‘Historic Brooklyn Greenway’ unveiled as part of city’s ambitious new system

October 13, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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A planned new expansion of New York City’s greenway system, announced Thursday by Mayor Eric Adams and several of his commissioners, would include a “Historic Brooklyn Greenway.”

This route would begin at Highland Park at the Brooklyn-Queen border, traverse busy Broadway Junction in East New York, head west along Eastern Parkway, loop around Prospect Park and then proceed south along Ocean Parkway down to the southern tip of Coney Island.

Readers of the Eagle know that another greenway plan, the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, is already in the works, courtesy of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative. When finished, it would navigate the shoreline of the entire borough.

Completed sections of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, according to a recent map, are in Williamsburg, on several streets around the Brooklyn Navy Yard, along the Columbia Street District and the Red Hook waterfront, Shore Road/Shore Parkway in Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst; and along the Belt Parkway from Sheepshead Bay to East New York.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

On the subject of the newly announced greenway system’s impact in Brooklyn, an official statement from the Mayor’s Office says, “This planning process will explore new connections to the United States’ oldest bike lanes on Ocean and Eastern Parkways, addressing gaps in the greenway network running from the southern tip of Brooklyn at Coney Island to the border of Brooklyn and Queens.

“The route will connect to Broadway Junction, giving commuters at one of Brooklyn’s busiest transit hubs new safe cycling access to some of the largest green spaces in the borough and complementing a nearly $500 million city-state investment in Broadway Junction, covering public realm improvements, station complex improvements, and accessibility upgrades,” the statement continued.

Hunter Armstrong, executive director of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, was quick to praise the Historic Brooklyn Greenway Plan. “As a founder of the NYC Greenways Coalition, Brooklyn Greenway Initiative is delighted to see this major investment in Brooklyn greenways as well as in four other corridors across New York City,” he said.

“This expansion will fill in gaps in the greenway network including many underserved communities and will provide millions more New Yorkers with safe commuting and recreational options by foot and by bike,” he added.

The five corridors of the overall greenway plan, each within a separate borough, together represent roughly 60 miles of new and existing greenways, according to the city.

The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, which has been in the works for many years, will eventually traverse Brooklyn’s entire waterfront.
Photo: Brooklyn Greenway Initiative

The development of each of these five additional greenway plans is supported by a competitive $7.25 million federal RAISE grant, won by the Adams administration in August 2022.This major expansion of the existing greenway network will begin with a collaborative, community-driven process to develop implementation plans for each corridor consisting of short- and long-term projects.

“This historic expansion of our city’s greenways in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island will transform the ways New Yorkers live, work, and get around,” said Mayor Adams. “And with more New Yorkers biking than ever, it will connect every corner of our city with this safer, greener mode of transportation.”

“We applaud Mayor Adams and his administration for developing over 40 miles of new greenway corridors in the outer boroughs where they’re desperately needed,” said Ken Podziba, president and CEO of Bike New York. “Protected and connected bike infrastructure is essential to enabling more New Yorkers to experience bicycling, which connects communities, encourages healthy exercise, and provides emission-free fun.”

“As the councilmember of the 40th District (Flatbush-Kensington-Ditmas Park), I’m thrilled to announce that our city is taking a significant step towards a more sustainable and connected future,” said Councilmember Rita Joseph. “By developing five new greenway corridors in the outer boroughs and filling critical gaps in our existing network, we’re creating over 40 miles of new protected bike infrastructure.”

“New Yorkers need a safe and connected greenway network,” said Danny Harris, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, an organization that promotes bicycling, walking and non-auto transportation in general. “We’re glad to see the City of New York announce a historic expansion of our greenway network in the outer boroughs that includes 40 miles of new protected places to bike.”

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