In this Q&A, the new president of New York's Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance talks about what metropolitan New York can and should do to revitalize its 700 miles of waterfront.
"Q: It would seem that reclaiming the waterfront would be an easy sell. Why isn't it?"
"A: I think, counterproductively, there have been fights among the different constituents. I think industrial retention and parks can live together wonderfully, and they strengthen each other's case. There will come times when there might be issues where they are diametrically opposed, and at that point, we as an organization have to say, 'Intelligent minds should disagree."
"Q: Given the fact that our transportation system basically consists of subways, and subways usually don't stop at the water's edge, what can be done to improve access?"
"A: A bus can, and a bus often doesn't. You'll see that New York Waterway, which is one of the major private [ferry] operators, started its own bus system to get people from midtown to their terminal on 39th Street. There are certain ferry stops where the subway system does meet [the waterfront]; up on the top of Manhattan by Marble Hill, there's this little nexus of transport there that can have a ferry terminal right there. You'll be able to use your MetroCard to go onto a ferry as well as use it on a bus or the subways."