Kai Brinker from Brooklyn, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

NYC Parks and DOT today announced the completion of two conceptual planning studies for greenways in Brooklyn and Queens. The Destination: Greenways! studies identified gaps in the existing greenway routes and ways to improve and transform key greenspaces into both a destination and a thoroughfare to increase access. The study outlined opportunities for investments in key areas in Central Queens and along Brooklyn’s southwest shoreline, with a focus on connecting existing fragmented greenway segments. This week, Parks will host virtual meetings to report back to the community on the results of the study.

“The Destination: Greenways! study makes it abundantly clear that this project can increase critical access in Brooklyn and Queens and make greenways safer and more inviting for New Yorkers,” said NYC Parks Acting Commissioner Liam Kavanagh. “This work has the potential to enhance treasured open spaces, close the gap between neighborhoods, and provide access to some of the City’s most scenic routes.”

“With cycling continuing to boom, Destination: Greenways! serves as a blueprint for exciting improvements to the city’s greenway routes and connections,” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “We look forward to continue working closely with the Parks Department and community members to meet the City’s goal of improving cycling infrastructure.”

“From Flushing Meadows to Alley Pond and beyond, parks are critical cornerstones of our communities, connecting Queens families to nature and to one another,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “With the Destination: Greenways! plan, we can better connect our Northern and Eastern Queens neighborhoods, improving the well-being and quality-of-life of thousands of residents in the process.”

“Queens parks are places of refuge and recreation for our neighborhoods, but they’re fragmented and cut off from each other. Connecting parks and open spaces throughout Queens via greenway has been a longtime dream of our community, and today we are one step closer to making that dream a reality,” said New York State Senator John C. Liu.

“The waterfront along Shore Road in southern Brooklyn should be the crown jewel of our borough and I’m thrilled that we are finally taking concrete steps to invest and dream big to make this outer borough connection first class,” said New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes. “Ensuring Brooklyners have access to greenways is key to helping our borough increase street safety and transportation accessibility. I am excited to see what the visioning process has dreamed up and look forward to helping make this a reality.”

“Greenways are an important way to provide vital park space for the community to enjoy, while also creating thoroughfares for pedestrians and bike commuters. I’m excited that the Department of Transportation and NYC Parks are making progress towards expanding greenways in historically underserved areas of Queens and Brooklyn,” said Shekar Krishnan, Council Member representing Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, and Chair of the Committee on Parks and Recreation.

“The Destination: Greenways! has served as an inclusive tool to solicit feedback from the community and I’m glad that the NYC Parks and NYC DOT have returned to provide us with updates from studies previously conducted to propose meaningful improvements,” said New York State Assembly Member Nily Rozic. “Safety and accessibility improvements to the greenway throughout Queens are long overdue and I look forward to learning more about the next step in the planning process with neighbors and advocates alike.”

“I am very pleased to support Destination: Greenways! in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. This initiative will create a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists to travel and visit the landmark park with friends and family, especially as we get closer to the warmer months! Flushing Meadow Corona Park was home to two World Fairs and remains a refuge for families to spend time away from the bustling city streets. Especially along waterfronts, these Greenways will promote greater accessibility for the community,” said City Council Member Vickie Paladino.

“More than ever we need to look at ways to effectively transform and improve our green spaces such as Flushing Meadows Corona Park as we create a more resilient city for all. Destination: Greenways! has been an example of creating a process that not only provides a roadmap but that also integrates community input. I look forward to the continued work on this,” said NYC Council Member Francisco Moya, who represents District 21 including Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Expanding New York City’s greenways has been a key priority for the City, and there are now more than 150 miles of greenways throughout the City. The Destination: Greenways! plan reviewed two routes in the city’s greenways network: the route following Shore Parkway from Leif Erikson Park to Coney Island in Brooklyn, and the route from Flushing Meadows Corona Park through Kissena Park, Cunningham Park, Alley Pond Park and Joe Michaels Mile in Queens.

Community input was essential to the conceptual planning process. At public meetings held in fall 2020, residents expressed their desire for improved safety and maintenance while increasing connectivity between parks. Parks will host two additional public meetings to provide an update on the conceptual planning process—February 8 (Queens) and February 15 (Brooklyn)

If funded, the implementation of this project will improve approximately 20 miles of quality open space. In Queens, the plan integrates greenway routes into neighborhoods that have been historically disconnected from each other; in Brooklyn, the route improves access to the waterfront.

Virtual Meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • Queens Virtual Meeting- Zoom/Phone: +1 929-205-6099, Meeting ID: 813 3190 6760

Destination: Greenways! Queens: Flushing Meadows Corona Park to Joe Michaels Mile

Tuesday, February 8 at 6:30 p.m.

  • Brooklyn Virtual Meeting- Zoom/Phone: +1 929-205-6099, Meeting ID: 839 8880 5621

Destination: Greenways! Brooklyn: Leif Ericson Park to Shore Parkway to Coney Island

Tuesday, February 15 at 6:30 p.m.

This project was made possible with a $1 million investment through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.