It’s a matter of life and breath.
Opponents of the $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency plan will hold a protest march through the neighborhood on Sun., April 18.
“Save our park! Save our lungs! Save our neighborhood!” a press release for the event exhorts.
Marchers will gather at noon in Tompkins Square Park, in the semicircular plaza with the Hare Krishna Tree, then make their way to East River Park, via the Sixth St. bridge over the F.D.R. Drive, for a rally at the park’s amphitheater in Corlears Hook at 1:30 p.m.
Passionate advocates will give remarks and performances, including Kiara Williams of Warriors in the Garden; Emily Johnson, a Lower East Side dancer and choreographer; East Village poet Eileen Myles; Alicia Boyd of Movement to Protect People; Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Choir; DJ Ralphy CBS and others.
Participants are asked to wear face masks and maintain social distance.
The group East River Park ACTION is currently suing to obtain the full unredacted “value engineering study” that compared the feasibility of the E.S.C.R. plan to an earlier, lower-impact one. This V.E.S. report was used to justify the current project, which would bury the entire park under 8 feet to 10 feet of new infill dirt to raise it above the floodplain, and which would close the park in phases over five years. The previous plan would not raise the entire park but would use less-drastic measures, like berms, to control flooding.
The de Blasio administration denied the report’s existence for two years and only recently released the study, albeit in heavily redacted form. Last week, amid pressure from the lawsuit and growing calls from politicians, the city made more parts of the report publicly viewable that had previously been blacked-out.
Tear down the FDR drive instead of demolishing East River Park. Asthma rates at NYCHA are amongst the highest in the city. This road kills the neighborhood, has very minimal value to the city (no commercial traffic can use it, no public transportation). Same way that the West Side Highway was demolished and the Hudson River Park was created can be the fate of the FDR drive.
There are many users of the city’s highways and roadways that might think you are narrow minded and selfish. While you demonize private vehicles and find bicycling suitable for your personal needs, you are in a very small minority of NYC commuters, so please don’t foist your preferences on the much larger majority that is either unable or unwilling to pedal around and are dependent upon our vital network of streets and roads. Please don’t conflate the noble effort to protect East River Park with your personal agenda.