Leif Ericson Park


Thursday, October 29, 2020
No. 48

NYC Parks and DOT today announced the launch of two conceptual planning studies for outer-borough greenways in Brooklyn and Queens. When complete, the “Destination: Greenways!” plan will look to identify gaps in the existing greenway networks, engage community stakeholders to determine key needs, and set priorities for new park amenities along each route. The study will outline cost estimates for investments in key areas in Central Queens and along Brooklyn’s southwest shoreline, with a focus on connecting existing fragmented greenway segments. 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.

“Now more than ever, access to quality open space is essential for all New Yorkers,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “Destination: Greenways! reflects our commitment to providing residents with enhanced open spaces that better serve their neighborhoods. By creating a continuous path of scenic routes, this project will connect surrounding communities and enhance the pedestrian and cyclist experience in Brooklyn and Queens for years to come.”

"New Yorkers are biking in record-breaking numbers. More than a million extra trips have already been recorded in 2020 compared to last year's bike counts,” said Department of Transportation Street Improvement Programs Assistant Commissioner Sean Quinn. “As we wrap up Biketober, I'm so excited to announce our plans to extend high-quality, safe, recreational focused places to walk, jog, or roll to more of the city."

"In New York City, our beautiful and dynamic outdoor spaces are an integral part of our city's unique character, culture, and charm. They are also what connect our neighborhoods together across the five boroughs and help make this city accessible to all," said Toya Williford, Executive Director of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. "We are proud to partner on this ambitious and exciting initiative to invest in and expand New York City's open spaces to ensure all New Yorkers have access to all that our boroughs have to offer."

Expanding New York City’s greenways has been a key priority of the de Blasio Administration, and there are now more than 150 miles of greenways throughout the City. The Destination: Greenways! plan will review 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. This project will improve approximately 20 miles of quality open space that integrates greenways into neighborhoods that have been historically disconnected from each other and the waterfront.

“At Helmsley, we are committed to improving the health of all New Yorkers, particularly those with multiple chronic needs,” said Charlotte Gauthier, Associate Program Officer of the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s New York City Program. “We know that our physical environment is closely intertwined with our health and well-being, which is why we invest in ways to make the many benefits of green space more accessible in more communities across the City.”

“The Destination: Greenways! Project is the beginning of a realization of a vision for southern Brooklyn that I have been advocating for since coming into office, where every person has access to open space and every community has high-quality waterfront,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes. “I will be securing funding to ensure that this important project for our community becomes a reality. As the visioning process begins, we can work together to plan a cohesive Narrows Waterfront Park that will have a tremendous impact on our southern Brooklyn communities. Together, we can reimagine and invest in our open spaces and greenways to create a park for every one of us to enjoy.”

"Parks and greenspaces have become so much more important amid the COVID-19 crisis, serving as destinations for New Yorkers seeking respites for their mental and physical health. Expanding these havens and creating public amenities for local residents must be a priority for our city,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. "For years, I have been proud to support the completion of the Brooklyn Greenway by allocating $1.5 million towards the project, which would reconnect Brooklynites to our waterfront while offering safe connections for cyclists and provide crucial resiliency measures to protect southern Brooklyn from extreme weather events. Destination: Greenways! is a crucial and long overdue step forward in this process, and I look forward to hearing feedback from local residents on how the coastal stretch from Bay Ridge to Coney Island can best be utilized in the upcoming virtual hearing."

"One of my first priorities when I became Chair of the Committee on Parks and Recreation was to help establish a uniform greenway from Flushing Meadows Corona Park, through Flushing, and into eastern Queens,” said Council Member Peter Koo, Chair of the Committee on Parks and Recreation. “The Destination: Greenways! Plan is a great opportunity for our community to get involved at the early stages of planning so that we can begin to outline a master plan, and plot a course that will ensure any gaps in the existing greenway network are filled. I encourage all who are interested in seeing a seamless greenway connect our communities to participate in this planning process."

“The greenway study is great news for park users here in Queens and across the city,” said Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik. “I was pleased to work with the mayor and parks commissioner to secure funding for the resurfacing of the Long Island Vanderbilt Motor Parkway, which is part of the greenway. The work on the Vanderbilt has begun, and I look forward to the day when it is linked to even more green space across Queens and Brooklyn.”

"Destination: Greenways! is going to build on what makes Queens so vibrant, its diversity and unity, by bringing more New Yorkers together safely through spaces like Flushing Meadows Corona Park," said Council Member Francisco Moya. "Parks create opportunities for safe social connections and physical activities, something that is much needed during this pandemic."

Before greenspaces are re-designed, Parks asks for feedback from stakeholders in the community – traditionally these meetings are held locally, in-person. To help encourage public engagement while following social distancing guidelines, Parks will host two virtual meetings, one for each borough, to introduce residents to the Destination: Greenways project, identify desired amenities, programming preferences, and solicit feedback. This process provides an understanding of how the planning process can help this public space better serve the neighborhood.

Virtual Meetings are scheduled as follows:
Queens Virtual Meeting
Monday, November 16th at 6:30 p.m.
Register here

Brooklyn Virtual Meeting
Tuesday, November 17th at 6:30 p.m.
Register here

Registration is required to attend. Participants will receive a link to their meeting after completing the registration process.

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