Another Sign of Progress for Brooklyn Greenway

During an epic bike tour of the city yesterday that stretched from the Bronx to Brooklyn, StreetFilms’ Clarence Eckerson, Jr. took these shots of the future site of Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Brooklyn Greenway, which received a vote of confidence from Community Board 1 on Tuesday, will run through the park along the edge of the pier. The demolished structures on the right were still standing when Clarence shot this video last year, documenting a tour of the Greenway’s path.

Says Clarence: "Made me realize with all the sadness of congestion pricing failing, there IS plenty of great stuff going on in the city."

A tighter shot comes after the jump.

  • niccolo machiavelli

    You do the celebrating for me clarence ill be mourning the loss of those jobs and all the construction material that will now come in by truck.

  • The greenway is an exciting accomplishment that will be one of the boldest public projects in the city. It deserves and needs great waterfront destinations to get people to use it. Unfortunately, the private development and passive park design that are currently planned represent another form of privatization.

    http://www.pps.org/great_public_spaces/one?public_place_id=933

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2006/08/28/the-suburbanization-of-nycs-waterfront/

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Yeah, but why couldn’t you leave the docks and ride your bikes by the docks and look at the boats. Its 50 foot of deep water draft. Useful for more than kayaks.

  • Jason A

    As a cyclist, I think it’s great to see any additional bike infrastructure get developed in the city, but I have reservations about completely transforming all of our coastline into an overdeveloped playground.

    I suspect we may be grossly undervaluing our waterfront and its potential role in the future to import the food and vital goods we need.

    This past week we’ve already begun to hear about slow downs and strikes among anxious truckers protesting high fuel prices. This is not going to go away. Possessing inadequate freight rail infrastructure, nyc remains especially vulnerable to the vicissitudes of the trucking industry.

    As Niccolo hints at, dock work is one of few high-paying, middle class jobs that can never be exported out of the city. Should we be turning our backs on a rare opportunity to support the type of job that has almost completely fled ny? Or should we fill up all of our coastline with parks, condo towers and Carnival cruise ships?

  • Grace P

    Sure, let’s celebrate riding bikes along the waterfront, but let’s also mourn the loss of “park” to the luxury condos that will own this land. Like Battery Park City, this will be an esplanade (only). But unlike Battery Park City, it was never, ever planned to be a housing development. The good people of Brooklyn worked hard for decades to get a real park – with lots of recreation, year round, as well as lots of green. Now all we will have is a bike-way, a few basketball courts oh and fake wet-lands (to make sure no one sticks around in the summer – mosquito-city). As planned, none of the stuff people said they wanted – no pool, no ice rink, no indoor center. 1250 homes right inside a public park. For shame.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Yeah Grace, 1250 homes, private sector Real Estate development, inside a public park that displaced working waterfront on the finest natural port on the east coast. This was a perfect example of how feel good park politics is used as the point of the spear to drive out industry. Robert Moses classic.

  • Hilary

    Not like Robert Moses at all. There was no greater champion of parks than Moses. He created and preserved more parkland from commercial encroachment than anyone else I can think of. And whatever you think of his projects, they were environmentally sound — high density in order to create….parkland.
    It is astounding how knee jerk the use of Moses has become.. I think even Caro would agree!

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    I don’t know what Caro would think. Density can create space, space both industry and parks need. I guess it depends on which side of the coin you look at, did Moses use parks to build parkways and expressways or did he use parkways and expressways to build parks. In this part of Brooklyn he ripped down homes, churches, schools and factories, separating the neighborhoods from the best natural port on the east coast. And he took most of the rest of the Brooklyn shoreline to build a drive-by and called it a park, eternally separating us from the water. And the housing that sprang up in the hinterlands of Brooklyn, Queens and Nassau was eternally car-dependent and lower density. And where did the opposition to congestion pricing come from in the city but those low density car-dependent precincts? Most of Brooklyn shoreline is covered by road, to take the small part that is left for maritime uses and turn it in to parks had a certain popularity with the gentrified neighborhoods, who wants a port for a neighbor when you can have a park? Only the people who work there and those who value maritime uses.

  • Larry Littlefield

    (he took most of the rest of the Brooklyn shoreline to build a drive-by and called it a park).

    To see the post Moses alternative, look to Staten Island south of Great Kills park. Virtully no water access for the public. Just a bunch of custom homes for a few people.

    It has become a common idea in city planning that a public street paralell to the water creates a public beach, whereas streets dead ending near the water create a private beach.

    Of course, there is a difference between Fr. Cappadino Boulvard and the Belt Parkway. But I don’t think the alternative to Moses was Cappadino Blvd.

    As for the port, it doesn’t seem likely to be that the end game, Moses or not, would be to have a land intensive facility such as a port in a dense part of the city, and having a port serving the whole U.S. on an island. On the other side of the contitent, the port moved from SF to Oakland for the same reason.

  • Hilary

    Nicolas, I agree with you about the desirability of preserving – even cultivating – NY’s working waterfront wherever possible. I take issue only with your misidentification of the guilty party.
    Let’s look at the case of Manhattan and the West Side Improvement (not conceived, but carried out, by Moses) which included both the elevated West Side Highway below 72nd St. and the Henry Hudson Parkway north of it. The elevated highway was a valiant effort to accommodate maritime commerce, by lifting traffic out of the way of the human and freight traffic delivered to the piers trying to to reach the trains and cross streets. Unfortunately it did not succeed in saving the port. To the north, where there was little commerce but the railroad had a stranglehold on river access — all the more so when it went to electric tracks – Moses doubled the area of Riverside Park, extending it to the river’s edge, linked it to Ft. Washington and Inwood and gave those neighborhoods new access, and covered the railroad itself with park.
    You are right about the eventual impact of the road, but I would be careful about blaming Moses for it. Sloppy history blames him for things that should be laid at the feet of other entities – the Port Authority, real estate developers, transportation agencies and many others. If Transportation Alternatives succeeds in now opening the parkways to trucks (raising the height of bridges used for pedestrian and bike access), I would include them among the parties responsible for sabotaging the city’s 100-year-old aspirations for an accessible waterfront – both recreational and working.

  • Hilary

    Two things are necessary for a waterfront park: public land and public access. The first generally requires tremendous political clout and will, which is why Moses deserves credit for successfully capturing and creating so much open space for public use. Access, on the other hand, is generally done project by project, each of which is vulnerable to being hijacked for other purposes. An egregious example is the Port Authority’s expansion of the George Washington Bridge and destruction of so much waterfront access that Moses had created. But much of the loss of access is the result of oblivious citizenry and opportunistic construction.

  • You are right about the eventual impact of the road, but I would be careful about blaming Moses for it. Sloppy history blames him for things that should be laid at the feet of other entities – the Port Authority, real estate developers, transportation agencies and many others.

    True enough. For those who have read The Power Broker and are itching for more Bob-related history, I heartily recommend Bob Fitch’s The Assassination of New York. He goes into the loss of the port in depth and places blame not only on the Port Authority, but on anti-Moses heroes like David Rockefeller, and our current allies the Regional Plan Association.

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