Admits It Failed to Inform Residents on Overhaul of East Side Resiliency Plan”
by Rebuild by Design, January 30, 2019
“Did we communicate the change properly? No, and that’s on me and I take responsibility on that and I apologize,” said Lorraine Grillo, the commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction.
“LES & East Village Residents Feel ‘Duped’ By City’s Surprise Plan To Bury East River Park”
By Jake Offenhartz in Gothamist, Jan. 29, 2019
“We demand that the city work with us acre by acre, bench by bench, tree by tree,” said Harrington. “As you know, our community is resilient, our community is just, and our community is very, very loud.”
“Communities Push Back on BQE and East River Park Plans”
Brian Lehrer show, broadcast by WNYC, January 28, 2019
City Council Member Carlina Rivera discusses need to involve the neighborhood in decisions about how the park will be fixed.
“Flood of concerns over E. Side resiliency redo”
by Sydney Pereira, December 14, 2018.
A good outline of the the city’s proposed East River Park plan in The Villager.
Manhattan’s east side ‘resilient park’ plans get overhauled
City officials will move forward with an alternative plan for a part of the East Side Resiliency Project
by Ameena Walker, Curbed, Sept. 28, 2018
The city’s odd storm splurge: Mayor de Blasio wants to spend $700 million more on a resiliency plan. Why?
by Amy Chester and Tom Wright, NY Daily News, Oct. 18, 2018
One of our supporters unearthed this editorial written right after the East Side Coastal Resiliency plan was suddenly changed from a community/city-developed plan to the present East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) plan. In this opinion piece, Amy Chester of Rebuild by Design questions the need to build a destructive, double-the-cost levee with a park on top rather than maintain a resilient East River Park. Rebuild by Design worked on the community/city plan for years. Here she is shocked by the city trashing that plan.
We all feel the same way, but Chester has since changed her message. She now endorses the $1.45 billion ESCR. Maybe she could explain her turnaround, take us on her journey so that we could stop being tormented by the prospect of losing our park for years for what still looks to us like a bloated, unnecessary, pork barrel project.
Amy Chester, what happened to you?