Newly Completed 750-Mile Bikeway Begins in Battery Park City
Lower Manhattan latest landmark—the southern terminus of the longest multi-use state trail anywhere in the United States, marked by a new kiosk along the bikeway that runs parallel to West Street, near Battery Place—was unveiled on New Year’s Eve.
This is the starting-point of the Empire State Trail, an initiative announced by the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2017, the final missing link for which—a 23-mile section between Brewster and Poughkeepsie, in the Hudson Valley—was opened to the public in December.
Battery Park City Authority president B.J. Jones unveils the new kiosk (located on the bikeway parallel to West Street, near Battery Place) marking the southern terminus of the Empire State Trail.
“There’s no trail like it in the nation,” Governor Cuomo enthused in announcing the new amenity, “750 miles of multi-use trail literally from Manhattan to the Canadian Border, from Buffalo to Albany. Not only does it provide an opportunity to experience the natural beauty and history of New York, but it also gives New Yorkers from every corner of the state a safe outlet for recreation as we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. As we approach the holiday weekend, there is no better time than now to put on your mask and experience it for yourself.”
The new trail network stretches from Lower Manhattan to as far away as Buffalo, and the Canadian border, along the shores of Lake Champlain.
The Empire State Trail, which is open year-round, connects 20 regional trails to create a continuous statewide, signed route. It incorporates 58 distinct projects that were needed to complete the new network, including more than 180 miles of new off-road trail, and 400 miles of previously disconnected, off-road trails that were linked to eliminate gaps and ease engineering challenges, such as railroad and water crossings in high traffic areas.
Lunch in Wagner Park (video)
Community Gathers at the Doors of the Museum of Jewish Heritage to Condemn Racist Symbol
Yesterday afternoon, community members and elected officials joined with students, parents, and teachers from the Battery Park City School (PS/IS 276) in front of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust to forcefully condemn the Confederate flag that was found tied to the museum’s doors last week.
“When our neighbors experience an act of hate, we stand with our neighbors,” said PS/IS 276 teacher Mary Valentine.
She introduced principal Terri Ruyter, who read a letter that teachers had written as an expression of solidarity with their museum colleagues. In part, the letter said that the appearance of the Confederate flag, a symbol of white supremacy, was “an attack on all of us who stand for justice, peace and anti-violence.”
“Last week, as we spoke to our students about the events that took place in our nation’s capital, our students noticed the use of Confederate and Nazi symbols as part of what was alarming,” Ms. Ruyter read from the letter. “Listening to young people discuss this gave us hope. We’re going to continue to address what happened in our own neighborhood and our nation with our students.”
Joining the school community and museum officials were NYS Senator Brian Kavanagh, NYS Senator Brad Hoylman, NYS Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and Congressmember Carolyn Maloney.
Four Walls for a Few Months Longer
State Extends, Expands Eviction and Foreclosure Bans Credited with Saving Thousands of Lives
The State legislature has enacted, and Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed, a measure designed to provide relief for rental tenants and homeowners experiencing financial hardship as a result of ongoing pandemic coronavirus.
At a special session on December 28, the State Senate’s Democratic majority opened a special session to ratify the the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act. The measure, which had been passed earlier by the State Assembly, was signed into law on the same day by Mr. Cuomo.
During Pandemic and Revenue Shortfall, City Hall Prioritizes Plans for New Ferry
Amid a massive budget crunch that may require laying off several thousand City employees and slashing services, the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio has nonetheless found room in municipal coffers to move ahead with plans for a new subsidized ferry that will connect Staten Island with Battery Park City, and Midtown.
Construction began in December at the Staten Island site of a new landing for the planned service, which was originally slated to begin running before the close of 2020, but has now been pushed back to the summer of this year, due to logistical complications caused by the ongoing pandemic.
Questions about What’s In Store for Local Retail Point to Glum Answer: Not Much
Small businesses aren’t the only ones hurting in Lower Manhattan. Large national retailers are also shuttering their local stores in record numbers, according to a new report from the Center for an Urban Future (CUF), a public policy think tank that uses data-driven research to bring attention to overlooked issues. The analysis documents that the number of chain stores in Lower Manhattan decreased dramatically during the past 12 months, with a total of 63 national retailers shutting their doors permanently.
Confederate Battle Flag Found Tied to Front Door of Museum of Jewish Heritage
The “stars and bars” standard flown by the army of the Confederate States of America, as they battled to preserve slavery during the Civil War, was found tied to the front door of Battery Park City’s Museum of Jewish Heritage (MJH) on Friday morning.
Architects Propose to Reclaim Park Tribeca Lost Nearly a Century Ago
Community Board 1 (CB1) is supporting a plan to create a new park in Tribeca, within the Holland Tunnel Rotary, the six-acre asphalt gyre of exit ramps that connects traffic from New Jersey to Lower Manhattan’s street grid.
The husband-and-wife architecture team of Dasha Khapalova and Peter Ballman are proposing to create a constellation of small, street-level parks at the corners of the complex (bounded by Hudson, Laight, and Varick Street, as well as Ericson Place) which will double as entry points for a new, submerged central plaza. This plaza is anachronously known as St. John’s Park, although it has not been a publicly accessible space since the Holland Tunnel opened, 94 years ago.