Last week The Central Park Conservancy unveiled Forever Green, their new $300 million plan to restore Central Park. The New York Times notes that while the park appears in good condition, behind the scenes, its infrastructure needs improvement. Part of this $300 million dollar initiative includes restorations to arches.
Early this year, Central Park Arch Project and Transportation Alternatives formed a coalition to advocate for the restoration of some of these arches and the reconstruction of others. We’ve had several thoughtful conversations with Central Park Conservancy and New York City’s Department of Parks since that time and we’re pleased to see that Forever Green signals a commitment to utilizing arches for improved transportation circulation and safety.
The park has also shown other signs that they’ve taken our message to heart. Work was just completed in Central Park to alleviate the flooding conditions that have plagued Greyshot Arch near Columbus Circle and made it an undesirable crossing location. In the future, we hope to see pathway improvements that will encourage access to the arch and improved lighting.
After continued conversations with members of the community and park officials, our coalition recently shared our most current recommendations with Central Park Conservancy and the Department of Parks. We will be publishing this report on our website on July 26th for the general public to read. We hope that the city and conservancy will continue to be thoughtful and cooperative partners as we strive to achieve a safer more beautiful park.
Lastly, we’d like to thank the efforts and talents of Transportation Alternatives, SLO Architecture, Stephanie Houle, Councilman Corey Johnson, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. We couldn’t be where we are without all of you. We’d also like to thank our fiscal sponsor, The Municipal Arts Society of New York for hosting our arch fund. As always, we look to the community for feedback and financial support. Central Park Arch Project has an all-volunteer staff so any donation that you make will go directly to improving and restoring the park’s arches. All donations are tax-deductible. Please consider giving to our cause.