The High Line Park: Turnstyles Anyone?

by Bill Butos

The recently opened High Line Park in the hip Chelsea area on New York’s West Side is all the rage.  The High Line sits on a stretch of a defunct elevated freight railway along 10thAvenue from Ganesvoort St. (which is just south of 14th St.) to 20th street.  The City plans to extend it to 34th St.   A green urban advocacy group, Friends of the High Line, has steered this part of the project to completion.  It’s become a tourist destination and a favorite platform for celebs and fashionistas.  And it fits perfectly into the nearby Meatpacking and Chelsea areas with their trendy eateries, late night clubs, and designer clothes shops.  By all accounts it purports to represent the future of urban eco-friendly planning and judging by the number of visitors (about 20,000 per week), it’s a grand success.  (See here and a video appreciation by supporters here.)

After my second walk-through, my appreciation turned slightly positive.  It is fun walking above the streets and catching new perspectives of the City from 30 feet above.  But the empty-lot weeds masquerading as (carefully maintained) indigenous flora still look ugly and many of the views are rather uninspiring.  And I am also a taxpayer. Continue reading