FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES REVITALIZING THE CITY'S WATERFRONT
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, June 4, 2006
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"For much of our history, New York's waterfronts were essential for the transport and trade that fueled the city's economy. Our waterfronts once bustled with active wharves on the East and the Hudson Rivers. But as the city's economy evolved over the last half-century, our industrial waterfronts fell into a long period of neglect.
"Our Administration has been working hard to revitalize the waterfront and create unique recreational spaces that can be enjoyed by New Yorkers and visitors for decades to come. In all five boroughs, we're making great strides in that effort.
"Just last week, we celebrated an important milestone in the creation of Brooklyn Bridge Park, with the transfer of four Port Authority piers to the City. We opened the first section of the park in 2003, when we converted a three-acre parking lot underneath the Manhattan Bridge into a beautiful new lawn and a playground. But just a few years from now, Brooklyn Bridge Park will be home to eighty-five acres of playing fields, tennis and basketball courts, and paddling areas stretching along the water's edge, in the shadow of the world's most spectacular skyline.
"We're working to create new waterfront parks in every borough. At Barretto Point Park in the Bronx, we're turning a barren field into a five-acre open space with a scenic shoreline promenade. In Lower Manhattan, we're opening access to the waterfront through the creation of an esplanade that will run from Battery Park to East River Park. On the western shore of Staten Island, we're turning what was the world's biggest landfill into the city's biggest new park in over a century. And in Queens, we recently opened Fort Totten Park, a 50-acre jewel with sweeping views of the Long Island Sound and the Throgs Neck Bridge.
"New York's 578 miles of waterfront were critical to our commercial development during the 19th and 20th Centuries. Now, in the 21st Century, reclaiming the waterfront from neglect is key to improving our quality of life and providing families in every borough with great open spaces to enjoy.
"And with the weather heating up and summer just around the corner, there's no better time to escape to the waterfront - including the City's 14 miles of beautiful beaches. A week ago, we opened our beaches - all of which have undergone significant renovations in recent years. From the fantastic Ocean Breeze Pier on Staten Island, to the four new performance pavilions on Coney Island, to a new workout room and lifeguard station on Orchard Beach, to a seaside skate park on Rockaway Beach: In every borough, our shorelines and beaches have something unique to offer and are free and open to the public through Labor Day.
"So before you pack your weekend bags, remember that no matter where you live - in New York City, a trip to the beach or a waterfront park is just a subway ride away.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958