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Posts from the "Hudson River Park Trust" Category

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Hudson River Park Trust’s Pier 57 Will Add to Car/Bike Greenway Conflicts

Plans for Pier 57 include a two-lane driveway, in teal, separated from 11th Avenue by the Hudson River Greenway, in light green. Red arrows, added by Streetsblog, indicate crossings planned for 17th, 16th and 14th Streets. Image: Philip Habib and Associates

A plan from the Hudson River Park Trust to transform Pier 57 into a retail and food market will add 75 parking spaces and a two-lane driveway to the park between 17th and 14th Streets, creating new points of conflict where people biking on the Hudson River Greenway will have to contend with cars crossing the path.

The crossings will have traffic signals with separate phases for cyclists and drivers, and will include speed tables to bring crossing vehicles up to greenway level. Crossings at 14th Street, where traffic exits the driveway, and 16th Street, where southbound 11th Avenue drivers will use a dedicated turn lane to access the driveway, will both have speed tables.

The widest crossing, at 17th Street, where the Chelsea Piers driveway ends and the Pier 57 driveway will begin, will not have a speed table.

“At the end of the day, having any driveways crossing the greenway is a safety problem,” said Noah Budnick of Transportation Alternatives. As an alternative to adding new crossings on the Greenway, Budnick pointed to the Goldman Sachs driveway on West Street between Murray and Vesey Streets, where the bikeway and sidewalk run between the street-side driveway and the building entrance.

The Pier 57 project also includes 75 parking spaces on the basement level of the pier, with access from the driveway across the sidewalk. “There’s no need for parking there,” Budnick said, adding that it will only serve to generate traffic and “increase the number of people driving across the greenway.”

The Pier 57 spaces will not be open to the public and instead will be reserved for those with business at the pier, according to Christine Berthet, co-chair of Community Board 4′s transportation committee. “Contrast that with Chelsea Piers,” she said, with its large public parking garage.

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Fate of Pier 40 Could Be Determined Tomorrow



Tomorrow the Hudson River Park Trust is set to vote on a plan by the Related Companies to redevelop Pier 40 on W. Houston Street as a ~$600 million entertainment complex, which would include a permanent home for Cirque du Soleil and the Tribeca Film Festival, and would draw thousands of visitors per day.

Neighborhood residents say the Related plan would ruin the pier's current use as a park and would bring unwanted auto traffic to the area. According to Community Board 2 member (and Streetsie Activist of the Year) Ian Dutton, the Related plan includes over 10,000 daily vehicle crossings of the Hudson River Greenway. Pier advocates have formed a group called the Pier 40 Partnership, which put together a counter-proposal and has pledged to raise tens of millions of dollars toward a much needed rehab of the pier.

On Sunday, hundreds showed up to protest the Related plan and express support for keeping the pier for neighborhood use. The Times reports:

"We love Pier 40," said Mellora, 14. "We need the fields," added her mother, Bonnie Ansbro. "It builds a sense of community. We don't want these kids to travel all over the city to play."

"Keep the park a park," said Rich Caccappolo, president of the partnership, whose members include Craig Balsam, a founder of Razor & Tie Entertainment; Chris McGinnis, a real estate developer; and Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist. "It's not a circus, a performing arts center, or a huge destination that'll draw 1,000 cars."

The Villager, which probably has the most thorough coverage of the Pier 40 story, last week called on City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and other officials to step in on behalf of the neighborhood.

The community looks to [Quinn's] for support to save the pier from becoming an extravagant entertainment destination, and to help support the groups that will contribute to creating a low-impact but viable alternative. She needs to tell the Trust she supports the Partnership's alternative - and, in the strongest terms possible, that Related's proposal is unacceptable. Speaker Quinn, the community will remember your leadership on this pivotal issue.

Rendering from Pier 40 Partnership via The Villager

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A Year After Eric Ng’s Death, Greenway Hazards Remain Unfixed

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This piece was written by Transportation Alternatives:

On December 1, 2006, Eric Ng was riding his bike up the Hudson River Greenway. He was on his way to meet friends. He never made it, because a drunk driver named Eugenio Cidron took his life. After leaving a party at Chelsea Piers, Cidron got behind the wheel of his car and drove it on to the Greenway. Eugenio Cidron sped down the Greenway, a car-free path, for a mile at 60 miles per hour, before crashing into Eric Ng and killing him.

A little over a year ago, the government agencies that have something to say or do with the Hudson River Greenway, along with Transportation Alternatives, convened a task force to develop improvements that will reduce conflicts between drivers and Greenway users, but today little has changed on the ground. The Hudson River Greenway was never designed to have high volumes of cars and trucks crossing it. Regardless of whether or not government knew this when the biking and walking path was built, it knows it now and is often guilty of aiding and abetting the increase on driving across the path.

There are over a dozen City, State and Federal government agencies that have some say in what goes on along the Hudson River between Battery Park and 59th Street, but no one has taken charge. On the Greenway itself, it's a jurisdictional nightmare. The State DOT designed and built the Greenway and continues to be responsible for path redesigns. The City DOT maintains and times the traffic signals along the Greenway. The Hudson River Park Trust maintains the Greenway path. The NYC Parks Department tries to ensure design consistency between this Greenway and the ones it builds and maintains around the boroughs. There are myriad groups, including the City Economic Development Corp, the MTA, the Passenger Ship Terminal, Chelsea Piers and private ferry operators (who often drive buses across the path), that weigh in on the need for driveways across the Greenway.

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