MAS Testifies in Support of Controversial Pier 55
January 8th, 2015, 2:36 pm
Excerpted from testimony (PDF) given to Manhattan’s Community Board 2 Parks & Waterfront Committee Meeting: We support the Hudson River Park Trust’s proposal to transform an unsound pier along the Hudson River into a new waterfront park space. We believe that the proposed Pier 55 park and performance spaces will be an exciting addition to Manhattan’s west side, and we appreciate HRPT’s promise of community involvement in programming and design choices. This project, and the public-private partnership that will make it possible, comes at a crucial moment for New York City and New York State’s approach to parks funding. We need look no further than the crumbling Pier 54 to see the impact that decades of steady decline in maintenance dollars have had on our parks and public spaces. This proposal does more than promise the transformation of a neglected pier into a celebrated public space; it also includes a pledge by its backers to maintain the park and performance spaces for the next twenty years. MAS applauds HRPT for devising an innovative plan to restore and enhance this stretch of our public waterfront. And we call on the city and state, not just to approve this proposal, but to treat its 20-year pledge as a call to action. Let the new Pier 55 serve as a deadline: we have two decades to get our house in order and devise a funding plan that meets the needs of all our parks, from vast Flushing Meadows to the bustling Highline to the unsung playgrounds of Bed-Stuy and Hunt’s Point. MAS is pleased to offer its support to this project and the new civic asset it will create for our city.