In a nutshell: The Queens waterfront now consists of only Hunters Point and Rockaway and a shitload of city money will be spent on improving them because what the city really needs is more development in those areas. Maspeth, Astoria, East Elmhurst, Flushing, Whitestone, College Point, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, Howard Beach and Broad Channel no longer are considered waterfront.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Queens waterfront = LIC & Rockaway
Posted by Queens Crapper at 12:38 AM
Labels: Bloomberg, LIC, Rockaway, waterfront
Thanks for highlighting this report, which must be updated and revised each decade. Could you provide some your thinking behind the "nutshell?" I didn't see it as a purely Hunters Point/Rockaways document, but we come at it from different perspectives. I tend to focus on maritime industry, transit, environment, and recreational access. Not as much on real estate development (and its errors), which I respect is the main focus of this blog.
Erik, to put it simply:
The other neighborhoods are not even mentioned in this document. Hunters Point/LIC and Rockaway are mentioned several times as the sites of new parks, because they want to encourage development there. Mind you, not because they want to prepare infrastructure in advance for the people moving in, but because that's where there's money to be made.
Crappy, with all we read on this blog, do we really want the city to set it sights on the northern Queens neighborhoods for "development" (shitty glass towers)?
I'm glad the city is only focusing on these two neighborhoods.
Do we want the city to improve our communities? Yes. Just about every neighborhood suffers from pollution, is lacking in parks and others quality-of-life amenities. We put money into the city coffers, why does it spend it where they want newcomers and where we DON'T live?
Some areas definitely received more emphasis, but sites all along the waterfront were noted potential locations for new parks, amenities, transit links, and water access -- and yes, development.
I would have loved to see more access points and more creativity, For example, the Netherlands has thriving small-scale neighborhoods with tree-lined streets full of shops and cafes that reach right down to the water. At that point there's a public dock. This is true for great cities like Amsterdam and medium sized towns elsewhere, like my ancestral region of Fryslan:
Please forgive the obscene amount of bicycles. ;)
Anyway, I agree with you that more need to be done to improve existing neighborhoods where infrastructure can be expanded to include new residents. People are attracted to people -- they want tradition, community, and diverse architecture and stores. New developments tend to be generic and sterile.
I do want development on the waterfront, as opposed to dumping and parking lots. But development needn't be formulaic.
I should add, the greatest fault I found with this study is that proposals for dealing with storm surges in hurricane flood areas under development aren't adequate to the challenges posed by sea level rise and global warming.
"Some areas definitely received more emphasis, but sites all along the waterfront were noted potential locations for new parks, amenities, transit links, and water access -- and yes, development."
Sorry, I don't see where you got that from reading the posted document. The neighborhoods I mentioned were completely left out so far as I can tell.
Quick note: I don't see one of my comments posted.
As for other areas, they are i the maps. I have the hard copy and will check the online version later today.
"Just about every neighborhood suffers from pollution, is lacking in parks and others quality-of-life amenities."
Yet you are adamantly against the city installing bike lanes (anywhere, it seems) which theoretically could help reduce pollution and facilitate a safer way for people to bicycle which last I checked was a popular form of recreation.
We have lots of good park space here in northern Queens, I'm not sure what you base your claim on.
"Yet you are adamantly against the city installing bike lanes (anywhere, it seems) which theoretically could help reduce pollution and facilitate a safer way for people to bicycle which last I checked was a popular form of recreation."
Theoretical is all it is. We have been through this before. Bike lanes take people off mass transit and do nothing to clean the environment. As for being safer to ride the bike, this has nothing to do with the topic at hand, which is access to the waterfront.
Erik, I fished your comment out of the spam folder. Comments with links sometimes get sent there automatically.
"We have lots of good park space here in northern Queens, I'm not sure what you base your claim on."
This is about creating new park space and opportunities for access to the water. Last time I checked, the entire northern Astoria waterfront was taken up by power plants and sewage plants.
"Last time I checked, the entire northern Astoria waterfront was taken up by power plants and sewage plants."
This might be the reason those areas are not included in the plan. You can't exactly just move those somewhere else, and they are not exactly pleasant to be next to for recreation.
