Residents Push to Extend Reinforced St. George Promenade
ST. GEORGE — A group of Bay Street Landing condo residents is pushing to turn the Hurricane Sandy damaged promenade into a public path with storm protections.
The St. George-Tompkinsville Promenade committee developed plans to replace the promenade, extend it and add resiliency measures like berms, wetlands and oyster reefs to protect the area from future storms.
"We want to improve the resiliency of Staten Island, transportation and service in St. George," said Stan Sacks, one of the eight group members who developed the plan.
"We want to enhance the North Shore economic corridor and we want to augment this great waterfront recreation green space."
The proposed promenade would extend the small walking path that currently stretches from the Bay Street Landing Developments to the St. George Ferry Terminal into a larger pedestrian and bicycle path that stretches to Stapleton and Fort Wadsworth.
The group wants the city to install Citi Bike stations so people can grab a bike at the ferry and pedal to South Beach.
"We've got this unbelievable, knock-your-socks-off, blow-the-Highline-into-smithereens, best-ever location and we really want to make it something that people can use," said Leslie Brown, a member of the group.
"You could pick up a Citi Bike and, in 30 minutes, you can get to Ford Wadsworth. Now you go to the overlook and you can't beat that view."
The group hasn't gotten any official go-ahead, but it has been asked to participate in the federal Rebuild by Design competition in which groups submit plans for Sandy recovery projects.
This month, the group created social media pages to get other residents in the neighborhood interested in the project.
"We've spent so much time in the planning stages that we really still have to start talking to the community about what this should be," Brown said.
They will also be a part of the Rebuild by Design's "I Love My Shoreline" day of interactive exhibits at the Staten Island Museum, and are building interactive oyster reefs at the Staten Island MakerSpace for the March 23 event.
The group was founded by eight members of the Bay Street Landing Homeowners Association, which saw many condos flooded by the storm that drove debris from broken piers into homes. The damage closed the promenade and it hasn't re-opened, Sacks said.
With new development projects poised to start in the neighborhood, it's the perfect time to concentrate on increased protection, Brown said.
"If you're going to make these investments, you really have to make the investments in protecting them from storm surges," Brown said.