Yesterday was a glorious spring day on the High Bridge as Mayor Adams cycled the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail through Manhattan’s Highbridge Park and out onto the old span celebrating its 175th birthday high above the Harlem River. He stopped halfway to the Bronx to announce plans for an improved greenway along the Bronx riverfront, stretching seven miles from Van Cortlandt Park south to Randalls Island.
Having pioneered the renovation and reuse of the High Line and High Bridge and Old Croton Aqueduct Trail during the Giuliani years and having fought long and hard for its completion decades ago, please excuse us for taking a parochial view of what the part top of the Bronx’s Harlem River Greenway should be and shouldn’t be.
Leaving Van Cortlandt Park, the shared bike and pedestrian path is to use the entire length of the former Putnam Line, a commuter rail route that last carried passengers in 1958. Put’s irreplaceable right-of-way runs just to the west by Major Deegan. In Westchester, the Put is part of the North-South County Trail. In the Bronx, it would be ideal for the greenway that connects to the Harlem River.
However, one version of the plan only has the new greenway on a limited stretch of the Put, from Van Cortlandt to 230th St. and then force the greenway from the Put onto local streets because the MTA claims it needs the five blocks to 225th . saint for something Stop that train. Whether it’s to turn the trains around or bag the trash of Grand Central commuters, Governor Hochul must persuasively convince the MTA to make way for Bronx pedestrians and bicyclists.
South of 225th Street and the Target department store, the greenway is to cross Metro-North tracks and resume on land between the rails and the Harlem River, connecting to an existing greenway coming north from the State Park Roberto Clemente and reaches the Puente Alto. . It is a direct shot that begins with the put.