Bayside has at least a couple of miles of shoreline access that is all recreational. Joe Michael Mile, and Fort Totten (now a park), also connected to the park under the Throgs Neck Bridge, and to Alley Pond Park on the South side (which is also connected to Cunningham park, which connects to Flushing Meadows through the Kissena Corridor). So from Utopia Parkway in Whitestone, you can get to Creedmore or Flushing Meadows almost exclusively through open park land, much of it along the waterfront. I can't believe they ignored us like that.
Actually, it would be easier to work out a deal for the power plants to allow access to the waterfront through their property than to build parks on brownfields in LIC, but who am I to suggest that?
And there was no way to improve amenities at Fort Totten? We have to spend all our tax money on dog runs for tower people? How about College Point and Maspeth? They are going to be handling Queens' garbage. What are those communities getting in return? How about Broad Channel? Wouldn't it have been helpful and yes, just, to have included something in the plan to help prevent the flooding that happens there all the time?
And how about the fact that the entire south shore of Rockaway is already a park? Why are they getting more?
Speaking of Fort Totten, just think - this money could have gone toward the historic buildings in Fort Totten that are in dire need of repair. Then they could have been used by community groups for different purposes and brought more people to the water. They are the city's responsibility yet they let them languish in that condition while they focus on providing amenities to people who don't even live here yet. Pathetic.
Even better - notice how this is a plan through 2030, so in the next 20 years, the only innovative things the city will commit to provide along the waterfront is for 2 Queens neighborhoods and the rest can shrivel up and die.
Notice how two years ago, the Parks Department commissioned a study to restore and daylight the buried section of Flushing River.
In the mayor's waterfront Action Agenda, Flushing River was conspicuously left out.
When we consider the leaps and bounds in improvements that have taken place on the Bronx River, Harlem River, Gowanus Canal, and Newtown Creek, we should ask- when will Flushing River get some respect?
In invite the readers to check out my Flushing River web page and learn about its history.
@Sergey: I submitted specific ideas about the Flushing River. I was sad to see them ignored.
I strongly agree that daylighting it would be wonderful. I would like it to be navigable for very shallow boats (especially kayaks, canoes, and rowboats) all the way into the lakes of Flushing Meadows/Corona Park.
The section south of the Roosevelt Avenue bridge should be a wetlands restoration. North of the bridge I respect is already industrial and in some sections suitable for development.
I also would like real water access, such as a town dock and kayak launch, along the planned promenade. Boat storage too. Flushing MUST be a waterfront town again. It lost so much of its character and the logic of its design when it lost its relationship to the water.
Absolutely Correcto Crappy!
As far as Queens is concerned, this is simply yet another enhancement for waterfront development.
All they talk about is putting lipstick on the brownfields of Hunters Point, and nothing about the wall of towers planed for Ravenswood and Astoria.
That silly little concrete skirt at Shore Towers is what the waterfront is really getting while the Hudson is getting a public park all the way up to Albany.
Of course, CB1 and CB2 plays the role of punching bags for developers and the polite waterfront groups do what they are told.
Needless to say the broader community has no role in involvement except in carefully staged 'listening sessions' (that certainly don't let the public know about other places and waterfront options like those found along the Hudson or in Chicago) hosted by the polite waterfront groups.
Bayside? Maspeth? Whitestone? College Point?
"We have to spend all our tax money on dog runs for tower people?"
Yes, that new dog run near Utopia Parkway was built exclusively for all those tower people who have overrun Whitestone with their fedora's and fixed gear bicycles.
The dog run you are talking about predates this plan. Well gee how clever of you. All neighborhoods have parks, but some have adequate parks and most don't. LIC has already had beaucoup park development over the past few years while the city has left the rest of its parks crumbling. But you must be one of those passive types who thinks that's just fine. Asshole.
"while the city has left the rest of its parks crumbling."
