City Announces $110 Million for Resiliency in Seaport
The City is allocating funds to shore up protections against sea-level rise and future extreme weather events between the Brooklyn Bridge and Pier 17.
Another piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is resiliency protection for Lower Manhattan appeared to fall into place on October 26, when Mayor Bill de Blasio announced $110 million in funding for protective measures covering a small stretch of the South Street Seaport waterfront. The Mayor’s announcement said, “the proposed project, which will be subject to appropriate review, will rebuild and raise the existing bulkhead and improve drainage in the area from approximately the Brooklyn Bridge to Pier 17.”
This vague wording leaves unclear whether the project will enclose all of Pier 17, or only the stretch of shoreline north of Pier 17 and south of the Brooklyn Bridge. Such ambiguity figures significantly in any cost-benefit analysis of the proposal. Enclosing all of Pier 17 would translate into protecting roughly 2100 feet of shoreline, which is the equivalent of spending $52,181 per linear foot, based a budget of $110 million. Protecting the shorter segment of waterfront between the northern edge of Pier 17 and the Brooklyn Bridge would mean covering 955 feet of shoreline, or the equivalent $115,183 per linear foot, or slightly less than $10,000 per inch.
Either scenario seems likely to include a rehabilitation of the waterfront deck that once housed the recently demolished New Market Building, which is located directly between Pier 17 and the Brooklyn Bridge. The New Market Building was torn down earlier this year, over the vehement objections of preservationists and community activists. The City’s stated rationale for allowing this demolition to proceed was that the municipal budget contained no funds to rebuild the deteriorating platform, which was estimated to cost approximately $10 million, and that the decay of the understructure created a danger of the New Market Building collapsing into the East River.
Given that the disintegration of the supporting deck appears to have been largely caused by the City’s decision, in the early 2000s, to stop maintaining the structure, the availability of $110 million in resiliency funds for this location, coming a few weeks after the demolition of the New Market Building was a fait accompli, may be worth noting.
“As we approach the nine year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, we must ensure that families, businesses, and communities in Lower Manhattan, one of the most densely populated parts of our City, are protected from the accelerating effects of climate change,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in announcing the allocation. “This project does just that, guaranteeing that some of the most vulnerable areas can continue to thrive for generations to come.”
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said, “this is a good start, but Hurricane Ida reminded us that we must act boldly and quickly to protect our City from the effects of climate change. Lower Manhattan is home to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and is a critical economic engine, and the Seaport District is a historic and cultural treasure. We need action from all levels of government to keep our City safe from storm surge and sea level rise.”
Community Board 1 chair Tammy Meltzer noted, “this is the result of years of collaborative planning toward how to protect the Financial District/Seaport areas from future climate change and extreme weather events.”
“Lower Manhattan’s transportation hubs and jobs power the region, and must be protected,” observed Jessica Lappin, president of the Downtown Alliance. “This is a critical, significant step and we hope it is only the beginning of an effort that continues throughout the next mayoral administration. Fortifying our most vulnerable waterfronts is essential to our City’s future.”
Catherine McVay Hughes said, on behalf of the Financial District Neighborhood Association, “this financial commitment is a great first step to protect several vulnerable blocks of the FiDi-Seaport shoreline. This vital work of rebuilding and raising the bulkheads, and improving drainage, along with much needed esplanade improvements, should be considered a down payment as we look forward to additional investment and commitment from the next administration and beyond. The world is waiting to see how the world’s greatest City confronts climate change.”
Preliminary plans call for rebuilding and raising the existing bulkhead, while also improving drainage. This project is one component of a broader strategy, slated to be outlined in the Financial District and Seaport Climate Resilience Master Plan, which is scheduled for release by the end of this year. This framework is widely expected to include plans for dozens of acres of landfill stretching for a mile between the Battery Maritime Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. That proposal, known as “Seaport City,” calls for creating new land, at a higher elevation than the current waterfront, and extending the shoreline by a margin of between 50 and 500 feet into the East River. It is estimated to cost approximately $10 billion.
To the editor,
re: The BroadsheetDAILY ~ 11/1/21 ~ Alliance of Elected Officials Seeks to Ground Helicopters
Thank you for covering this important story. Every day, except during inclement weather, those living or working under these helicopter flights suffer from the negative effects of excessive noise pollution. Noise pollution is a health issue; studies demonstrate increased risk of cardiac disease, higher blood pressure, endocrine system disorders and lowered cognition due to exposure to noise pollution.
