New York Construction News staff writer
A plan to create a critical public space by expanding the Harlem River Greenway to the Bronx was announced Thursday.
The route will span seven miles, connecting Randall’s Island at the southern tip of the Bronx to Van Cortlandt Park in the north, with continuous cycling and walking, including a critical north-south bike commuting corridor.
“Expanding the Harlem River Greenway to the Bronx is a huge win for equity and justice,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “Greenways help us move forward while righting the wrongs of the past, give people a place where they can exercise and breathe freely, and create a sense of community by bringing people together. That’s what the Bronx deserves and what this project will deliver.”
The expanded Harlem River Greenway will restore Bronxites’ access to the waterfront with a network of off-street, multi-use, shared paths along the waterfront, as well as on-street bicycle facilities that will allow for safe and convenient travel along and around the river. High-priority, quick-build street redesigns will support larger projects, and a plan developed through community engagement will include short-term and long-term projects on identified preferred routes.
Short-term projects will include installation of markings, signs, and limited concrete work on city streets. Long-term projects will include more complex improvements to be constructed as future capital projects.
The community engagement process, will be launched next month, with one workshop for each of the three segments of the planned greenway. DOT planners will discuss existing conditions along the waterfront and seek input from residents on how they would like to use this space through bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure upgrades. The agency will follow up with an additional round of public workshops this fall before an implementation plan will be published in 2024.
The city recently received a $7.25 million federal grant award to plan the future of greenways, with a focus on expanding the network to historically underserved communities.
“Green spaces are so essential to the health and well-being of New Yorkers, and there are far too many Bronxites who do not have easy access to a park or greenway right now,” said Meisha Ross Porter, president and CEO, Bronx Community Foundation. “The Bronx Greenway will help connect Bronx residents to needed open space and to the city’s larger parks system.
“Today, we are starting to fix some of the most glaring disparities in access to parks and green spaces that exist in our city.”