Letter to the editor

Volume 16 • Issue 14 | September 2 – 8, 2003


No to Pier 40 marina

To The Editor:

The decision by the Hudson River Park Trust to defer the selection of a developer for Pier 40 may seem reasonable. The economic climate has been weak. It’s also true that none of the plans presented were perfect — indeed, some proposals were completely unacceptable to the community, like Oceanarium.

But it is equally true that the decision to operate the pier without a comprehensive plan is not only wrong, it is dangerous. The piecemeal addition of various temporary or interim uses is bad policy. As the placement of the temporary mooring field south of Pier 40 illustrates, uses overwhelmingly rejected by the community may creep in and become entrenched, as well as make an end run around community input process.

When the Army Corps of Engineers permits were first made public the inclusion of a mooring field and marina south of Pier 40 was universally opposed. However, the post-9/11 need to use Pier 25 for debris removal made moving the mooring field temporarily very reasonable and appropriate. Its continued operation on the south side of Pier 40 is beginning to look like an attempt to gain a permanent foothold for an already unwanted use.

The Trust is planning to search for an operator of Pier 40’s car parking facility, an allowable use under the controlling legislation, while nonconforming uses must vacate by Dec. 31, 2003. The current operator, C&K Properties, had the greatest amount of community support for their pier proposal, in large part because they have worked hard to extend public access, something the Chelsea Piers operators could learn. It appears as though that goodwill from the community may hurt them in their future dealings with the Trust.

The outcome that the public cannot allow is a piecemeal development of Pier 40, with a series of uses established on the pier under the guise of temporary placement when it’s likely they will emerge as permanent installations. The Trust has been getting over 50 percent of its revenue from Pier 40 and is unlikely to forgo much of that in the near term. Even if parking is the main usage, it remains to be seen what parameters the Trust presents to a new operator regarding parking fees in order to make up for the loss of the FedEx terminal and commuter bus parking.

We must speak with one voice to ensure that a comprehensive plan is developed for Pier 40 that includes active and passive recreation, both indoors and outdoors as well as long-term, affordable car parking for the community.

Deborah J. Glick

Glick is the Assemblymember for the 66th District

Chinatown problems

To The Editor:

I am a resident of Chinatown. Everybody is talking about rebuilding Chinatown because of 9/11, the SARS scare and now the blackout and saying this is what lost most of the tourism in Chinatown. As an Asian-American, I do not like to go to Chinatown myself. I walk through Chinatown everyday and I am disgusted with the smell. Most of the restaurants in Chinatown throw out their garbage on the sidewalk with the liquid leaking out of the bags. This stains the sidewalk leaving it black and sticky. It also leaves a nasty odor in the air. One the first steps in rebuilding Chinatown is having Chinatown clean itself up. We need to hold the storeowners accountable to clean their own sidewalk. No matter how much money Chinatown gets from these grants, tourists will not come if Chinatown is as dirty as it is. If you go to other neighborhoods with restaurants, the sidewalks do not have a black stain or any odor.

Sidney Lau

Block party, Mr. Mayor?

To The Editor:

I’ve noticed that the mayor has been mingling with the people lately in various photo-ops.  I would like to invite him to visit his constituents up the block—on Park Row at “Checkpoint Kelly” (the pop up barrier in front of Chatham Green).    Take a picture with us Mayor Mike.  I’m sure it would make a nice campaign poster for 2005.

Also, I had to chuckle when I saw the report that two individuals (wearing army fatigues) sauntered into the N.Y.P.D. crisis room on the night of the blackout.   It amazes me that security is so tight to protect the N.Y.P.D. parking lot but one can just walk right into Police Plaza.  Well, at least we know the N.Y.P.D. private cars were well protected.

The origin of the name  Park Row goes back to when this area was known as Newspaper Row.  Now, Park Row means just “Rows of Parked Cars.”

Rich Scorce