The opponents of New York University's controversial expansion plan for Greenwich Village owe their recent court victory to the legacy of Jane Jacobs' legendary fight against the proposed Lower Manhattan Expressway.
"A ruling on Tuesday by Justice Donna M. Mills of State Supreme Court in Manhattan to block, at least temporarily, about half of New York University’s sprawling expansion plan was a direct outgrowth of Ms. Jacobs’s successful struggle decades ago to thwart another highly contentious project — the proposed Lower Manhattan Expressway, long championed by Robert Moses, which would have gutted Greenwich Village, including Washington Square Park," writes Sam Roberts.
Judge Mills' decision hinges on the plan's proposed use of three tiny parks to house new development, and the inability of the city to dispose of such land without the approval of the State Legislature. Those parks, it turns out, were "created by the thwarted expressway," notes Roberts. "The green space never would have been created if Ms. Jacobs had lost to Moses."
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