Additionally, these nonessential tourist sightseeing helicopters are completely unnecessary. There are multiple observation decks in NYC that allow tourists to see NYC. These gas guzzling helicopters contribute to air pollution and during this climate crises “Code Red” era it makes no sense to allow fossil fuel based joy rides simply for social media selfies!
Commuter flights to the airports and the Hamptons (and other nearby locations) also needlessly pollute our skies. These 1 percenters who can afford this loud and polluting mode of transportation create suffering for the masses. This is truly a “tale of 2 cities” and Mayor DeBlasio could end the nonessential helicopter leases at our 3 Manhattan-based heliports today.
Ban this low-hanging fossil fuel fruit and improve our urban air quality, end excessive noise pollution, and protect New Yorkers quality of life and safety. Regarding the West 30th Heliport, it is especially egregious as it is located inside the Hudson River Park, next to the busy bike and recreational lane, kayaking and sailing schools, and near Little Island Park. Commuters do not need to take helicopters as multiple alternatives exist that are quieter, less polluting and safer. Readers, please sign our petition to support passage of the federal bill to ban said helicopters; we are a grassroots all-volunteer nonprofit with members in NYC, NJ, Westchester, and Long Island – see www.stopthechopnynj.org
To the Editor:
I took the Downtown Connection bus this morning around 11:30 am from the Whole Foods back to Gateway.
Two other passengers were on the bus and we were all masked. The driver was NOT masked, and when two of us implored him to put on a mask he replied “my boss said I don’t have to wear one.”
Hope you can find out why things have gotten this way.
Downtown Alliance’s response:
We are currently using a substitute fleet for our red Downtown Connection buses because our operator failed to obtain proper insurance for our primary vehicles. Instead of suspending the service, we decided to use these other vehicles, even though they are less than ideal. We are not happy and have obviously shared our frustration repeatedly with the operator. We will keep pushing them to resolve this as quickly as possible and may have to explore other options.
As far as any driver refusing to wear a mask, that is unacceptable. Full stop. If any rider observes unsafe or uncooperative behavior displayed by a driver please contact us directly at https://downtownny.com/about-us/contact/ with time, date, place and bus number (if possible) and we will take action.
Senior Vice President
Communications & Marketing
‘A Victory for Every Community in Lower Manhattan’
City Council Candidate Christopher Marte Wins Race to Succeed Margaret Chin
Christopher Marte won by a wide margin the race to succeed Margaret Chin and represent Lower Manhattan in the City Council, according to preliminary results posted online by the City’s Board of Elections.
As of a few minutes after midnight, with 98.5 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Marte had garnered 15,055 votes out of 21,083 ballots cast, or approximately 71 percent of the total. He was trailed by Independent candidate Maud Maron, with 3,041 votes (or 14 percent), and Republican contender Jacqueline Toboroff, with 2,945 votes, or 13 percent.
An extraordinary annual design competition and the most unique food charity in the world, Canstruction challenges teams of architects, engineers, and contractors to build sculptures made entirely out of unopened cans of food. The large-scale structures are placed on display and later donated to City Harvest for distribution to those in need. Free.
What better time than Saturday mornings to practice your art Participants are expected to bring their own drawing and painting supplies, including drawing boards and containers of water if they are planning to paint. BPCA will supply drawing paper and watercolor paper only. Free.
Antiques. Jewelry. Art. Vintage goods and local designers. A beloved street fair makes the move from the Lower East Side to the Seaport. Kicking off on Labor Day Weekend, Hester Street Fair is now in the neighborhood. Come and browse the stalls. Snack. Music by Wade and Sammy. Tightly curated. Wildly creative.
The tall ship Wavertree, the lightship Ambrose, and the tug W.O. Decker are open to the public. Explore Wavertree and Ambrose while they are docked; cruise New York Harbor on W.O. Decker. Wavertree and Ambrose visits are free; Decker prices vary. Check website for times, prices and other details.
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Kavanagh Pushes for Ban on Natural Gas in New Buildings
State Senator Brian Kavanagh led a Monday rally of environmentalists at City Hall Park on Monday to urge passage of the All-Electric Building Act, a proposed law that he is sponsoring in the upper house of the State legislature. This measure would prohibit the issuance of permits for the construction of new gas-powered buildings starting in 2023, along with conversions of existing buildings starting next year, except in cases where builders or owners can demonstrate that “there are truly no feasible alternatives.”
