photo from flickr by collection by seth_holladay
The more I research neighborhood and waterfront revitalization; i see a common element missing from Yonkers completed esplanade section.
there is no destination, bars and a super high end restaurants aren’t the destinations that bring in good foot traffic, the items that are necessary for good destinations are missing, such as plenty of movable tables and chairs, adequate clean bathrooms, both sunny and shaded areas to sit and congregate. I saw a sectionalized bar area that has the outdoor seating, if the seating next to walled bar seating was public, it did not have that feeling. only 2 toilets for the whole area, the employees of the X2 restaurant seem to use them a lot, maybe they used the space upstairs for seating, and didn’t build enough bathrooms upstairs, the public space area is being used as another free subsidy as the employees bathroom to match the use of their parking area on the public plaza. Not a big issue if there is no one using the pier area except for the Xavier patrons, but a very big issue when you try and bring people into this under built for public area.
Bryant park has an outdoor public library with proper seating and tables, you can brown bag your lunch and enjoy the area without cost, but there plenty of kiosk to buy food or beverage if you want them. Larking plaza library is close by, so an outdoor library would be possible here. i am sure i can think of quite a few items that are better than a bar, people that like outdoor markets and walking neighborhoods are not your usual bar patrons, nor would they consider bar food a destination. A community supported recycle a bicycle organization for the neighborhood kids to learn to rebuild discarded and abandoned bicycles and bicycle repair would be a great plus for the community.
Start promoting bicycle Saturday and Sundays for families with a ferry ride to the Manhattan greenway. Metro-North has free parking on weekends at the stations outside Yonkers; promote a train to Yonkers pier to Manhattan waterfront family bike days. Manhattan waterfront has plenty of ferry docks and Brooklyn for ice cream is also a possibility. At least 1500 bicyclist travel to Piermont across the George Washington bridge every seasonal weekend day and pump up the local economy, at least the places that have healthy food. if Yonkers waterfront had a decent priced bicycle and vegetarian friendly outdoor indoor restaurant it could be the returning bicycles dinner point. If Yonkers had a coffee house with muffins and bagels it would become a intermediate stop or return stop via train or ferry. With music and movies, they may stay for dinner. A market would also add to the attraction, all using public transit.
However I don’t think the buses go near the waterfront, that may be why the market is way up on Riverdale, or is it privatization?
if Yonkers waterfront was a healthy bicycle/skater destination and return point, Some cyclist may prefer a beer after their epic ride up at bear mountain and ferry ride back before they take the metro-north home. Bicycle friendly bus to the downtown waterfront are also missing. Small town’s upstate NY in New Paltz are served with bicycle racks on their buses. Westchester Beeline Buses with bike racks would enable many more families to participate in a Yonkers bicycle-ferry weekends without being car dependent.
The waterfront needs to become established as a safe car free conflict destination.
This isn’t a recent revelation that popped up today or with the Alexander street DGEIS , i wrote the mayor last year with this suggestion.