Passing grade: Locals applaud B’Bridge Park honchos’ latest design for hilly parkland at Pier 2

Passing grade: Locals applaud B’Bridge Park honchos’ latest design for hilly parkland at Pier 2
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

This pier’s on the up-and-up!

Brooklyn Bridge Park officials revealed plans on Wednesday to create a swathe of hilly parkland at Pier 2, drawing cheers from residents who applauded the honchos for considering their concerns about an earlier proposal and forming a new one with broad appeal.

“By and large they listened, which is great,” said Peter LaBonte, chairman of the meadow’s Community Advisory Council, which liaises between its stewards and locals. “We’re pleased with the outcome.”

Plans for the uplands include laying down a slightly sloped lawn big enough for 315 people that contains terraced seating made with pieces of granite from the Brooklyn Bridge. They also call for building a huge water garden, an aquatic feature with spray jets that meanders through the green space.

Officials ensured that park-goers will be able to sled on the lawn come wintertime now that the stone seating is designed to be moved in and out of place, a change community members pushed for after honchos presented the first iteration of the Pier 2 plans last year.

The proposal also includes building a berm along the perimeter of the space, creating a sloped grassy mound of earth that will camouflage the area’s existing maintenance building.

As many as nine parking spaces will be removed from the side of Furman Street just behind the berm in order to make room for a new bus drop-off zone that will be large enough to fit two people-movers. Locals requested a dedicated area for buses so the huge vehicles don’t clog the area, and LaBonte said park honchos should consider setting aside even more space for them because so many drive into the meadow.

“We’re still concerned that might not be sufficient,” he said. “The traffic has increased dramatically. There are city buses, tour buses, school buses, and wedding buses picking up and dropping off, and that area becomes especially congested.”

But residents overall lauded the proposal for adding more land to their waterfront backyard.

“It’s clearly an improvement,” said Lucy Koteen, a member of the advisory council. “There’s more open space.”

Construction is set to begin in September 2018, and officials said it should conclude by September 2020.

In July, Brooklyn Bridge Park officials debuted a similar rolling-countryside-inspired landscape at Pier 5, which includes its own sloped lawn, a shaded grove, and benches where patrons can take in the Manhattan skyline.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill