Testimony Before Brooklyn Bridge Park Board on Pier 6 Proposals, 6 August 2014

Over twenty years ago, the 13 Guiding Principles were created by community members who banded together to create a world-class waterfront park. While Brooklyn Bridge Park is a huge success, that success simply confirms that we need more parkland, not less.

While the city desperately needs more affordable housing, these two buildings are simply too big and too dense.

Congresswoman Velazquez, State Senator Squadron, Assemblywoman Millman and Councilmembers Lander and Levin are correct: The Administration is moving forward too fast on this out-dated Bloomberg-era plan, without any meaningful public engagement. The strain on our infrastructure is too great. We must plan smartly, not rush forward without properly addressing the impacts these two buildings would have on the area. Parts of the plans created years ago are clearly no longer viable, especially given the rapid residential development in the area, including the ill-planned potential residential use of the LICH properties. We must not move forward without full public participation.

Thank you for taking a step back to conduct an environmental analysis. That's a welcomed, good first step. But I propose stepping back even further - to the south.

Let's look to Pier 7 and perhaps build a ferry terminal there. The potential for economic development is enormous, providing as much, if not more, revenue than the two plots at Pier 6.

Now is an opportunity to think together; to think long-term and long-range. We must smartly plan for this crucial next step in the development of the park. Any plan must be integrated with the needs of our beloved neighborhoods- Vinegar Hill, DUMBO, Fulton Ferry, Brooklyn Heights, Concord Village, Willowtown, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus and Park Slope. This includes appropriate development, sustainable infrastructure, public services (such as schools, hospitals, and police) and better utilizing our waterways to address our transportation needs.