New York City is putting the green in its greenways.
Mayor Eric Adams wants to earmark $47.6 million in the upcoming city budget for shared bike and pedestrian paths also known as greenways, a senior official from his administration announced Thursday.
The funding will add up to 20 miles to the city’s existing 150-mile greenway network, starting with two projects along Brooklyn’s southwest shoreline and in central Queens, said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi at a conference on May 5.
“These are our city’s connectors,” Joshi said during the NYC Greenways Summit at the Center for Architecture in Greenwich Village. “[The funding] is to make sure that we’re building out new greenways and that we’re beautifying and maintaining the existing greenways.”
The city will use the money to fill in the gaps of the greenway between Leif Ericsson Park in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, down along the Shore Parkway to Coney Island, and from Flushing Meadows to Fort Totten Park in Bayside, Queens.
The funds will go to the Parks Department, which has oversight of a lot of the city’s greenways that run through its green spaces, and to the Department of Transportation, which is in charge of street work.
Joshi stood in for Adams for the announcement, who was scheduled to speak at the event hosted by the nonprofit Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, but hizzoner had to cancel because he was stuck in California after a return flight from a reported fundraising trip to the Golden State was cancelled.
The goal of the new scheme is to add about 20 miles of new greenway across the Five Boroughs, while also improving existing stretches that have fallen into disrepair, but the mayor’s office did not give a timeline for when the upgrades will be implemented.
The city originally looked at also building out the greenway network in the Bronx along the Harlem River, but officials decided it was too complicated for the time being because it required multiple acquisitions along the way to create a contiguous path.
During a following panel discussion of city agency heads at Thursday’s event, Parks Commissioner Susan Donoghue said when asked about the Bronx plans that they haven’t forgotten about the northernmost borough, but that they’ll need more time and money.
“We realized that there needs to be more funding and more work done and planning for expanding the greenway in that area,” Donoghue said. “There are complications, no doubt, but we’re not going to let that hold us back and we are interested in going forward, absolutely, with further visioning for the Bronx.”