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Create Safer Pedestrian Access to East River Park from Grand St.

This petition had 151 supporters

The feds have allocated over $300 million to guard against flooding on the Lower East Side, from 23rd Street to Montgomery Street.  This project, part of a larger program, includes building a berm on the west end of East River Park, plus revamping and/or constructing new bridges, improving and beautifying public access to the park while also making access safer.

Grand Street is the end point of three bus routes, and contains 5,000 cooperative units, and will have 1,000 more as SPURA comes on line.  It also contains many businesses, including a coffee house/diners/a bakery etc.  As the most utilized street leading to the park it is a logical entry point.  An entry easily accessible from Grand St. would also brings more people on to city sidewalks, making the entire area safer.  As the seminal urban planner, Jane Jacobs, demonstrated in the 60's, populated streets are inherently safer than underpopulated streets.  

By contrast, the nearest bridge is on distant Delancey Street.  That entry point is desolate, framed by a parking lot on one side, and the base of the Williamsburg Bridge on the other. It feels unsafe.

Urban designers have proposed an imaginative solution to resolve this, moving the Delancey overpass south while having two entrances cityside - one on Delancey, the other via a staircase towards Grand.  And yet, a vocal minority of local residents are pushing against this - on the grounds that the Grand St. approach lessens the safety of nearby residents by making the area less accessible to ambulances and fire trucks.

We do not believe that the choice is either-or.  We also believe that eliminating the Grand Street approach would make the area less safe - not more so.  We thus request an approach to the park from Grand St., which would also accomodate emergency access.   This would better serve the population of New York City, as well as the immediate community.   

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