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East River Park Gets a Touch-Up, and Ideas for a Facelift

Paul Yanchyshyn and Diana Carulli give new color to a painted labyrinth in East River Park.Melvin Felix Paul Yanchyshyn and Diana Carulli give new color to a painted labyrinth in East River Park.

After five weekends of weeding, mulching and painting, the women of the New York Junior League will unveil upgrades at East River Park tomorrow. The Playground Improvement Project, a committee of the league, volunteered its time throughout the spring to beautify 57 acres of riverfront between East 12th Street and Montgomery Street.

Visitors will now find new benches, fresh coats of paint on playground equipment and fences, as well as a brand new flower garden near the tennis courts at Houston Street.

The improvements are likely to be folded into the Blueway project, a proposal to make the shore along the East River, from the Brooklyn Bridge north to East 38th Street, as accessible and pleasant as Hudson River Park to the west.

Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, one of the promoters of the Blueway, said the improvements to the park were welcome during the project’s early planning stages. “I saw first hand how they’ve been working hard getting the park ready for the summer for residents to enjoy,” said Mr. Kavanagh. Read more…

Pols, Residents Ponder: What Should East River ‘Blueway’ Look Like?

East-River-Blueway_Interactive-Map An interactive map allows users to submit Blueway ideas.

“The west side has the High Line, Hudson River Park, Chelsea Piers,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer at the first community-wide planning meeting for the East River Blueway. “Now it’s time for the East Side to have an iconic outdoor space.”

In its planning stages since September 2011, the Blueway aims to make the East River more accessible, with beautified walkways, from the Brooklyn Bridge to East 38th Street. Yesterday’s meeting brought together residents, politicians, and members of Community Board 6 as well as the project’s design team to share ideas regarding water access, biking routes, and improved water quality for swimming, kayaking and fishing.

Crossing the FDR is currently a major obstacle to accessing the river. According to Adam Lubinsky, Managing Principal of WXY Architecture + Urban Design, the East Side has only half the number of street crossings – including underpasses, overpasses and street level pathways – as the West Side. “How can we engage with a river that we’ve been separated from for so long?” asked Mr. Lubinsky. Read more…

Head-On Collision on FDR Kills Two

Photos by Baruch Herzfeld: Cars involved in a collision on FDR Drive were towed to Delancey Street between Ridge and Pitt Streets.

A driver heading the wrong way on FDR Drive led to a three-car pileup that left two dead and two others injured early Sunday morning.

The police said that a 26-year-old man was driving a Nissan Maxima at 2:52 a.m. against southbound traffic when he collided with a Dodge Caravan. A Mazda then collided with the wreck near Houston Street, injuring the 22-year-old driver, as well as her 31-year-old passenger.

The 52-year-old driver of the Caravan and the driver of the Maxima were both pronounced dead at the scene. The passengers of the Mazda were taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition, the police said. The police have not yet released the names of the victims.

After Death on FDR, Hostility Toward NYPD

Screen shot 2011-09-21 at 3.32.54 PMGoogle Maps The Jacob Riis Houses, where Mr. Brown lived, at FDR Drive and Sixth Street.

The death of a man fleeing police across FDR Drive last week has led to aggression toward officers patrolling Avenue D, with some angry residents even tossing objects from the rooftops at them.

Lieutenant Patrick Ferguson of the Ninth Precinct revealed that the environment on Avenue D has taken a turn for the worse at a meeting of the Ninth Precinct Community Council last night.

“It’s been hostile,” said Mr. Ferguson. “We don’t have the best of friends there right now.” Read more…