Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday in the Park with Gravel

This afternoon, a barge was at the waterfront being loaded with gravel. The barge was so close to the new section of the park that it seemed you could reach out and touch it. Remember back in the day when Denise Brubaker, one of SLC's early pitchmen, used to talk glowingly about "industrial tourism"? I wonder if this is what she had in mind.


  1. venture on down to the park and ask the people who frequent the place as to how they feel about the dock and barges. Not the people that have a lot to say about our waterfront and need directions to it.

  2. I wonder how often barges come-and-go, and if there is a projection of how many more would be arriving when O&G increases production? Or, what is the ratio of barges leaving with gravel and trucks leaving with gravel?

  3. Hooray for Anonymous! I love having to shout to be heard by my friends sitting less than a foot away in their lawn chairs... I don't get to shout much at home, so this is a real treat.

    Plus, what's not to like about the diesel fumes? They do a swell job of covering up all the foul odors from the storm sewer overflow.

    I also don't mind getting dust in my eyes. That's what the gallon jug of Visine we pass around is for. And my doctor recommends a little grit in my peanut butter and banana sandwich to help with digestion.

    Yes, Anonymous! The noise, dust and odors are a wonderful part of the waterfront experience. Now some say the barges and trucks and gravel piles are ugly... That's why I only sit facing north.

    Facing south is for malcontents. If you see one, tell them to go back to the Soviet Union where they came from.

    Now if only I were young again, it would also be a hoot to go out in a canoe and play "chicken" with a barge! But as things are I'll have to settle for driving 75 mph up Partition Street on my way back to Greenport.

  4. Here's what I'd like to know--

    Who in Hudson is going to be in charge of monitoring and enforcement if O & G gets a full blown gravel operation up and running on the waterfront? Our city officials can't even keep the vinyl off a Lutheran church-- how in the world are they going to contain a great big industrial site with all its various impacts?

  5. Good question swamp thing. And atty Roberts is also recommending against a harbormaster . So it sounds like a free-for-all for gravel trucks, boaters, trains, and of course people trying to get to the park and boat launch. Quagmire might describe the chaos of this impossible dream.

  6. While I certainly understand the sentiment, the stunning, visually interesting photos do little to support the case. As much as we try to deny it, this type of industry is historically significant to the area. Perhaps the noise is unpleasant, but I think we all might be better off if we remember how important industry has been to the Hudson Valley. Maybe its not time to cast that image off just yet... An idealized park might be more quaint, but what does it have to teach us about the history of Hudson?

  7. Mr. Zipp:

    1. The widespread public concern about the Waterfront is not about a little "unpleasant" noise. We are facing the prospect as much as one *billion* pounds of gravel trucked in at least five days a week, at least 10 hours day, into barges far more massive than what is depicted above -- all with meagre oversight. That poses the risk of not only tremendous noise, but fugitive dust, 18-wheeler traffic every three minutes, runoff problems, contamination issues, hazards to boaters, and many other intolerable impacts impairing all other, more beneficial uses -- including appropriate commercial activity.

    2. This waterfront was occupied continuously by 20th Century industry for barely as long as it has since been abandoned. These destructive uses weren't here first, and they have been neglectful stewards of an enormously valuable area for the past four decades since they shut down. Moreover, if we want to include tradition and history as key factors in our decisions, the South Bay was a cherished and publicly-accessible resource long before it was eventually trashed by extractive, exploitative interests. Moreover, many of the (more human-scaled) 19th Century industries for which some evince a certain nostalgia are nothing like what is being contemplated here, which are driven by automation and profit for out-of-state and foreign corporations, not locally-owned businesses. And, unlike the industries of today, those earlier industrial businesses actually offered some trade-off of real jobs for local people. No such benefits have been offered here in exchange for the likely massive downside impacts.

    3. No one has proposed simply a quaint or "idealized" park. The Valley Alliance and others hsve publicly called for a true mixed use plan involving far greater economic, social, cultural, recreational, commercial, residential, ecological and other community benefits than the current plan contemplates. These goals are 100% in line with an existing State ruling which found that a waterfront which phases out heavy industry will provide more jobs than one which unrealistically tries to incorporate it into a very limited acreage.

    The core issues are compatibility, proximity and benefits. Hudson does not have enough space to engage in the fantasy that all uses can happily coexist cheek-by-jowl along the river. And we need this Waterfront to be a successful mix of compatible uses for Hudson and other area residents to truly share in the improvements that many have enjoyed in recent years thanks to more sensitive, locally-driven improvements.

  8. Mr. Zipp, then if toxic dumping is "historically significant" to the area, that's ok? The railroad and trucking has reduced river transporting significantly, it's a wonder why O&G, which trucks gravel over county and state lines from Hudson/Greenport more than they ship by barge, would want to continue to take up more than half of the South Bay shoreline for such an antiquated "business". There's no on-the-ground jobs there, so how can this be profitable for the City of Hudson? Well, it's not.