NYC plans $3B transformation of waterfront

March 14, 2011 3:23:07 PM PDT
For decades, development in New York was about concrete, skyscrapers and roads - highways that often ringed the city and kept people from the hundreds of miles of waterfront shoreline that help define the city. Now, the city's first waterfront plan in two decades will spend billions of dollars to reunite New Yorkers with their water.

Mayor Bloomberg arrived for his press conference in Brooklyn Heights by boat and it is how he hopes more and more New Yorkers will travel in the days ahead.

Monday morning he unveiled a $3 billion plus plan for the city aimed at making our waterfront and waterways among the most vibrant in the country.

"NYC has more miles of waterfront than Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and Portland combined, this is really like a sixth borough," Mayor Bloomberg said.

The City of New York has never seen anything like it. It is called Vision 2010 and it may forever cement Bloomberg's legacy as the Waterfront Mayor.

It is a major plan that includes all five boroughs and it has two components; one short term over the next three years, the other a long term vision of what could be over the next decade and beyond.

"This is great. We need it," said Janet Dugan, a city resident.

In the next three years are 130 projects will transform the waterfront with new parks, new housing, and capitalize on the city's waterways to promote additional waterborne transportation and protect and preserve the environment.

It could include seeing more kayakers taking to the water, MetroCard transfers for ferries, and more jobs.

"I do want to tell you all, I do love this plan, it is a good plan," said Roland Lewis, of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance.

The mayor says most of the money had already been set aside for the project in advance.

A third of it is coming from the city's capital budget.

In the end, he says running a city is about making choices, and he believes investing in our waterfront is a priority for New York City.