M&O: Green Maintenance Vehicles

Worksman TricycleM&O is a new series of posts attempting to explain some of the  Maintenance and Operations issues we’re thinking about for the High Line once it’s open. M&O discussions are ongoing, and many details will be finalized in the months leading up to the High Line’s opening.

In building a park as unorthodox as the High Line, unusual circumstances require creative solutions. Because of the shape of  the High Line — long and linear, with narrow paths and few open spaces for parking —  the use of traditional maintenance vehicles such as large cars and trucks is limited. We’re also trying to make the High Line as green as possible by cutting down on any unnecessary sources of carbon emissions.

As a result, the High Line staff has had to come up with some interesting ideas as to how to transport workers, tools and other necessities from one end to the other.

One such possibility being discussed is the use of tricycles. No, not your little brother’s shiny new Christmas present, but rather the muscle-bound brute strength of a Worksman Industrial Tricycle, the same company who makes the famously indestructable Central Park hot dog carts. Ozone Park-based Worksman is the oldest bicycle manufacturer in the USA.

In using these trikes on the High Line, we would hope to turn them into veritable Batmobiles of the sky, allowing for easy transport of large quantities of tools and equipment, with minimal interruption of the public’s use of the space. And because they’re manual, they would eliminate emissions commonly found in engine vehicles, serving as an efficient, eco-friendly alternative.

Any other suggestions for interesting alternative transportation methods are more than welcome!

Manhattan Borough President’s Community Planning Fellowship

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s office is now taking applications for its 2008-2009 Community Planning Fellowship. The program, open to second-year graduate students in planning, intends to engage planning students in public service and to provide practical educational experience. Part of the Fellowship involves attending a planning seminar, which meets at least four times per semester. FHL’s Robert Hammond was a guest speaker at this year’s spring seminar.

In accordance with a hands-on approach to planning curriculum, Fellows will also log 15 hours a week in the office of one of Manhattan’s 12 Community Boards. Projects at the Community Boards may focus on physical planning, policy research, problem-solving, day-to-day matters or longer-term service delivery concerns, and public outreach activities.

Past Fellows have worked to complete community-based plans (197-a plans); develop recommendations on land use applications (ULURP); map and analyze neighborhood conditions; and research landmarks/historic sites.

The application deadline is June 15.

More info about the annual fellowship is available here as a PDF, or on the Borough President’s Web site.

Amanda Burden Awarded Top Planning Honor

Amanda Burden, Chair of the New York City Planning Commission, has long been a supporter of the High Line– she sheparded through the 2005 West Chelsea Rezoning which allowed its preservation. And excellence and hard work was recognized recently.

On Monday evening at the 2008 National Planning Conference in Las Vegas, Amanda was inducted into the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) College of Fellows. Election to Fellow is one of the highest honors that the AICP bestows upon a member. Induction recognizes planners who’ve made “exceptional contributions to the planning profession.”

And Amanda has certainly made an exceptional contribution: Since her appointment by Mayor Bloomberg in 2002, she has led the largest planning effort in the city since the mid-twentieth century. Transforming visions– such as the High Line– into reality, Amanda is setting the stage for sensible, smart development, reclaiming waterfront and ex-industrial space, designing new parkland and public spaces such as the High Line, and promoting great architecture and urban design in all five boroughs.

Read the APA’s Announcement

Earlier: Awards Sweep for High Line Champion Amanda Burden


Awards Sweep for High Line Champion Amanda Burden

amandaburden1.jpg  amandaburden2.jpg

It’s award season for Amanda Burden, Chair of the New York City Planning Commission  — and one of the High Line’s earliest, most passionate champions.  Earlier in February, we saw her glide up to the podium to accept a New York City Cititzens Committee award, presented by Charlie Rose (right photo, and check out New York Social Diary’s coverage).  And last week, at at Travel + Leisure’s Design Awards 2008, Nancy Novogrod (T+L editor-in-chief and High Line supporter) presented Amanda with the mag’s Design Champion award.  T+L ran a full-page photo (above, left) of Amanda on the High Line’s spectacular rail yards section (this part of the High Line still needs some saving — go to our Rail Yards Blog for more info.)  

 We’re happy to see Amanda recognized for her work.  Back when the Giuliani administration wanted to tear the High Line down, Amanda, then a member of the Planning Commission, testified personally about the need to save the structure at our first City Council hearing.  Then, when Mayor Bloomberg appointed her as Chair of the Planning Commission, Amanda oversaw the rezoning of West Chelsea, which included many provisions  that made the High Line’s preservation and transformation possible.