Deborah Glick Gets It Right On Pier 40
Pier 40, the recreational hub of lower manhattan, is facing the prospect of being turned into an entertainment complex. Many of the best known politicians with jurisdiction over Pier 40, starting with Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Spitzer, and Speaker Quinn, all of whom I like, respect, and support, have chosen to be silent on this issue for some unknown reason.
The Mayor's 30 year plan for NYC puts parks and reduced congestion near the top of his priorities and yet his silence on this issue suggests he's willing to look the other way when parks and congestion are at their greatest risk.
The Governor inherited the legacy of Hudson River Park from his predecessor, George Pataki, and is basically doing nothing with it.
And Speaker Quinn has so far been uncomfortable wading too deeply into this debate.
But there is one local politician, State Assembly Member Deborah Glick, who many credit as the architect of the Hudson River Park Act that created the amazing park up and down the west side of manhattan, who is not afraid to take a public position on Pier 40. Her opinion piece in The Villager is pointed, direct, and exactly right. She says:
The H.R.P.T. board is not just entrusted with the financial stability of the park; its pre-eminent duty is to protect it as parkland. If the board chooses one of the two inappropriate proposals before it on Jan. 31, the board would fail in this duty, making a tragic error that will change the nature of the park and its neighborhood forever.
I hope Deborah's courage to take a stand on this issue will rub off on some of her colleagues and bring some much needed common sense to the debate and decision, which is expected next week.