Author Topic: Staten Island Bridges Quiz - How well do you know the SI bridges?  (Read 5130 times)

Offline mack

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Re: Staten Island Bridges Quiz - How well do you know the SI bridges?
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2014, 05:06:49 PM »
Mack, was that planned highway to blame for the "ghost overpass" on Richmond Avenue close to Arthur Kill Road, theres an overpass with nothing ontop of it, it ends outta no where - if you went straight on the Korean War PKWY you would end up there.

From Wikipedia - Urban planners vs environmentalists  - environmentalists won:


Nonetheless, during the first fifty years of the 20th century, several proposals for Staten Island parks and parkways were drafted first by the Borough of Richmond and then by the City of New York. It wasn’t until the first years of the 1960s, though, that then Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority Chairman, Robert Moses, revealed plans for a parkway that would connect Brooklyn with New Jersey, traversing the island from the soon to be opened Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on the island’s north shore to the Outerbridge Crossing on the southern shore of Staten Island. This original route of the proposed Richmond Parkway would have bisected ... Fresh Kills, William T. Davis Wildlife Refuge, Reed’s Basket Willow Swamp, Willowbrook and High Rock Park. Conservation activists, given immediacy by the Federal Highway Act and hope in the person of President John F. Kennedy’s Secretary of the Interior, Stewart Udall, mobilized in opposition to these plans.

Their first victory was the saving of High Rock Girl Scout Camp, the acreage of which had originally been a part of Pouch Boy Scout Camp, including Orbach Lake, to the north. With a $35,000 grant from the State of New York is was bought from the Boy Scouts and established as Camp High Rock for Girls. For thirteen years, the camp served girl scouts from throughout the five boroughs of New York City. But, in 1964, the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York secretly decided to sell the camp to a developer for $1,000,000. Upon learning about this sale, the New York City Parks Department and the State of New York, with the help of the Open Lands Foundation, raised over $1,300,000 to buy back the land from the developer, thus creating High Rock Park.

Then, on November 22, 1965, the Staten Island Citizens Planning Committee (SICPC), which had begun in 1954 as an ad-hoc committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Staten Island, issued the first of many position papers beginning by invoking Olmsted’s plea for a linear park; it concluded by presenting an alternate parkway plan that would spare what has come to be known as the Staten Island Greenbelt, a term proposed by landscape architect, Bradford Greene, one of the group’s founding members....

At the helm of the SICPC, an all-volunteer organization, were several “off-islanders" – young professionals who had moved to Staten Island’s North Shore area in the 1950s largely because of the quality of life promised by the open space that still existed.... Summoning their many and diverse talents, their strategy involved developing and advocating for an alternate route in the press, before public officials, and, when necessary, the courts.

One year into the SICPC’s legal fight against the original route of the Richmond Parkway, the Staten Island Greenbelt Natural Areas League (SIGNAL), spearheaded by another resident-journalist, John G. Mitchell, formed as a vehicle for rallying community opposition to the highway construction. From 1966 until the early 1970s, SIGNAL organized thousands of citizens and elected officials (including Planning Commissioner Eleanor Guggenheimer, Parks Commissioner Thomas Hoving, Mayor John V. Lindsay, and U.S. Senator Jacob Javits) to participate in annual winter walks through the highland forests, tracing the route of the proposed (and already mapped) highway route. These two citizen organizations and their combined strategies of lobbying, public relations, and grassroots organizing challenged Robert Moses....

In spite of brewing opposition, road work began in 1965 on what became known as “section 1”. When the work was halted by the city, excavations were used to construct what is now known as "Moses Mountain," a rise adjacent to the Manor Road - Rockland Avenue interchange. Other remnants of construction can be seen from the Staten Island Expressway between the Clove Road and Bradley Avenue exits, which are referred to as the abandoned bridges. They are a little west of the Petrides School Complex. This abandoned interchange is currently being removed as part of a 140 million dollar overhaul of the Expressway.

In 1966 Volmer Associates were hired by the city of New York to describe alternate routes to “section 1”. They were proposed, studied, and debated by New York state and city officials, creating contention and divisions even within these governmental units. While travel distance between the island’s bridges was on paramount concern to the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, the City Park Department, led by August Hecksher, commissioned the planning firm Wallace, McHarg, Roberts and Todd. Ian McHarg, a Glasgow born landscape architect, who had stated in his much studied book Design with Nature that engineer road builders were “gouging and scarring the landscape without remorse,” headed up the landmark study.

Having pointed out that a method for displaying and factoring social values into highway design and planning had not been developed, McHarg set about creating just that. Long before GIS technology was available, McHarg used data rich maps and overlays which allowed planners to visually understand how social values – historic, residential, economic, recreational, scenic, ecological factors – synergistically interacted with and potentially impacted upon human activity, including road building. Using map transparencies he and his colleagues produced the commissioned report with a recommendation stating that the route to the west of what is today the Greenbelt, was the “least social cost corridor.”

Under duress from developers who were eager to begin building homes adjacent to the roadway, the Greenbelt's erstwhile supporters, Mayor John Lindsay and Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, publicly backed a compromise route. In response, the two citizen organizations were willing to stop at nothing to preserve what John Mitchell, in one of his writings, referred to as “a fine patch of wild".  With their combined memberships behind them, the officers of the SICPC and SIGNAL sought injunctive relief in New York State Supreme Court, which meant suing both Lindsay and Rockefeller. The court decision found for the plaintiffs. The citizen planners and conservationists were victorious. The area was earmarked as one of two Special Natural Features Districts in the City of New York, and between 1972 and 1974 the urbanist Peter Verity (now of PDRc) prepared for the New York City Planning Commission the strategic and detailed documentation to support this designation."

Results - a green belt with little park lands for people to use, a highway that was half built, congestion on Richmond Ave and Arthur Kill Rd and a lot of wasted money.

Note the mention of "developers" eager to build homes.  Word was there was a lot of money associated with the new mall and shopping center developers which defeated the highway project and doomed SI to an inadequate infrastructure.

Re: Staten Island Bridges Quiz - How well do you know the SI bridges?
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2014, 05:06:49 PM »


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Re: Staten Island Bridges Quiz - How well do you know the SI bridges?
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2014, 06:58:55 PM »
Thanks Memory and Mack - very interesting.