I’m speaking for Friends of the Earth, an environmental group with a 45 year history of work to stop over-development in the Hudson River from Battery Park City North to West 59th Street, New York water and land now controlled by Hudson River Park Trust authority (HRPT).
The authority controls 60 acres of NY land and 490 acres of Hudson water, as part of a bad city/state deal after the defeat of the interstate highway and landfill development plan called Westway in 1985. NY elected officials do not control this valuable property, and no taxes flow from the Authority-dictated uses. New York is the loser while HRPT enriches its Robert Moses-style fiefdom, the view disappears, the important fisheries habitat is ruined, and storms threaten structures and people.
The current attempt to rewrite the rules is not the way to improve a bad situation. End HRPT authority control so New York regains control of its land and river. Tear down piers that need huge investment for underpinnings—like Pier 40. New Yorkers should not have to pay to create building sites for real estate moguls. The proposed draft legislation speaks of Pier 40—hilariously—as an “historical structure.” It is a dumpy industrial shed built in the early 1960s.
The Park is complete. The 60 green land acres require only inexpensive upkeep. Reject the baloney about needing to build offices, condos, big stores, etc., on piers that require huge investments in pilings.
Earlier HRPT legislation changes saddled taxpayers with payment for insurance claims in the HRPT territory. End the waste.
Preserve the River’s nationally important fisheries habitat. Stop misuse of 490 acres of water. Preserve priceless views. Avoid the dangers from increasing climate change storms like Sandy. Build on land if the building or sports field is needed.
Promoting building in and on the Hudson River benefits only the already rich real estate guys and wastes resources needed for schools, hospitals and mass transit.