Sunday, May 19, 2013

Alternatives to the NID

We're just ordinary citizens, so we don't see why we would need to propose alternatives just because we think the HRP NID is a bad idea. But since the Steering Committee and other HRP NID supporters have been falsely saying we don't have any, here goes:

1. Robust private fundraising. 2012 was the first year that FoHRP raised more than a de minimus amount for HRP. In contrast, the High Line website says they raise 90% of their operating budget from their membership program. The successful fundraising drive for the repair of Pier 25's playground shows we are generous when properly asked to voluntarily support projects we care about. 

2. Air rights transfers: Friends of the High Line has received an estimated $25M from transferred air rights. HRPT should explore the possibility of transferring park air rights sensibly to inland areas that can accommodate higher buildings in exchange for payment.

3. The establishment of a Conservancy: Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park are supported by Conservancies and the idea is being explored for Washington Square Park.

4. Make a deal (finally!) to redevelop Pier 40.

5. Institute an "Adopt the Park" program for businesses that pay for daily sanitation and maintenance of a defined section of the Park. Signage, if done sensitively, could satisfy both the businesses desire for recognition and the desire of park goers not to be assaulted with advertising.

6. Tax the tourists with a surcharge on Circle Line and Intrepid tickets and any way else you can (their cities do it to us when we visit, after all). While you're at it, find a way to collect some cash from the commuters going through the NY Waterways depot, like a surcharge on the coffee and snack sales there.

7. Use the public and your political connections to get additional city and state funding. We've got plenty of voters who love HRP, but hate the NID, ready to lobby their representatives.