MAJOR CHANGES COMING TO RIVERSIDE PARK SOUTH OVER NEXT TWO YEARS

riverside plans2

Joseph Epstein

The city plans to bring new bike paths, fields, bathrooms, picnic tables and basketball courts to Riverside Park South by 2018 as it completes the final two phases of the park’s reconstruction.

Riverside Park South covers a strip from 59th to 72nd street adjacent to the Hudson River. The park is being designed by the New York firm Thomas Balsley Associates and has been under construction since 2001. The plan for the park has six phases, four of which were completed before 2008, when construction was halted due to a lack of funding. The first four phases of the project cost $43.7 million and the engineering firm predicts that the last two phases will cost an additional $49.6 million.

Construction for phase five of the plan is set to start in June 2016 and will continue until the winter of 2018. The blueprint of phase five include plazas, play areas, a bike path, and a dog run between 65th and 68th street. The estimated cost of phase five alone is $25 million, with funding from federal and city sources, as well as a parks escrow account. Developers who built buildings nearby have funded some of the Riverside Park construction.

Construction for phase six is due to start in 2017 and end in 2018. Plans include a sports field with field lights, a continuation of the bike path from phase five, and basketball courts. Phase six stretches from 59th to 65th street and is estimated to cost $24.6 million.

The report below presented at the meeting explains the changes in more detail.

20160418 CB7 Presentation (0418 Revision)

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 16 comments | permalink
    1. Bill says:

      This is very nice and welcome. However, this screams out for more attention to what I guess we should call Riverside Park North – the “old” park we’ve known and loved for decades. While the Parks department seems to be doing its best to maintain it, the northern park needs lots of relatively small scale but presumably expensive work – especially repairing pathways and stone work throughout. This is beyond the capacity of the Riverside Park Conservancy. We need substantial amounts of City, State and Federal money for this, and we need it fast.

      • jezbel says:

        I agree with Bill… Riverside from 72nd Street north is dealing with ancient facilities, rotting playgrounds with dangerous wooden equipment and other infrastructure. There is poor lighting in many areas including under the bridges under the hi-way. I thought that area was going to be getting a make-over…

        • rob schron says:

          No surprise north of 72nd street is being pretty much ignored by the Parks Dept. as it’s residents aren’t the high rollers living in the complex of buildings in what has become as Riverside Park South and who the city caters to for their financial support and votes. Won’t get too upset about it however, unless the area to be improved upon is named after Trump.

      • Kindly Dr Dave says:

        Bill is correct. The “traditional” areas of Riverside are heavily used today and need adequate maintenance. While the “new” areas planned developments are nice, they are targeting the “1% Trump Tenants,” and should not take precedence over the 99% current park users.

    2. ScooterStan says:

      Hopefully, ALL OF THIS will be PUBLIC ACCESS!

      Reason for skepticism?

      Because last spring it appeared that SOME playing areas below the highway were already marked for the sole use of Riverside Boulevard residents.

      Could be, and hopefully am, wrong. Willing to hear corrections.

      Over and out……….

    3. TrumpPlacer says:

      When Riverside Park South was first built, it was originally funded by the owners and builders of Riverside Blvd aka Trump Place. In the earlier years, NYC Parks dept would not parol the area and there were a number of muggings and the space was considered “closed” after certain hours. (There used to be a pseudo gate that closed up the ramp to 68th and Riverside Blvd). I am sure a deal was struck with the lower deck portion of the parks after hurricane Sandy to upkeep the paths. The upper deck is still space owned by the newer condo buildings on RSB after Trump sold his portion. La Palestra had rented space on the upper deck and maintained a ball field and soccer field on the lower deck. This was not parks dept space.

      • AC says:

        WOW! This brings back memories of my youth. There use to be a gate along 72 street along the water and adjacent to the handball court. We use to sneak in there and head into the train tracks that ran North and below the West Side Highway. We’d sneak in and the NYPD would chase us but then stop, as they too were cautious of the area. It was a place where muggers, drug addicts, trannys, and pervs would hang out. If there was a Hell on earth, that was the place! Why my friends and I would venture into that filthy area is beyond me? There also use to be a dilapidated pier where a nudist colony would sun bath (mostly men) , , , that pier was redone and is now an extension of Pier i Café. I’m talking in the days of Charlie Chop Off scaring the kids, Ugly George roaming the streets, and the infamous Plato’s Retreat.

        So Happy to see the planned improvements , , , I would have never dreamed of this!

    4. EG says:

      Is there a track in Riverside Park, or elsewhere on the UWS, anywhere near 72nd Street?

      • Eddie says:

        There is a track in lower part of Riverside Park in the low 70s around soccer fields. I think it is 1/8 of a mile around. Not the prettiest track I have ever seen but it works if that is what you are looking for.

      • NR says:

        The closest publicly accessible full-size (1/4 mile) track I’m aware of is at Riverbank State Park, on the river around 137th Street. You can get to it from the street level or by taking the stairs/elevator up from the Greenway.

    5. W 67th St says:

      Looks great, and I’m so glad there will be a new dog run!

    6. ny152 says:

      While they are at it, they need to install some kind of mile marker or location ID along the paths and lamp-posts so emergency services can more easily navigate Riverside Park.

      Over the years I have unfortunately been witness to multiple incidents that required a call to 911 and each time the ambulances seemed to have a very difficult time understanding how to get to us. With some much recreation going on in the parks, the opportunity for injury or even just normal medical emergencies is high.

    7. V says:

      How about Riverside park north?????

    8. Hannah says:

      Hard to tell, but hoping a new bike path will restore the walkway along the river to pedestrians. Currently it’s terrifying to walk there. Too easy to be hit by a bike.