Bridging the Gaps in Manhattan's Waterfronts

                                                                                                                         by Dave Hogarty, President Shorewalkers

Shorewalkers know that long journeys are the sum of small steps taken one after another. And last night, we took a small step in opening another segment of Manhattan's waterfront to the public.
Participants in the Great Saunter are well aware that a detour currently must be taken around the stretch of the Harlem River that extends from 125th St. to 132nd St. in Manhattan. This shoreline is currently used by the Dept of Transportation (DOT) and the Tribororough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA). As a beginning step in turning this 11-acre site into a public park, personnel from NYC Parks and landscape architecture firm Starr Whitehouse conducted a visioning workshop Wednesday evening for community members to express their preferences for what features an open and accessible waterfront should contain.
 
An early draft of plans for the new waterfront park features two access points from East Harlem: a staircase and ramp next to the Willis Avenue Bridge and at-grade access beneath an elevated portion of the Harlem River Drive at 127th St.
 
Elise Boudan of Starr Whitehouse laid out the four goals of the project:
1. Provide safe and enhanced access to the Harlem River waterfront.
2. Connect this segment of the waterfront to Manhattan's existing shoreline greenways.
3. Provide recreational and programming opportunities to East Harlem residents.
4. Create enhanced environmental benefits to the Harlem River waterway.
 
Wednesday's meeting was the first of three planned sessions for the project's managers to meet with community members and leaders. The next meeting will be scheduled to occur in September when the working group will present updated plans for the waterfront park based on inputs and feedback gained from the first session.

Announcement: New President of Shorewalkers

At a June 13, 2017 Shorewalkers Board of Directors meeting, the Board discussed and voted on the Shorewalker President position.  This followed up on the desire of Cy Adler, founder and President since 1982, to relinquish the position.  
 
Shorewalkers  is pleased to announce that David Hogarty has been elected President.  
 
Shorewalkers' Search and Transition committee, established to seek a new Shorewalkers President, met a number of times over the past two years, creating a job description and requirements for the position.  After carefulconsideration, David Hogarty was the committee's nominee for Shorewalkers President, with Cy recognized as Chairman-Emeritus.  At the June Board meeting, David featured his active interest in Shorewalkers and his history with the group, from leading walks to assisting in the club's online web platforms and expanding outreach via social media.  After a vigorous discussion, a motion to make David the new President was approved unanimously by the Board.  Thus Shorewalkers took a necessary step to ensure the continuation of the club.  The Board extended its thanks to both Cy and to David.   David became President, effective immediately and we are pleased to give him our full support.  Please join us in congratulating David Hogarty and Cy Adler in their new roles. 

Hike Report: 43rd Great Manhattan Bridge Report

Article and photos by Jack Shi, Shorewalker hike leader

They must be just around the bend. I should catch up to them soon. At least, that's what I thought as I ran across the Manhattan Bridge.

The last time I tried running across the Manhattan Bridge was during high school when I went to New York City with two friends as part of a class project. Within a few minutes, we'd both lost sight of our fast runner friend Vincent and our resolve to keep running. We walked the remainder of the bridge, ending up in Chinatown. We had a fun day but the most memorable part of that experience was how impossibly long the bridge seemed to stretch, like a great arch into a future we couldn't see and could never reach.

Read more: Hike Report: 43rd Great Manhattan Bridge Report

City to Build $100M East River Esplanade Between 53rd and 61st Streets

MANHATTAN — The city will spend $100 million to create a new esplanade with a bike path and greenery between East 61st and 53rd streets along the East River, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday. 

 The project, which is set to begin in 2019 and wrap up in 2022, will introduce a bike lane and ample walking space along the eight waterfront blocks, the Mayor's Office said.

Once completed, the esplanade would fill one of the last remaining gaps in the 32-mile greenway wrapping around Manhattan, officials said.

To read more of this article please go to DNA INFO.

Letter From the President

Hi Shorewalkers,
Spring has sprung, bringing flowers and perfect
Cy Adler leading hikers on the Batt-to Bear Mt. Trail
 
So why not check our calendar and sign up for a great                            
urban hike!'  It's the ideal way to stay fit, make new friends and
explore the riches of our great city and its environs.
 
