Bette Midler Tweets Opposition to$1.45B East River Park Resiliency Plan

Posted on: July 14th, 2020 at 5:04 am by

May 2019, Photo: Elena Robledo

Coronavirus be damned, it appears the city is still on course to begin destruction of the East River Park this fall. And Bette Midler is not happy.

“The idea of destroying parkland during a pandemic, where people are desperate for open space is insane,” the superstar singer tweeted to her 1.7 million followers last night, along with a link to the East River Park ACTION website. This grassroots group is bent on stymying the city’s sudden about-face from the original “Big U” plan to this $1.45 billion proposal two years ago.

“New York City is planning to destroy the beloved East River Park down on the Lower East Side, starting this fall, if we don’t make some noise,” she continued in a call to action.

Photo: DDC

As previously reported, the East Side Coastal Resiliency (official name) will take a minimum of five years to complete, and is intended to strengthen coastal resiliency between Montgomery and 25th Streets. It’ll be implemented on a two-phase schedule. So, rather than closing the entire park, area residents will have access to roughly half the park. Initial work commences sometime in September, and will remain ongoing through 2023. But swaths of space from Delancey to Houston Streets will remain open.

Despite vociferous criticism from Lower East Side locals, city officials maintain that this revised version better protects East River Park as sea levels continue to rise due to climate change.

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