Tonight, at the "Open House to learn more about the draft DRI plan," we'll find out which projects emerged from the planning process as potential successes. But what happens if some of the chosen projects turn out to be impracticable boondoggles?
Ever since this rendering of the re-imagined Second Street stairs appeared in Hudson's DRI proposal, there have been doubts about how realistic this slick looking integrated ramp and stair design is for the site. We've seen this design before, proposed for the entrance to Promenade Hill. In that case, the design, albeit appealing to some, turned out to be completely inadequate to provide universal access to the park.
The rendering of the re-imagined Second Street stairs shows the stairs extending farther toward Cross Street than the current stairs, but it doesn't appear that the additional length is sufficient to transform what is a steep slope into a gentle slope. And then there's the question of railings. Can such an integrated ramp and stair design exist without railings?
Hudson already has one ramp and stairs combination that looked acceptable in the rendering but turned out in reality to be a horror, both visually and functionally.
What if the same thing happens with the Second Street stairs?
Questions are also being raised about another very popular project proposed for DRI funding: the public pier.
The project proposal indicates that the slip north of the pier--the one that borders Rick's Point--"will provide opportunities for small boats and paddle craft to launch and learn in shallow water conditions." The slip on the other side--the slip that borders the Colarusso property--will provide "much needed dockage for local river organizations such as the Apollonia Project, the Clearwater and Riverkeeper." That slip is said to have deeper water, but a critic of the project maintains that the water in the slip is too shallow for the vessels cited and has suggested that proposal may involve an "unspoken ambition" to dredge the slip to make it deep enough for the Clearwater and the Apollonia, an action which could also enable Colarusso to use the slip for industrial docking.
These concerns--both about the Second Street stairs and the public pier--raise questions about how carefully and extensively projects proposed for DRI funding are being vetted, not only for their ability to leverage additional funds but also for their practicability. What happens if the projects chosen cannot be realized in the manner proposed, turn out not to deliver the intended benefits, or have unanticipated negative impacts?
COPYRIGHT 2018 CAROLE OSTERINK