In 2015 we successfully advocated for funding from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp (LMDC) for the renovation and re-opening of the comfort station. On November 10, 2016 NYC Parks architects made a presentation of their plans to the Community Board Parks and Recreation Committee seeking a resolution to move forward with the next phase of the project however the committee had some concerns about the layout of the bathrooms and asked for revisions. This article can give you an idea of the concerns that were brought up about the shared use of the space as public restrooms, parks storage, and offices for Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officers. The project is currently on hold until NYC Parks makes a new presentation to the Community Board. This article will give you a good idea of how capital projects such as this can take years to be completed.
Update #1: In 2015 we met with Council Member Rosie Mendez to discuss various initiatives in the park that needed her support. She decided to make an allocation in the FY2016 City budget of $250,000 to fund the renovation of both dog runs in Corlears Hook Park. The first phase of the project was a community input meeting held by parks to gather information from users of the dog runs on what they wanted to see done to it. That input session was held at the Vladeck Houses Tenants Association on May 26, 2016. The consensus among attendees at that meeting was that improvements would include a leveled hard surface in both runs with some sort of play obstacles installed, new fencing around the small run, new gates for both runs, water sources for both runs and drainage repair. At that meeting we were told by NYC Parks Chief of Staff to the Manhattan Borough Commissioner that Parks hope was to have a design to present to the Community Board in the fall of 2016. Sadly, fall 2016 has come and gone with no presentation and despite repeated requests for an update on the project we have yet to been able to get a response. As soon as we get any sort of significant update on this project from parks or Council member Mendez we will share it. This article will give you a good idea of how capital projects such as this can take years to be completed.
Update #2: In February of 2017 we learned from the Parks Department that the original budget allocation (mentioned above) for the project was no longer enough to support the full renovation of both the small and large dog runs. We need to come up with at least another $300,000 to fund the full renovation or potentially only renovate the small dog run. We believe strongly that both runs needs to be renovated are are actively working with out elected officials to secure addition capital funding in the City budget. We are also looking into private funding sources - stay tuned.
Play area, Water sprinkler & batting cage:
We continue to advocate for refurbishment of these three areas of the park by requesting funding for it through the Community Board Capital and Expense Budget Priorities Request mechanism. These three areas have been on the list for the past two years and for this most recent round (FY18 budget) our request was ranked #19 out of 43. Unfortunately this ranking was not high enough to be funded as the Register of Community Board Budget Requests indicates “Department of Parks and Recreation funds are insufficient for this project. We recommend this project be brought to the attention of your elected officials, i.e. Borough President and/or City Council member.” We will continue to push for funding for these three projects.
In May 2017, with the help of Lower East Side Construction and some local area dads, we secured the batting cage netting back onto it's frame to make the area usable by the community again. This is a temporary fix until we can get parks to replace the netting completely.
In January of 2015 members of FoCHP attended and testified to Community Board 3 regarding traffic safety around the park - specifically the turn onto Cherry Street from the FDR service road. CB3 passed a resolution asking the Department of Transportation to do a site visit and propose some traffic calming measures to make that corner safer for pedestrians crossing into the park. In July of 2015 the DOT did their site visit, joined by the CB3 District Manager, members of FoCHP, and other community activist At the time the DOT’s decision was to remove some street parking to make the turn easier and safer for both pedestrians and vehicle traffic, but no other measures (like a crosswalk) were deemed necessary. We kept the pressure on the DOT to re-evaluate the crossing to make it safer for pedestrians to cross in and out of the park and in October of 2016 learned that the DOT approved the following traffic calming measures to be installed in the Fall of 2017:
· A stop control, 15' of daylighting, and crosswalk midblock on Cherry Street between FDRDrive and Jackson Street at the entrance to Corlears Hook Park
· Two Enhanced Crossings across Jackson Street at Cherry Street
· ADA compliant pedestrian ramps, pedestrian warning signage, and 15' of daylighting at the Enhanced Crossings