Posted by: David Giacalone | September 30, 2010

potential environmental effects of the Riverside Park dock

 In the posting “help stop the Riverside Park dock” (April 18, 2010), which also has many photos of the beautiful Park and its scenic vistas, I described the reasons why I and like-minded folks oppose the proposal to put an unsupervised 300′ public dock parallel to the riverbank, along the Mohawk River at Riverside Park.  In this posting, you will find photos that “show” (rather than “tell”) why we believe the dock has the potential for significant adverse environmental effects on Riverside Park’s treasured scenic views and ambiance, on the leisurely activities enjoyed by its users, and on the quality of life of nearby Stockade residents.

Our State environmental review laws [SEQR] include effects on “resources of . . . historic or aesthetic significance” and on “existing community or neighborhood character” in the definition of environment.  [§617.2(l)]  We believe that the potential for significant environmental harm is great enough to warrant a full environmental review by the City of Schenectady before the dock is approved.  There have been some indications that the City will instead issue a “Negative Declaration” under SEQR in the near future, ending all review — and formal public participation concerning environmental issues — without the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement.

Note: For a comprehensive set of Comments to the City on the need for full SEQR environmental review of the Dock, click here (dated Oct. 1, 2010, 13 pp. pdf.); and, see a Schenectady Gazette OpEd column (Oct. 3, 2010, D1), both by David Giacalone. Also, see the Stockade Association letter to the Schenectady City Council requesting full SEQR environmental review (Sept. 28, 2010). . . to share this posting you can use the short URL http://tinyurl.com/DockSEQR

site of the proposed parallel dock seen from the Mohawk River

– site of the proposed 300′ dock (parallel to the riverbank, between North St. and the Esplanade at N. Ferry St.) as seen from Scotia  –

– Click for a copy of the plat of the Riverside Dock Construction Plan, which was included last month in the Planning Office’s draft Economic Assessment Form.  (Note: Because the City’s copy is so faint, I have outlined important items and relabeled them to make them legible.)

Immediately below is a Slideshow of photos (which appear in random order) that “show” why we are concerned about the impact of the dock on the Park, its current users, and its neighbors. Below the Slideshow is a Gallery that you may use to view larger versions of  any of the images.

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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Scroll over each thumbnail in the Gallery below for a description of the scene and click on a photo for a larger version.  The photographs with captions were taken to depict views from or toward the proposed site of the dock; to show the proximity of homes to the Park, dock or parking areas; or to point out the narrow one-lane streets used for access to Riverside Park.  Photos without captions capture some of the ways folks enjoy Riverside Park and its stretch of the Mohawk River.

– below the Gallery are larger versions of select photos –

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Suggestion: when viewing the photos, ask yourself questions like:

  • how would the dock change the view from here?
  • how will the dock (and the people/activities it brings) affect people living nearby?
  • how would the dock affect the way Riverside Park has been and will be used?

. . another look:

view from a bench near Ingersoll Ave.

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view from swingset of the site of the proposed dock

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view east from riverbank near basketball courts

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Ingersoll Ave. homes and a small parking area border Riverside Park

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view from the cannon on the Esplanade near N. Ferry St.

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view from top of slide to site of proposed dock

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view east from bank near Governor’s Lane

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Responses

  1. I think a dock would be a wonderful addition to the Riverside Park area of Schenectady.

  2. This quiet residential park, as well as the overly polluted river, does not need a new dock for motor boats, 10 new parking spaces, a kiosk, and a new fire/police boat; however, some ghats would be grand.


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