Upper East Siders: Handicap bridge will ruin our river view

Written By kom nampuldu on Selasa, 03 Februari 2015 | 18.18

A group of snooty Upper East Siders has put their million-dollar East River views above the safety of handicapped people.

Community Board 8 unanimously approved a nonbinding resolution that would move the location of a wheelchair-accessible pedestrian bridge above the FDR Drive from East 81st to East 82nd Street.

The decision — meant to protect the panoramic riverside vista — would force disabled people to cross in front of a dangerous parking garage in order to get to the new overpass.

Despite the hardship on the handicapped — some of whom will have to roll themselves in wheelchairs past the busy parking area — supporters of the board feel that crushing any threat to their property values was worth it.

"The view of the river, which I'm paying a lot for, would literally become just a fence and the bridge," said one bridge opponent, who gave his name as Paul, 52. "It's not fair for the people who made a large investment to live where we do."

The 81st Street location would primarily block the views of residents at the 45 East End Avenue Co-Op, while the location a block north would only replace an existing stairway that is lower and would entail less of an obstruction.

A 30-year-old woman who lives in the building — where a four-bedroom unit available now has a $2.8 million price tag — scoffed at the handicapped bridge, saying it "looks like a cage."

"I would look outside of my window and feel like a mouse in a laboratory," she said. "The view of the water would be ruined for a lot of people."

She also dismissed the danger of the parking garage as no big deal.

"If they do build the bridge a block away . . . the handicapped people would still have the option of exiting at 78th Street," she added.

The city's Department of Design and Construction plans to break ground in March on a nearly $12 million project that would replace the current decrepit staircase that leads from a walkway above the FDR to the East River.

But the community board said in December that the city should build the ramp up the block at the shorter staircase.

The CB8 transit committee members also proposed that the city use Plexiglas instead of mesh fencing on the ramp.

Reps for CB8 and the DCC didn't return requests for comment.


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