Yes the city has woefully neglected its parks over the years. They did not build new soccer fields at Flushing Meadows, right near the new pool and ice rink they didn't build. They didn't rebuild the tennis courts at Flushing Memorial Fields, nor did they redesign and replace the benches in front of those tennis courts. They did not do a damn thing to prevent flooding of the path around Oakland Lake Park, nor did they undertake a massive project to mitigate sewer overflow into Little Neck Bay near Alley Pond Park. That work at Harvey Park, AKA Dupey's Park that helped to correct serious drainage issues and put in a hockey rink several years back, no point in acknowledging that. The conversion of Fort Totten into parkland with a public pool, not even worth mentioning. The replacement of many ballfields with astroturf, as shitty as astroturf is, is not a problem since it never happened. New cricket fields and comfort stations at Baisley Pond Park? Those don't count. Our dilapidated parks are left rotting and neglected, and are the blight of our communities.
Could more money be spent on upkeep and could more be done? Sure, you can always do more, but the claim that the parks in Queens are ignored and deteriorating is slightly off base.
Oh, and those new soccer fields in Flushing Meadows, they just happen to sit on massive overflow tanks that greatly mitigate the flow of raw sewage into Flushing Bay.
"LIC has already had beaucoup park development over the past few years while the city has left the rest of its parks crumbling."
I think you forgot your earlier statement
"This is about creating new park space and opportunities for access to the water." So it's a problem that the city is not addressing the vast amounts of existing parkland in Queens in this agenda?
You seriously aren't pointing to FMCP and Oakland Lake as examples of parks that are well maintained are you? And how much more access to the coast can Rockaway have? The entire coastline is a park. Ever been to Highland, Maurice, et al? They're dumps. The city has continually slashed its park budget over the years and it shows.
Sounds like we have a parks troll posting. Say hi to Dottie for us. $2M for a toilet in Elmhurst Park? Really? Stop throwing money down the drain like that and you'll have money left to maintain the parks.
What is this new agenda about, capital improvements or maintenance? It appears to me that the plan is for capital improvements, and you complained that only two Queens nabes were included and the rest of Queens was not included, ignoring all the capital improvements of recent years throughout Queens parks. Now you are on about maintenance, which is a different issue. Sure the parks could be better maintained and cleaner. You can blame the cuts in parks budget, or you can put some of the blame on where it belongs; on the fucking slobs and savages who use our parks and think it's fine and dandy to litter and leave their trash scattered about. I happened to be in FMP just a couple of days ago, I biked through most of the park (they are also constructing a new boathouse), and although it has some ponding issues, the park itself was fairly clean. Compare that to a Sat or Sun evening in a couple of months when thousands will use it as their personal dumping grounds after their family BBQ's. Why bother to pick up after yourself when someone else may or may not do it. We can just blame the city for the mess.
"Ever been to Highland, Maurice, et al? They're dumps."
I'm not surprised, look at the neighborhoods they are in.
It's the ballfields that are dumps, not the neighborhoods. They flood after rain and they are basically dustbowls. But I like the cheap shots you took at neighborhoods you don't live in.
And to answer your moronic question, "What is this new agenda about, capital improvements or maintenance?"
READ THE DAMN REPORT.
- Expand and improve existing waterfront parks by investing over $200 million
- Develop or acquire over 50 acres of new waterfront parks by investing $40 million
- Develop waterfront Greenways and esplanades by investing over $120 million
The rest are non-park goals. Question is why we are undertaking this when our current parks are underfunded and communities that have been asking for parks for years are being told there is no money?
"But I like the cheap shots you took at neighborhoods you don't live in."
FMP is a dump for the same reason. Better?
Blah, blah, blah there's litter, blah, blah, blah, not our fault you're slobs...blah, blah, blah.
Fountain of the Planets.
No excuse for their condition. Yet we will pretty up the waterfront for the yuppies instead of fixing icons in the most used park in the borough.
You'd think the innovative thinkers like Burden and Bloomberg would have come up with a funding plan and adaptive reuse plan for the Pavilion by now. That could have been the legacy project. Oh well, I guess they just don't have what it takes.
P.S. The Ridgewood Reservoir plan is pretty much dead. Thank GOD.
"Maspeth, Astoria, East Elmhurst, Flushing, Whitestone, College Point, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, Howard Beach and Broad Channel no longer are considered waterfront."
That's a great conclusion you drew. You should work for the TV news, you would fit in perfectly.
