On January 28, Land Use and Waterfront Committee meeting of Community Board 6 held a presentation by the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) that included revised plans for a pedestrian access bridge and artist Stacy Levy’s inspiration for art along the East Midtown Greenway.
The EDC is working with the Department of Transportation to redesign the intersection of Sutton Place South and 54th Street to minimize the problems caused by implementation of the pedestrian access bridge to the Greenway at Clara Coffey Park. One lane going South from 54th Street would be removed, the crosswalk shortened, and a little bit of sidewalk and garden area would be added, serving to replace a small amount of the park area taken away by the bridge. Certain safety features, such as bollards at the beginning of the bridge's bike lane, would also be added. While there has been strong concern about the loss of a heavily visited area of the park, which currently serves many elderly and disabled neighbors, these alterations indicate to a small degree an effort on the part of the EDC to mitigate the park loss.
Project artist Stacy Levy described her work along the walkway as pavers which will be light and dark shades of grey concrete hex-tiles and the patterns will be based on the shapes of micro-organisms existing in the East River. Levy said that they have been tested for durability and replacement. The Parks Department would maintain the paving. She also described the node at the Greenway opposite 53rd Street as a place for “public educational installations, educational programming, and environmental considerations.”