THE RIVER MUST GO
Living in North Jersey these days is an expensive proposition, especially if you commute to a job in Manhattan and you’re faced with the huge cost of traveling that last mile over or under or on the Hudson every work day. Something has to be done about it, something drastic. We’ve got to get rid of the Hudson River. It’s in the way.
My family has a history of short term toll-free river crossings. My Grandma Honorah once spoke of walking across the solidly frozen Hudson to shop on 42nd Street around 1900, but you can’t count on that today with global warming. Imagine calling your Wall Street boss and telling him you won’t be in for awhile because the river melted.
My Uncle Willie swam from Edgewater to Riverside Park and back in 1920. That’s too dangerous now with the heavy river traffic and you can’t show up at work in a wetsuit even on dress-down Fridays.
I once almost made the crossing in a small sailboat with a boyhood pal. We got within a stone’s throw of the Battery. I know it was a stone’s throw because there were two kids on the shore throwing stones at us and they were getting close so we had to get out of range.
So how do we get rid of the Hudson River? First of all we don’t have to eliminate all 315 miles of it from the Adirondacks to the Atlantic. I suggest a dam around Yonkers and a nearby canal to divert the river eastward into Long Island Sound.. Then broaden the lower Manhattan shoreline to narrow the river at one point. They’ve been doing that for over a century. So-called landfills of New York garbage and rubble, including new subway diggings, have added thousands of acres to Manhattan at the expense of the Hudson’s width.
A gate at that point would be opened for the low tide outflow and closed to the high tide inflow. Eventually, toll free roads and promenades would be installed on the dry river bed. The ferry ports can become bus terminals and the Lincoln and Holland tunnels would still be used by commuters who would miss their daily carbon monoxide doses.
Someone else will have to work out the other details. I’m pretty busy right now with my next plan to double-deck the Garden State Parkway from Newark to Asbury Park.