Newwtown Creek needs more public access, not less
Feb 18, 2015 | 13756 views | 0 0 comments | 744 744 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At last week’s Community Board 5 meeting in queens, the Department of Environmental Protection unveiled plans that didn’t allow for community access at the site of a Newton Creek Aeration project along the creek's banks at 47th Street in Maspeth.

They said they would discuss access should the area develop in the future. That promise is not enough.

To continue with this project without explicit confirmation of public access, which DEP had promised in the past before a mayoral override, is to condemn the site forever. The area might not be much now, but by eliminating public access DEP has ensured it will never be anything in the future.

DEP said the mayoral omitted public access after it was deemed that the area was relatively isolated and didn’t receive much pedestrian access. While this may be true, the site could be utilized one day in a variety of ways.

The Newtown Creek Alliance has been very active in opening up the long-neglected waterway to the public, and could potentially be more active in any public space along the waterfront. The area could also house a boat launch, like the one at Greenpoint’s North Brooklyn Boat Club, also on Newtown Creek.

Granted, these ideas are vague, but what is clear is that the Newtown Creek Aeration facility site could have a future as a lovely stretch of waterfront. There may not have concrete plans to develop the site today, but that shouldn’t mean we have to forfeit the site’s vast reserves of potential.

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