Pedestrian-Friendly Waterfront Plaza in the Works on Staten Island

September 20th. 2017

Almost ten years ago, the New York City Economic Development Corporation released their Working West Shore 2030 plan.  The purpose of the study was to figure out ways to create local jobs for Staten Islanders, upgrade transportation networks, preserve open spaces, and improve community services.  The areas included in the study were Arlington and Port Ivory, Bloomfield and the Teleport, Travis and Fresh Kills, the Rossville Waterfront, and Charleston and Tottenville.  The plan was very popular amongst the public, and so, just a few years later, North Shore 2030 was released.

 

 

North Shore 2030: Improving and Reconnecting the North Shore’s Unique and Historic Assets was released in December of 2011.  The areas included in the study were St. George, New Brighton, West Brighton, Port Richmond, Mariner’s Harbor and Arlington, and Jersey Street.  It basically began from Mariner’s Marsh Park and extended all the way east to the Staten Island Ferry terminal.  Its southern boundary was Forest Avenue.

 

 

Unlike its predecessor, North Shore 2030 was not highly accepted by the general public.  Rather than start working on the improvements planned for the West Shore, the City started planning for the North Shore.  Residents believed that much time and money had been wasted by planning for a different area, instead of by implementing what they had already planned out.  In their eyes, the City kept planning and planning, preventing any projects from seeing fruition.

As much as it may not seem like it, work has actually started on numerous projects included in both the Working West Shore 2030 plan and the North Shore 2030 plan.  For example, in June of 2014, the City began to design the Richmond Terrace Wetlands Streetscape, which would be an update to an existing park—the 11.19-acre Richmond Terrace Wetlands. 

 

 

The design phase for the project had been completed in April of 2016, so the next phase was to acquire the land needed for the project.  The City had expected this procurement phase to be completed by January of 2017, but it actually took a bit longer and was not completed until July of 2017.  Construction on the site would be the next step, which was supposed to begin next month in October.  It actually began ahead of schedule, as ground was broken earlier this month.

 

 

You can see the present Richmond Terrace Wetlands between two bus stops along Richmond Terrace for the s40, but there’s not really much access to do anything, unless you want to hop over the metal roadside barrier into the overgrown woods.  Once the Richmond Terrace Wetlands Streetscape is complete, it will be much more pedestrian-friendly.  Near the Van Name Avenue entrance, there will be a gathering space the size of a classroom.  A woodland path will connect the western and eastern boundaries, leading to an overlook near Van Pelt Avenue, where visitors can watch the happenings on the Kill van Kull.  Throughout the park, visitors will also be able to find historical maps of Staten Island’s North Shore.  Construction is expected to be completed by October of 2019, just two years from now.

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