The Municipal Arts Society refuses to let its plan for a usable East River waterfront drown in a sea of inertia and a changing marketplace. At stake is the future of public access to Manhattan's East Side waterfront?currently under par with that offered by the West Side's Inwood-to-Battery Park greenway.
The latest life preserver thrown to the now five-year-old MAS plan was the October deal to trade the Robert Moses Playground on 1st Avenue between 41st and 42nd Streets for $150 million in development funds and access to develop the East River's waterfront. Now there is some momentum forming around a first step to transform the old Con Ed pier at 38th-41st Streets into a public park. City Council member Dan Garodnick is a booster of the plan, who told the Observer, “The project is the first piece of what will eventually be a connected East River greenway, so it makes sense to focus on its design and purpose now.” That sentiment reinforced the latest announcement by The Municipal Art Society, which outlined a number of principles to which future waterfront planning should adhere.