Letters, Week of July 31, 2013
No NID is a bad idea for park
To The Editor:
It is rare to hear an argument against more open space for Downtown. Most people I encounter want more — more fields, more playspaces, more bike paths, more everything. One visit to Tribeca’s Pier 25 on a weekend or Washington Market Park after school lets out will show you that in fact we don’t just want it — we need more open space Downtown.
An argument against the Hudson River Park Neighborhood Improvement District (NID) is an argument against more open space. Gone are the days when government builds new parks on a grand scale without having a revenue stream to support them. The NID is good planning for a neighborhood that uses its parks like no other. The NID allows neighbors to proactively support a resource they need and love. The yearly cost of the NID to Downtown residents is very small relative to the value of the park in our lives.
Hudson River Park can live within its current means, yes. It does that now. But the job we have as stewards of the park is to plan for the future, not just to get by for the time being. Two-thirds of the park’s budget goes to structural maintenance, security, lights and utilities, and cleaning.
So to continue to run the park on our current income means we won’t be able to complete the park’s full construction, or worse, commercial development where park should be. It also means, as time goes on, that the park will no longer look like the one we know today, or be maintained or policed the way it is today, as costs for everything from security staff to power to garbage removal go up. Already I have heard suggestions not to build the remaining sections of the park that are still uncompleted, to save maintenance costs. This is a shortsighted, uninspired and, frankly, depressing notion.
Perhaps another solution will come along in the next several years. Or perhaps by then we will have missed a chance to ensure a strong future for the park we all depend on.
Frederick is a board member, Hudson River Park Trust
Enjoy your ‘blood condos’!
To The Editor:
Re “Former Hospital Carved Up, Will Become Greenwich Lane Condos” (news article, July 17):
I still wonder how long buyers will be haunted by the ghosts of a hospital in these blood condos. One more example of the arrogance of the Rudin family and their Rudin real estate company is, again, that they change what they said was being built.
State Senator Holyman is correct in saying that the decrease of the number of these new residents will have a favorable effect on the integration into the neighborhood of these rich folk and lower the disruption on existing community resources.
A smaller hospital with a trauma level-one ER could have been built either on the hospital site or across the street on the O’Toole site without being in violation of the landmark ruling.
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