Hooray for pollution! Thanks to the near destruction of Greenpoint’s Newtown Creek during a botched sewage plant upgrade, local residents will have a chance to vote on how to spend $7 million on public space improvements in the area. Some of the good ideas (boathouse!), some of the bad, and some of the boring (per The Brooklyn Paper) after the jump…
• “Tree plantings on McGuinness Boulevard: Addition of tree beds on Greenpoint’s busiest and most dangerous street, at a cost of $1,500 per street tree.”
—Trees are always good. This is irrefutable.
• “Apollo Street End: Improving public access to Newtown Creek — possibly removing the street to turn it into a park — at the end of Apollo Street near Norman Avenue.”
—Turning any street into a park is also irrefutably good, and represents a desperately needed reverse on over a century of urban planning.
• “Biosculpture on North Henry Street: These intricate public art sculptures cost $2.4 million and are designed to resemble the iconic sewage plant. They’ll simultaneously filter dirty stormwater and create a wetlands park along Newtown Creek, at North Henry Street and Kingsland Avenue.”
—Public art that cleans dirty water and creates a wetland? YES AND YES.
• “Greenpoint Boathouse: A $5-million public boathouse, educational facility and boat launch in the renovated ground floor of the Greenpoint Manufacturing Design Center at the end of Manhattan Avenue at Ash Street. The project would also extend the waterfront esplanade and restore the bulkhead in Newtown Creek at the street end.”
—At the very least this would add relevance to recent hipster appropriations of nautical style. Also, punting.
• “Skate Park at Commercial Street: The Parks Department is interested in a new public skate park in North Brooklyn, possibly along Commercial Street, but no location has been identified.”
• “Barge Park Renovations and Dog Run: Including a fenced-in $500,000 park, just for pooches, renovating the Greenpoint Playground with $4 million, and new greening and landscaping in Barge Park, a tiny pocket park at Commercial Street and West and DuPont Streets.”
—Sorry, I love dogs and dog runs (I have three of them), but half a million bucks? Even worse though is $4 MILLION FOR A PLAYGROUND? What’s wrong with some mulch and a few cardboard boxes?
• “McGolrick Park: Refurbishing existing pathways and adding stormwater management programs for $5 million at Russell Street and Driggs Avenue.”
—Nice paths and storm drainage are nice and everything, but for $5 million? No.
• “Park bandshell: The Parks Department is interested in finding a location for a theater with a bandshell at a cost of $5 million.”
—Nothing good ever comes of bandshells in parks: just John Williams’ medleys and junkies.
• “Transmitter Park: Refurbishing the one-story concrete transmitter building inside the park as a bathroom, community meeting space or even a restaurant, at a cost between $5 and $6 million at Kent Street and West Street.”
—Public money to create a for-profit (no doubt privately run) concession? No thanks.
• “Pedestrian Plaza at American Playground: A car-free plaza with additional blacktop and new tree plantings at Franklin Street between Milton and Noble Streets.”
—Trees are good, but “additional blacktop”? Please explain.
• “Greenpoint Monitor Museum: Additional site preparation work, including temporary structures to house educational programs for the naval-themed museum at a cost of $650,000 at Quay Street and West Street.”
—Temporary structures and site prep! Hooray!
• “Stormwater management: Stormwater filtration projects on North Henry Street at Nassau Avenue, Jewel Street and Nassau Avenue, West Street from Commercial to Quay Street, and Bushwick Inlet Park on Kent Avenue at N. 10th Street.”
—We know all too well how important this is, crucial even, but it’s pretty boring.