With the Great Saunter just  weeks away, it's also time
to put in your miles to be hike-ready. April is chock full of fantastic excursions of every length and location to strengthen      
those hiking legs and get you ready for the big day. You can
find details at shorewalkers.org/events and also on
Shorewalkers/Meetup.
 
Speaking of which - make sure you REGISTER for the
 Great Saunter on May 6 here >>
https://shorewalkers.org/the-great-saunter-event.
 
As Pete Seeger so aptly said in his Shorewalker's song:
 
You don’t know this town,  
You don’t know this town,
Till you join the Shorewalkers and
They get you walking around!

Wishing everyone a safe & healthy spring!

Cy AdlerBattery Park to Bear Mountain

 President                                                                                                       Cy Adler, 2nd from right leading hikers

42nd Great Manhattan Bridge Walk, 2/25/17

                                                                                                                                 by Walter Wright
Thanks for making the 42nd Great Manhattan Bridge Walk such a successful walk.  We set a record for participation, with 57 people signed in at the start, plus a few people who joined along the way.  The record crowd was undoubtedly due to the weather.  People were eager to celebrate the unseasonably warm day, even though there was rain forecast for the late afternoon.  It was particularly satisfying for me to see a such a big crowd, because this was to be my last walk as the hike leader.
 
At the start I introduced co-leader Jack Shi -- I was happy to report Jack is taking over the leadership of this walk starting in June.  And I introduced Dave Hogarty -- a Shorewalker board member who, so fortunately for me and Jack, had stepped forward last summer to start providing support for the Bridge Walk.  On this walk, Jack would lead the "fast" group of about 24 walkers, Dave would lead the regular group of about 32, and I was going to do only very limited walking.
 
After the back and forth on the GW bridge, the groups led by Jack and Dave proceeded to the Henry Hudson and the Broadway Bridges, where the first few people dropped out.  Jack's group reached the McDonald's after the 3rd Avenue Bridge just 20 minutes before Dave's group arrived; some walkers shifted from one group to the other, but Jack left with roughly 15 people and Dave with about about 10.  (The extent of my walk was a short-cut directly from the starting point to the University Heights Bridge, where I met Dave's walkers, and then stopping just before reaching the Washington Bridge.)
 
The participants encountered heavy rain and wind in the late afternoon, and many people dropped out.  But the intrepid leaders, with some persistent followers, continued.  The remnants of the two groups caught up to each other as they crossed the Brooklyn Bridge to finish the walk at about 8:30PM.  In total, there were 9 who walked from start to finish:
 
Dave, Richard, Marina, Robin, and Stephanie Jack + 3 others.
 
Congratulations to all of those who participated, and especially to all who walked all 17 bridges regardless of the rain!
 
Angela, a friend of finisher Stephanie, should also be recognized even though she wasn't signed in.  She joined after the first two bridges, but she had a good excuse for being late, having run a 4 mile Road Runners' race first thing in the morning! She did walk over all of the final 15 bridges.  We hope Angela returns for more walks with Shorewalkers.
 
It has been a pleasure leading these walks since 2003, and I hope to join many future Great Manhattan Bridge Walks as a participant.
 
Walt

A State 'Hungry for Trails' Savors Cuomo's 750-Mile Plan

The Empire State Trail a 750-mile trail would run from New York City's Battery Park,  through the Hudson Valley, the Adirondacks, all the way to Canada.  Read more about this trail in the New York Times article:   A State 'Hungry for Trails' Savors Cuomo's 750-Mile Plan.

 Walkway Over the Hudson

As New York Reclaims its Waterfront, Problems loom under the surface

              An op ed article by Ronald Lewis of the Waterfront Alliance as it appeared in Crain's NY Buisness

                                                                                                         

Conflict at the waterfront: It's an age-old state of affairs, with modern real estate wars replacing yesterday's military skirmishes and labor-management clashes. Do tall buildings belong in Brooklyn Bridge Park and at the South Street Seaport? Do we need a new performance space in Hudson River Park?

Whichever side you take on these issues, you're missing the real fight: Man versus Nature.

Read more: As New York Reclaims its Waterfront, Problems loom under the surface

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