Thursday, October 3, 2019

Phasing is Not the Answer #SaveEastRiverPark, Hearing Today

Wendy says  #SaveEastRiverPark

Hello ACTION Neighbors,
Please come and testify today
Thursday, Oct. 3, 1:00 p.m. 

City Hall
City Council Subcommittee on Landmarks, Sitings, and Dispositions Hearing on the East Side Coastal Resiliency project, also known as the “Preferred Plan Option 4” or the “Kill the Park Plan.”

It's our last chance to tell elected officials to change the plan, and phasing isn't the change we're looking for. (More below on that.)

Sign in to testify. You'll have two minutes to talk. Say what's wrong with the plan, what you want, and why the park is important to your life. 

There will be NO Press Conference before the hearing. We invoked the mercy rule because it’s going to be a long day at City Hall. And rainy. 

More details about testifying at City Hall below,
but first,

Let's talk about phasing. 
“The community spoke and we listened,” said Mayor de Blasio in a press release Wednesday. It said the city is going to give us the phased construction we've been asking for. 
Not so fast. That's not what we asked for. Under this revised plan, the whole of East River Park will still be demolished—just more slowly and painfully.  
Phased construction = phased destruction.  
Mayor deBlasio and elected officials: Hundreds of us have testified and written and called and demonstrated for almost a year asking you to preserve as much of our park as possible as a resilient coastline. We asked you to listen when we said there was a better plan. We asked you to build the flood protection along the FDR, not put a giant wall on the river. We asked you to cover the FDR and think of new, climate friendly solutions for our neighborhood, not this destructive project that will just speed climate change. And we still need interim protection.

We have begged and demanded a better plan that will keep open and preserve much of our park because we are a neighborhood of many people of modest means who need our park for our mental and physical health. East River Park is not a tourist park, and it shouldn't be. It's Our Park! and we need it to breathe and play and live. 
Here’s something really worrisome from the press release: “Esplanade areas will follow a separate construction schedule and will be made available as construction permits.” That sounds like the whole promenade will be closed while the city builds an eight-foot floodwall. We’ll be in a riverside park and not see the river for years, but kids will be playing ball while the noisy pile driving is going on. That’s some pretty nasty phasing. 
I posted objections to the flood control plan before the mayor’s new version of the phased plan came out, but, unfortunately, in the new plan, the problems are still the same. See 11 Reasons Why It's a detailed outline that shows why phasing is not the answer.
OK, back to the hearing today: 
You can bring in signs no larger than 8 1/2 x 11″ (copy paper size). Print in large letters so the committee members and press can read the signs. NO! is good. PHASED CONSTRUCTION = PHASED DESTRUCTION (on two sheets, and give one to your neighbor). SAVE EAST RIVER PARK! COMMUNITY OVER CARS! Bring your Save East River Park sashes to wear, too.
While you only have two minutes to speak, you can also submit  longer written testimony. It's good to bring three copies (though just one is ok) and give them to the sergeant-at-arms at the table in the front. 
The more people we have protesting and testifying, the more our elected officials will have to re-think their complicity in the destruction of this wonderful, unique jewel in our neighborhood.
If you cannot come, you can still submit written testimony. Email the testimony to within three days of the hearing. Include: Date of the hearing: Oct. 3, 2019
Subject of the hearing: East Side Coastal Resiliency ULURP Committee Name: Subcommittee on Landmarks, Sitings, and Dispositions
See you tomorrow. And then, see you in the park. 
Whose Park?
Pat Arnow
East River Park ACTION
Facebook East River Park Action

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