Waiting for that Hudson miracle


It's impossible to say the word "trail" without raising the blood pressure of some of Riverdale's biggest movers and shakers. Where do we put it? Who will it affect? What kind of people will use it?

Sure, those are important questions. But let's not forget the big one: Can we just get some real access to the Hudson River already? Please?

At the moment, only small groups of people can even visit one of America's pristine landmarks. They include the Riverdale Yacht Club, the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, the College of Mount Saint Vincent and — if they're lucky — a small group of fishermen.

There's nothing wrong with that, except the list is just too darn small. Rivers are meant to be enjoyed up close, not thought about from a distance. And right now, the best many of us can do is stare longingly at pictures on Wikipedia.

It's not that government officials are ignoring these cries. They just can't find a plan everyone can agree on.

But should we be surprised? Sometimes it seems our favorite pastime is not a picnic near a picturesque river, but instead fighting and fighting, and even when we run out of things to fight about, we still find a way to fight some more.

It's not all bad. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a flashy — and expensive — Empire State Trail project stretching 756 miles between Manhattan and the front door of the governor's mansion, more or less, in Albany.

Cuomo thought the $200 million proposal included finally completing the Hudson River Greenway project in Riverdale, but he was quite wrong.

Instead, we're left with neverending debate and no solutions. That's the last thing we need.

We're talking about a narrow strip of land, but the possibilities are endless. There are so many creative ways to utilize and enjoy a riverfront, we'd never have room to share them in this space. 

But it's time to start listening — to each other. No one is ever going to get exactly what they want, but then again, nothing will ever happen along the Hudson until we're willing to give a little, and maybe even a lot. 

And who knows, maybe we can continue the long debate ... all while actually enjoying the Hudson River.