New York City will launch efforts next month to create seven miles of greenways in the Bronx along the banks of the Harlem River, an effort advocates say is long overdue and could ultimately take time. over a decade to complete.
Mayor Adams and several other top city officials announced the plan Wednesday over the High Bridge, a 175-year-old span connecting the Bronx and upper Manhattan that overlooks a portion of proposed green space.
The first phase of the plan, which will begin on April 18, will involve the city getting feedback from local residents on what they want from the new space. That process will culminate in a design and construction is expected to begin sometime next spring.
“We are doing it the right way. We do it by engaging communities and communities,” said Adams, who arrived at the news conference on a Citi Bike. “We have over 500 miles of coastline in this city, and it all needs to be explored, everything needs to be built for people to walk, for people to bike, for people to just be encouraged to experience the outdoors.”
The greenway is expected to stretch from Van Cortlandt Park in the northern section of the Bronx to the borough’s southern shores near Randalls Island.
Adams and Rep. Adriano Espaillat, who represents parts of the Bronx and upper Manhattan, stressed that the project is not only aimed at creating more green spaces, but doing so in areas that have traditionally received little attention and funding more prosperous enclaves. have.
“When you walk through New York City and you walk south on 96th Street, you see the investment in the waterfront and you see places like the High Line and you see places like the waterfront along the Hudson,” Espaillat said. “You see all the big investments that are being made in certain parts of the city. It’s called disparity, right?
The congressman then praised the mayor for trying to invest in “neighborhoods that have been left behind.”
The city’s Departments of Transportation and Parks, as well as the Economic Development Corporation, will be responsible for guiding the project to completion.
When asked about the projected cost of the project, Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodríguez said he did not have those numbers immediately available.
Chauncy Young, coordinator of the Harlem River Task Force, has been pushing for the green lane for years. Young was ecstatic about the announcement, but tempered his enthusiasm with realistic expectations about when the greenway will be completed.
“I would say the whole greenway will take more than a decade,” he told reporters. “Projects in New York City take a long time, but we’re doing this for the betterment of the community because all residents deserve access to the shoreline.”