Though people criticize our local leaders for never getting things done, we will say this: Give them a full year to complete a homework assignment, and they'll churn out 190 pages of grade-A city planning the likes of which we have never seen! That's because the subject matter of Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan has never been a priority for past administrations, which had to deal with pressing issues like lawless subway systems and tourists getting murdered, not, say, residents demanding kayak access to the toxic Newtown Creek. But the waterfront is now precious and profitable, and Mayor Bloomberg & friends have been working for 12 months on a comprehensive 10-year plan to guide development of the city's 520 miles of shoreline, as we've mentioned. Today is the big day: the unveiling of the Vision 2020 report. So what have we learned about our watery future?
Eh, not much. The plan is mostly a compilation of projects that have already been started or announced, which isn't to say that all 190 pages aren't worth a read. After all, the report is cheaper and less addictive than Ambien. There are a few new ideas mixed in there, which the Post and Wall Street Journal take a look at. For example, one day we might be able to pay for our East River ferry ride with a MetroCard, stroll along a new pier at 44th Drive in Long Island City, catch a movie at the 34th Street Helliport and, uh, park our commercial vessels along the north side of the Atlantic Basin.
For a Cliffs Notes version of the plan, check out the companion New York City Waterfront Action Agenda, which is also available for download on the City Planning website. It summarizes 130 key projects that will take big steps in the next three years, before Mayor Bloomberg hands over his office to the Mayor Bloomberg clone that has been growing in a top-secret lab and is technically eligible for three more terms.
· Vision 2020 [NYC.gov]
· Along the City's Waterfront, Changes Are Afoot [WSJ]
· Mike's big splash on waterfront [NYP]
· Vision 2020 coverage [Curbed]