LETTER: Union Dry Dock should be used to complete a Hoboken waterfront park, Sam Pesin says


In a letter to the editor, Friends of Liberty State Park President Sam President says that Hoboken’s Union Dry Dock should be used to complete a contiguous waterfront park.

Dear Editor,

The Friends of LSP, as advocates for urban waterfront green open space for people’s quality of life for present and future generations, strongly support the essential contiguous green Hoboken waterfront vision of Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, Hudson County elected officials, Fund for a Better Waterfront, and Hoboken residents.

This is clearly the right thing for social justice and environmental justice.

Friends of LSP chooses a peaceful, green waterfront as a sanctuary in our stressful society for people to enjoy as so many other enlightened cities have done around the world, instead of the heavy industrial use of diesel refueling and repairing ferries, destroying the visionary greenway plan and adversely impacting the environment.

Now, more than ever is the time to champion a green waterfront and not abandon the lives of urban people in this concrete, densely populated region, by choosing to enrich a multi-millionaire corporation with its shameful ignoring of the clear public good and deceptive ads.

We believe Lackawanna Terminal and the Bayonne options, despite the opposition from New York Waterway’s lobbyists, are both viable options which NYWW can implement with the support from the state.

When New York Waterway’s recent lawsuit against Hoboken was dismissed, a judge reviewed the full record and determined that the specter of a “transportation crisis” if NYWW does not locate to UDD is “unfounded.”

Given this, and the viable alternatives that exist to stay where they are and continue to operate, or relocate to Hoboken Terminal or Bayonne, there is no legitimate public interest reason for New York Waterway to utilize Union Dry Dock.

NYWW deceptively manufactured this “crisis” by selling their Weehawken land to developers for luxury condos without having a backup plan. They caused this problem for themselves, and now “want their cake and eat it too.”

We firmly reject the blatantly selfish and stubborn effort of NYWW’s desire to maximize their profits at the expense of the benefits of this and future generations to enjoy a serene, transformed waterfront.

In “On the Waterfront,” the classic movie about standing up for what’s right, Marlon Brando’s character fights the selfish bullies who are the Hoboken dock workers’ union officials, and now – the real life good guys standing up for what’s right for Hoboken as an international model of the spiritual power of urban open space – are being bullied by NY Waterways in their small-minded, high-powered lobbying attempt to crush the contiguous green waterfront Common Good vision.

The head of NYWW has said that the ferry depot at UDD would “add value to waterfront property” but it will add value to his company’s profits at the expense of adding true value to the waterfront of a priceless green waterfront park which will be a great regional and NJ attraction.

The value of UDD can’t be measured in the dollars and cents of NY Waterways balance sheet. What is most important is the balance sheet of America’s and our civilization’s highest ideals.

Sam Pesin
Friends of Liberty State Park President

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  1. This:

    “NYWW deceptively manufactured this “crisis” by selling their Weehawken land to developers for luxury condos without having a backup plan. They caused this problem for themselves, and now “want their cake and eat it too.”

  2. Better than using public lands to enrich a private investoe, destroying the waterfront for generations of future Hobokenites and forcing throngs of people to inhale Diesel fumes.

  3. Quote from Sam Peskin from the article:

    “This is clearly the right thing for social justice….”

    Social justice in Hoboken? No such thing exists here, Sam. We have a severe displacement and affordability crisis (an important part of social justice) that is continuously ignored. Suggest you update your piece to remove this blatant inaccuracy.

    • “No such thing exists here”?? Really? The city has NO aspects of social justice, in any sense? That’s PC crazy talk.

      There have definitely been issues of displacement in Hoboken. Affordability is also an issue but a murkier area, since we live in a capitalist society that’s based on market forces and supply & demand. But just because Hoboken might not be batting 1.000 on the social justice scale (and neither is any other city) doesn’t mean his statement is incorrect.

        • And I restate: do you honestly believe the city reflects NO aspects of social justice? None whatsoever, in any sense? Really? Because that is indeed PC crazy talk.

          Could things be better? Yes. Can Hoboken improve on how all its residents are treated? Yes. Does the city suffer from a “whole false inclusive narrative”? No. I’m as progressive as they come, and I know for a fact that’s not the case.

  4. Our environment should not take a back seat to other issues the way phys ed, art and music do in schools.
    Our environment importantly affects everybody’s health and quality of life on a daily basis.