Community Board 1 wants this land devoted to public uses, under the plan for Brooklyn Bridge Esplanade, which is currently in the design phase.
Community Board 1 (CB1) is lobbying to recover for public use multiple acres of taxpayer-owned land that the City has monetized for decades as parking facilities. The space at issue is located beneath the FDR Drive viaduct, along the East River waterfront, in the South Street Seaport neighborhood.
At the March 26 meeting of the Board, Paul Goldstein, who chair’s CB1’s Waterfront, Parks and Cultural Committee, noted that, “we’re recommending elements we want to change in improvements to the East River Esplanade, that is in the design phase as we speak.”
Larges stretches of publicly owned land beneath the FDR Drive viaduct are currently set aside for parking.
“There is paid parking that the City has had for years and years, between Brooklyn Bridge and Peck Slip,” he continued. “The question is should we make an effort to recapture that parking space so that this community — which is so short-changed on recreation space — can perhaps utilize that space?”
After Mr. Goldstein’s summary, CB1 voted to enact a resolution calling upon the City, “to minimize the footprint of parking under the FDR drive from Peck Slip to the Brooklyn Bridge so that the space may be recaptured for public open space.”
Community Board 1 also recently renewed its call to implement the plan to create public access to the East River, to be known as Brooklyn Bridge Beach.
This follows a resolution enacted by CB1 in February that called for the City to resurrect the related proposal for a Brooklyn Bridge Beach, which the de Blasio administration has repeatedly refused to implement, in spite of the fact that $12 million was earmarked for the plan in 2013.
The Board also additionally endorsed a proposal for an innovative new design for a swimming basin, which utilizes filtered river water, called +Pool.
The February resolution also endorsed a plan to create a +Pool beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, using an innovative design that filters river water and pumps it into an enclosed swimming area, surrounded by floating platforms.
With a budget of $21 million, the Brooklyn Bridge Esplanade project seeks to connect the waterfront to adjacent neighborhoods, while providing a continuous linear park and bikeway, and utilizing resilient materials.
The timeline for this initiative calls for completion of design work by autumn of this year, followed by construction, beginning in the winter of next year, and finishing up in 2021. This schedule is somewhat rigid, in that most of the budget comes from federal funds, which will be withdrawn if not spent within 24 months.