Monday, June 22, 2009

BAN's town hall to save the Bowery

BAN's town hall on the future of the Bowery drew a large crowd of eighty or more -- impressive for a community meeting. Everyone, both from the dais and from the audience, spoke in favor of BAN's plan to save the east side of the Bowery by simply extending the current zoning protections of the west side of the Bowery over to the east side.

Councilmember Alan Gerson, who is running for re-election in the district, helped BAN set up the meeting and co-chaired it with local zoning expert Doris Diether. Gerson made clear his support for preserving the Bowery and, pressed on the issue by a member of the Little Italy Neighborhood Association (LINA), committed to coordinating the effort at the political level. Margaret Chin, once again running against Gerson, also appeared in support of the BAN plan, as did a senior aid of Pete Gleason, the dark horse in the campaign who is garnering attention and interest as the candidate with the least political baggage and obligations.

Community Board 3 did not attend the meeting even though the area of the Bowery in question lies in Community District 3. Jim Solomon, however, of Community Board 2 and the Chinatown Working Group co-chair, did attend. The director of the East Village History Project was there, the JASA residence was represented and the Bowery Mission, among a wide array of local residents and community organizations.

Councilmember Gerson will be instrumental in the upcoming meeting with City Planning. It's fair to say that the future of the Bowery depends on the work Gerson can accomplish between now and that meeting.


Paul Newell said...

For the record, Pete Gleason did attend the meeting, but had to leave before it was opened for speakers.

I thought the event was very positive, now let's see if we can get City Hall to notice.

JaneDoe said...

Gerson accomplish something? Surely you jest.

He has delayed, bolloxed or ignored most issues of importance.

Name one thing Gerson has 'acomplished' in his eight yers, besides voting to extend term limits for himself.

Just name one. Please.

Anonymous said...

What are we trying to save? CBGB? The Shelters? The 12 year old lookalike builings with rickity staircases?