Not my conclusion. The administration basically said that by focusing on 2 neighborhoods exclusively. There are waterfront parks to improve in just about all those neighborhoods and they could also use new ones. But LIC and Rockaway are the only ones to get the love because they're gonna shoehorn in tens of thousands of people over the next couple of decades.
"No excuse for their condition. Yet we will pretty up the waterfront for the yuppies instead of fixing icons in the most used park in the borough."
Now THAT was well stated.
This asshole took a shot at Maspeth? Maurice Park is never left looking like a dump. People pick up after themselves here. The fields are another story. The Parks Dept has promised new fields there for about 10 years now and we still got nada. The soil is compacted and when it rains it turns into a pond.
"The administration basically said that by focusing on 2 neighborhoods exclusively."
No, you said that, those were your words, that's why I said it was your conclusion.
A more accurate statement would have been "waterfront plan ignores many Queens nabes" or something to that effect. Your "no longer considered waterfront" statement is an inaccurate dramatic exaggeration worthy of absurd TV news anchors.
If the plan included all waterfront neighborhoods except two or three, would you make the same statement about the excluded neighborhoods?
"Maurice Park is never left looking like a dump. People pick up after themselves here. The fields are another story. The Parks Dept has promised new fields there for about 10 years now and we still got nada. The soil is compacted and when it rains it turns into a pond."
"If the plan included all waterfront neighborhoods except two or three, would you make the same statement about the excluded neighborhoods?"
Yes, I would. I guess you have never read this blog before. I like to spotlight hypocrisy and use hyperbole a lot to make my points. Sorry this was over your head.
"I guess you have never read this blog before. I like to spotlight hypocrisy and use hyperbole a lot to make my points."
Actually I read it every day, I like some of the issues you cover, but I think some of your clever hyperbole stinks.
If the proposed projects are basically tied to future housing development so that thousands of people can be shoehorned in, we should be thankful that our neighborhoods are left off the list. Don't feel left out, I'm sure Bloomy will show us some bike lane love in the near future, where we don't need or want it of course.
And the entire point of the blog is to say this shouldn't be Bloomberg's priority. He is not presenting it as a development enhancement plan, but read the fine print and it's not hard to figure out. Shouldn't we be addressing the needs of the people who already live here before we provide amenities to attract others here? The shoehorning will not come along with expanded electricity, train service, etc. That's the whole point of this post, to show that we are not fooled by this crap. Even though the media is supposedly more critical of Bloomberg now that he's in his third term, they still repackaged his press release as articles without pointing out that in this waterfront plan, most of the city is ignored.
Damn Crappy, that's what I'm looking for. Your last comment was spot on, and made your point in a much more effective way that your original hyperbole that I was criticizing. That's the kind of commentary that I like to see here at QC, and it is something that we don't see in the traditional garbage media.
Unfortunately, Bloomberg is shit and we are stuck with him. We knew what he was about, yet many people are such mindless sheep that they elected this turd again, even the same people who originally voted for the term limits (and voted for them again). Unfortunately we have to live with the bed our fellow dummies have made for us.
We in Whitestone reached out to our councilman about purchasing the remaining undeveloped 6 acres of the old CYO, AKA Whitestone Woods property for a park. We were told "Teachers are being laid off and firehouses are closing, there is no money!"
What? How did Dromm secure 5 Million to buy a lot accross the street from an existing park in order to expand that park? Travers (78st) Park...
Your councilman is either full of shit, ineffective, or in the pocket of developer that wants to build on those 6 acres. You are screwed.
Huh? Why would you want development in all of those residential neighborhoods? Keep it in Hunters Point and Rockaways, and good riddance.
We don't want development in those residential neighborhoods. We want services in established neighborhoods that match those in the "up-and-coming" ones. It's sad that you feel it's an either/or proposition like Bloomberg does.
"Teachers are being laid off and firehouses are closing, there is no money!"
No, they really mean there is no money for you, if you are a developer who wants to put up a block busting tower or a tweeded with lots of tweededs in tow, plenty of money.
Every politican has $1000s of dollars at the beck and call. We need to publish those suckers lists of who they give to.
Post a Comment