Alliance of Elected Officials Seeks to Ground Helicopters
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has brought together a coalition of City, State, and Federal elected officials from New York and New Jersey to fight the rampant proliferation of tourist helicopter flights over the greater metropolitan area. To read more…
What’s Up, Dock?
Planning Moves Ahead for Elevating Battery Waterfront
With the ongoing design process for the Battery Wharf resiliency project now 50 percent complete (and construction slated to begin in late 2022), Community Board 1 (CB1) is weighing in with concerns and ideas about how to refine the vision for raising the level of the waterfront esplanade in the Battery to protect the historic park against future sea-level rise and extreme-weather events.
Darkest mornings, brightest stars—crescent moon dawn, then dusk, with planets
The week of November 1 through 6 is the best time all year to begin each day under heaven’s brightest stars and constellations – without waking up especially early. In morning darkness at 6am, through twilight, close to 7 o’clock, a view into the cosmos is ours. Find the brightest star in Earth’s skies, Sirius the Dog Star of Canis Major, in the southwest, alluring even through windows. Sirius is still brilliant at 6:40am and visible until close to 7am as the sky brightens and all other stars have faded. Until 6:30, gaze counterclockwise from Sirius to spot Rigel of Orion the Hunter, then Aldebaran of Taurus the Bull, up to Capella the Goat Star and around to Procyon the Little Dog Star. These distant suns and constellations, along with the slightly dimmer Gemini constellation, compose the Winter Circle. Refer to the illustration, above.
Alliance Aims to Encourage Storefront Startups in Lower Manhattan
The Downtown Alliance is offering a package of free incentives and support services, valued at $10,000, to help new retailers and restaurants seeking to open in Lower Manhattan. The Jump Start program is designed to give small businesses a better chance at success in both the physical and online marketplace, by offering up to 20 eligible applicants a customized strategic launch plan, along with four interactive consultation sessions. Services will include advice on everything from driving foot traffic to creating a successful e-commerce platform.
1940 – Franklin D. Roosevelt is the first and only President of the United States to be elected to a third term.
1138 – Lý Anh Tông is enthroned as emperor of Vietnam at the age of two, beginning a 37-year reign.
1605 – Gunpowder Plot: Guy Fawkes is arrested.
1768 – Treaty of Fort Stanwix, the purpose of which is to adjust the boundary line between Indian lands and white settlements set forth in the Royal Proclamation of 1763 in the Thirteen Colonies.
1831 – Nat Turner, American slave leader, is tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in Virginia.
1862 – American Indian Wars: In Minnesota, 303 Dakota warriors are found guilty of rape and murder of whites and are sentenced to hang. 38 are ultimately executed and the others reprieved.
1872 – Women’s suffrage in the United States: In defiance of the law, suffragist Susan B. Anthony votes for the first time, and is later fined $100.
1895 – George B. Selden is granted the first U.S. patent for an automobile.
1911 – After declaring war on the Ottoman Empire on September 29, 1911, Italy annexes Tripoli and Cyrenaica.
1914 – World War I: France and the British Empire declare war on the Ottoman Empire.
1940 – Franklin D. Roosevelt is the first and only President of the United States to be elected to a third term.
1968 – Richard Nixon is elected as 37th President of the United States.
1990 – Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the far-right Kach movement, is shot dead after a speech at a New York City hotel.
2006 – Saddam Hussein, former president of Iraq, and his co-defendants Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, are sentenced to death in the al-Dujail trial for their roles in the 1982 massacre of 148 Shi’a Muslims.
2007 – China’s first lunar satellite, Chang’e 1, goes into orbit around the Moon.
1615 – Ibrahim of the Ottoman Empire (d. 1648)
1854 – Paul Sabatier, French chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1941)
1855 – Eugene V. Debs, American union leader and politician (d. 1926)
1893 – Raymond Loewy, French-American engineer and designer (d. 1986)
1941 – Art Garfunkel, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1943 – Sam Shepard, American playwright and actor (d. 2017)
425 – Atticus, archbishop of Constantinople
1942 – George M. Cohan, American actor, singer, composer, author and theatre manager/owner (b. 1878)
1946 – Joseph Stella, Italian-American painter (b. 1877)
1979 – Al Capp, American cartoonist (b. 1909)
1989 – Vladimir Horowitz, Ukrainian-American pianist and composer (b. 1903)
1991 – Robert Maxwell, Czech-English captain, publisher, and politician and father of Ghislaine Maxwell (b. 1923)