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3Greenway Development: Brian Kavanagh Update

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  • Scott on the Spot
    Mar 8, 2012
      (X-posted to Transportation Alternative's Site too)

      I and another member of Common Ground-NYC (which has been a supported
      of Closing the Gap for years), met with Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh
      today. You may recall he is and was instrumental in putting together
      the Land swap deal with the U.N. that will - hopefully - someday Close
      the Gap for the midtown mile. Some things he told us:
      1. The AECOM contract was for a feasibility study only. This is now
      done, so AECOM is out of the picture, at least for now. Now, specific
      plans have to be drawn up, and that process has not formally begun,
      nor will it without further community involvement. The last charette
      does not count towards that.
      2. There is an 11-member group called EGAP that oversees the
      development of the esplanade. 5 members are appointed by the mayor.
      Kavanagh expects specific work to begin in the Fall, but says they
      have "timelines and deadlines" already at the U.N. There is a lot of
      bureaucracy though, including the General Assembly, which has to
      approve the work.
      3. Kavanagh recently visited the U.N. on this subject. The UNDC has
      already made a $3 million down-payment on the cost to convert Asher
      Levy Park to reclaim the parking lot for community use.
      4. Con Ed has paid the city for the 38-41 street pier rehabilitation
      (read: replacement) and is no longer directly involved. This does NOT
      cover remaking the pier into a park, though it may be accessible to
      the public without that. Parkifying the pier - essentially extending
      Glick Park north - will require additional money.
      5. The north end of the Gap - 53-59 - will be done before the
      midsection, but probably not before the Con Ed pier.

      As some of you know, Common Ground-NYC will be co-sponsoring the
      Second Annual Circle Manhattan by Bike Ride with East Coast Greenway
      Alliance (CCed here) this August 12 (August 19, rain date). The 32
      mile ride will take a slightly less detoured route starting at the dog
      run on 61 & East Greenway, traveling counter-clockwise 32 miles around
      Manhattan and ending at Glick Park with an optional final leg through
      the Gap back to the starting point. Lunch stop midway. This year we
      have one less detour at 71-81, and I'm hoping the work between the
      Maritime Ferry Terminal and the south end of the Seaport is done by
      then so we don't have to thread the narrow path with pedestrians
      there. And also the work from Basketball City at apx. Montgomery
      Street to Grand may be done (it is very nearly done now).

      If anyone knows when work on Andrew Haswell Green Park 59-61, will
      begin, please let us know.