A project that would create a mile-long esplanade, including a "cantilevered riverfront walkway" and a bike path, along the east side of Manhattan is two months away from its approval deadline in October. The Post reports that the deal would involve selling or leasing Robert Moses playground to the UN, and allow the organization to build another high-rise for office space. The city would sell the currently occupied UN buildings, creating up to $400 million in revenue, enough to pay for the improvements and upkeep. The sweet, sweet irony of course is that the playground in question is named after the man who some believe sold New York City's soul to the automobile.
The greenway, which would stretch from 38th to 60th streets, would allow cyclists to travel in a nearly-uninterrupted route around Manhattan, from the Upper West Side to East 120th street. "Everybody always thought that's one of the hardest pieces," Transportation Alternatives' deputy director tells the paper. "Now people are saying that it's doable. It's gone from the impossible to the doable."
Of course, there are those opposed to the project because it would create another 39-story skyscraper (the same height as the current UN building) at the expense of the playground. "We're not opposed to a greenway—it's a very nice amenity," president of the East Midtown Coalition for Sensible Development says, "But not at the cost of taking other public land." The director of the East End Hockey Association, which has used the playground since 1972, agrees: "If this is a need for office space, it should be solved with office space."
But a few strolls along the Hudson River Park and the East River Esplanade, along with the provision that another playground be built to replace Robert Moses, will hopefully assuage any further doubts.