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Today's NY Times article about the current shaping of Hudson River Park and how it was inspired by the failed Westway project. Westway would have meant a landfill extension into the Hudson along the West Side Highway much like Battery Park City (and with its mix of residential and commercial space) - and the highway would have been built underground, as the highway was crumbling. New York Voices has a good site explaining it, and opposition grew because some people thought it might be the Lower Manhattan Expressway - the battle between Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs - on the West Side. An Talk of the Town piece from 2004 revisited the project:

[Craig] Whitaker [a Westway planner] talked about some of the places where the city has had the wisdom to run highways under riverfront esplanades—the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Carl Schurz Park. “We thought New Yorkers would never accept sixty-five thousand cars passing daily between them and the waterfront,” he said. He nodded toward the six lanes of hurtling cars and trucks just outside the Pier 40 lobby. “But that’s what we’ve got out here. It was a tragedy for the city."

As the NY Times article notes, the park in the making since the late 1970s, is one-third done.

Here's a link to the Hudson River Park Trust, which oversees the park; critics do not think it's accountable enough to the public. And the book, Waterfront by Philip Lopate, is a must-read for anyone interested in NYC waterfront development.

Photograph of Hudson River Park jogger from rachelleb on Flickr