Letters, week of March 14, 2012

Focus on Delancey, at last

To the Editor:
Re “D.O.T. is set to release new Delancey St. safety plan” (news article, Feb. 8):

For years, we demanded that our politicians, the Department of Transportation and our local community board address these issues. They never listened until now.
Eric Nagy
Nagy is a member of Fathers 4 Justice

Hooray for new Pier 17

 To the Editor,
The Downtown Alliance strongly supports the Howard Hughes Corporation’s renovation plan for Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport. The project would create more jobs, more publicly accessible open space and more shops on Pier 17. It would also boost sales tax revenues for New York City and make the Seaport a more compelling destination for Lower Manhattan’s 310,000 workers, 57,000 residents and 9.8 million visitors.

Best of all, from our perspective, it would drive much-needed foot traffic into the Water Street corridor, providing a powerful economic boost to all of Lower Manhattan.

Anchored by the Seaport on the north and Battery Park on the south, the Water Street corridor is Lower Manhattan’s premier commercial boulevard, with 70,000 workers, 19 million square feet of office space and 12,000 nearby residents. If Water Street is to keep up with the metamorphosis under way in the rest of Lower Manhattan, it will need more dining and retail options and a street life that bustles beyond business hours.

A revitalized Pier 17 and a more pedestrian-friendly Water Street would help make this happen. The Downtown Alliance has advocated for New York City zoning changes that allow Water Street’s tenants and property owners to offer public and café seating as an amenity in underused public arcades. We have also helped launch public seating initiatives in an ongoing effort to make the area more hospitable to pedestrians.

Combine these and other improvements with a steady stream of potential customers strolling between the Seaport and Battery Park — on streets overdue for an infusion of restaurants, shops and other amenities — and you have the essential ingredients for major redevelopment. The Downtown Alliance believes the Pier 17 revitalization plans of the Howard Hughes Corporation would benefit not just the Seaport but the rest of Lower Manhattan and the entire city.
Elizabeth H. Berger
President of the Downtown Alliance Business Improvement District 

Not fooled by cute frogs

To the Editor,
Re “Sculptor dogged by a past act deserves forgiveness” (Talking Point, Feb. 29, 2012):

While Clayton Patterson’s call for forgiveness is a touching plea for a close friend, it fails to take one major consideration into account. While discussing Tom’s “evolution” we are not discussing someone who committed a crime, paid a debt to society and made redemption through art afterward. In fact, we are discussing an artist whose entire career is the profit of that “youthful indiscretion.”

There would be no cute sculptures at schools if Otterness had not made himself a name in blood. In fact, the very cuteness of these pieces could be considered evidence, not of a change for the better, but of an attempt to misdirect those who know the difference between high art and murderous self-promotion.
Dominic Cloutier 

So what’s your position?

To the Editor, 
Re “Little change in District One’s boarders” (Talking point, March 1, 2012):

So, Ms. Chin, if you’re not concerned about redistricting — and the rumors about losing votes in the Village and SoHo aren’t true — what is your position on the N.Y.U. 2031 Plan? State it now and really stop the rumors.
N. Shipman

Downtown Express welcomes letters to The Editor. They must include the writer’s first and last name, a phone number for confirmation purposes only, and any affiliation that relates directly to the letter’s subject matter. Letters should be less than 300 words. Downtown Express reserves the right to edit letters for space, clarity, civility or libel reasons. Letters should be e-mailed to news@DowntownExpress.com or can be mailed to 511 Canal St., N.Y., N.Y. 10013.

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