Proposed Greenway Improvements Along Promenade. Renderings: NYC Parks
Milestone Investment In Outer-Borough Greenways Will Fill Gaps In Existing Greenway Routes With Focus On Connecting Communities to New York City’s Greater Park System
New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced that the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) Executive Budget includes $47.6 million for Brooklyn and Queens greenway improvements outlined in Destination: Greenways!, a plan by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (Parks) in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT). The investment will fill gaps in existing greenway routes in central Queens and along Brooklyn’s southwest shoreline, with a focus on connecting communities to New York City’s greater park system.
“Every New Yorker deserves access to open space, transportation options, and parks — and greenways are the key to making all that a reality,” said Mayor Adams. “This investment of more than $47 million will connect communities that have historically been underserved by our existing system to bike paths and New York’s 520 miles of shoreline, building a greener and more connected city for all.”
“The substantial investment by this administration to complete gaps along the city’s greenways helps connect communities and expand New Yorkers’ access to our waterfronts,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “Greenways are wonderful recreation and transportation corridors and I am thankful to the partnership with Parks and DOT for realizing this vision.”
“Greenways are critical components of our city’s park system, and thanks to Mayor Adams we are improving outer-borough access and enhancing equity with key routes along southern Brooklyn and in central Queens. This investment will fill gaps in existing greenways, strengthen connections between neighborhoods and parks, and make the experience safer and more inviting for all New Yorkers,” said Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “We look forward to working with DOT on our Destination: Greenways! projects as we continue to enhance the greenway network citywide.”
“Enhancing the greenway experience is a key initiative of DOT and our sister agencies — as we know cyclists especially love riding along their waterfronts and parks,” said DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “We know there is great demand for more and better connections to greenways. And we are proud to be working alongside Mayor Adams and Parks Commissioner Donoghue to improve and finally connect existing greenways in central Queens and Brooklyn. Equity has been at the forefront of DOT’s decision making when it comes to expanding and improving the safety of all pedestrians and cyclists, and with the mayor’s steadfast support and funding, we can make accessing these beautiful greenways safer and more convenient for all.”
Mayor Adams’ milestone investment in outer-borough greenways will fund a total of six projects in Brooklyn and Queens, led by Parks with on-street work by DOT. In Brooklyn, work will improve access to the waterfront by building new greenway segments in Leif Ericson Park and reconstructing the existing greenway in part of Shore Road Park. In Queens, projects will build new segments in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Kissena Corridor Park, and Kissena Park, helping to close greenway gaps in neighborhoods that have been historically disconnected.
Full project details will be determined during the design process, where community members will have the chance to share additional input.
These projects were identified in the 2022 Destination: Greenways! study to improve and connect greenway segments within parks, making them both destinations and thoroughfares to increase access. As part of the study, Parks and DOT reviewed two routes in the city’s greenways network, held public meetings and engaged community stakeholders to determine key needs, and set priorities for new park amenities along each route. The studies were made possible with a $1 million grant through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
“Mayor Adams is creating a fantastic piece of green infrastructure for our city that will serve as an urban oasis for generations to come,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “As someone whose district includes the Forest Park section of the greenways, I look forward to the day myself and my constituents can travel dozens and dozens of miles enjoying the beauty of nature.”
“The greenway projects funded in the mayor’s executive budget will increase access to Queens’ beautiful green spaces and make them even more attractive and connected to our communities,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “This improved connectivity will enhance safety and draw more people to our wonderful parks. As the design process for these projects moves ahead, I look forward to supporting a robust community outreach effort that will gauge the needs and thoughts of Queens residents.”
“I’m pleased to support the ongoing and critical infrastructure needed to create a more multi-modal transportation system that reconnects diverse communities to their waterfront,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “We look forward to working with locally elected officials, DOT, and other stakeholders to support the community engagement efforts for these critical transportation projects.”
“Greenways connect communities while creating vital park spaces and thoroughfares for pedestrians and bike commuters,” said New York City Councilmember Shekar Krishnan, chair, Committee on Parks and Recreation. “I’m excited that the Department of Transportation and NYC Parks are working together to invest in greenways in historically underserved areas of Brooklyn and Queens.”
“What a nice change of pace it is to see a mayor paying attention to the outer boroughs,” said New York City Councilmember Robert Holden. “I’m glad to see Mayor Adams investing in improving these greenways. Our parks are the jewels of the city and connecting them is a great way to help New Yorkers enjoy them more.”
“I would like to congratulate Mayor Adams for committing $47.6 million in funding to connect greenways across Brooklyn and Queens,” said New York City Councilmember Vicky Paladino. “The closing of these greenway gaps will increase accessibility, as well as add to the inter-connectedness of the city. My constituents in Queens will greatly enjoy these improvements, especially during the warmer months as we are making our way out of the pandemic and beginning to venture outside more and more.”
“No matter which borough they call home, every New Yorker should be able to access and enjoy safe open spaces for active transportation and recreation,” said New York City Councilmember Carlina Rivera. “I applaud today’s announcement of $47.5 million in funding to connect the city’s greenways across Brooklyn and Queens, and look forward to working closely with the mayor, the Parks Department, and the Department of Transportation to bring greenways to all.”
“I want to thank Mayor Eric Adams for providing this funding to close greenway gaps in my district and create seamless connections for park users,” said New York City Councilmember Sandra Ung. “Not only will this increase access points to our open spaces, but it will also make our parks safer for seniors and families. The pandemic taught us how important our open spaces are to our mental and physical health, making it even more essential that we continue to invest in improving and expanding them.”
With this greenway plan, we’re creating a network of parks and open spaces that connect the boroughs and link communities together,” said New York City Councilmember Nantasha Williams. “This plan will improve access to surrounding areas, reviving some of NYC’s disconnected neighborhoods. This is a great initiative and I look forward to seeing it expanded to other spaces such as in southeast Queens.
Mayor Adams has been a longtime champion of the city’s greenways, including his investments as Brooklyn borough president in expanding the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway and supporting the ongoing planning work led by the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative. Expanding New York City’s greenways has been a key priority for the city — there are now more than 150 miles of greenways throughout the five boroughs. Parks and DOT intend to expand the Destination: Greenways! model of determining greenway improvements to additional routes in other boroughs.