May 5, 2022
Major Greenway Investment in the Outer Borough Will Address Gaps in Existing Greenways with a Focus on Connecting Communities to the Greater New York Park System
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced that the executive budget for fiscal year 2023 (FY23) includes $47.6 million for the Brooklyn and Queens greenway improvements outlined in Destination: Greenways!, a plan of 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 greenways in central Queens and along Brooklyn’s southwest shore, 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 key to making it all happen,” 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, more connected city for everyone.”
“This administration’s substantial investment to close the 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 grateful to the partnership with Parks and DOT for realizing this vision.”
“Greenways are essential parts of our city’s park system, and thanks to Mayor Adams, we’re improving access to the outer boroughs and building equity with key routes along southern Brooklyn and central Queens. . This investment will close 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 the DOT on our destination: greenways! projects as we continue to improve the network of greenways across the city.
“Enhancing the greenway experience is a key initiative of DOT and our sister agencies — because we know cyclists especially love riding along their waterfronts and parks,” said DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “We know there is a strong demand for more and better connections to greenways. And we’re proud to work alongside Mayor Adams and Parks Commissioner Donoghue to improve and finally connect existing greenways in downtown Queens and Brooklyn. Equity has been at the forefront of DOT decision-making when it comes to expanding and improving safety for all pedestrians and cyclists, and with the Mayor’s unwavering support and funding, we can making access to these magnificent greenways safer and more convenient for everyone.
Mayor Adams’ major investment in the borough’s outer greenways will fund a total of six projects in Brooklyn and Queens, led by Parks with on-street work by the DOT. In Brooklyn, work will improve waterfront access by constructing new segments of greenways 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 fill greenway gaps in historically disconnected neighborhoods.
Full project details will be determined during the design process, where community members will have the opportunity to share additional information.
These projects were identified in the 2022 Destination: Greenways! study to improve and connect segments of greenways within parks, making them both destinations and travel routes to increase access. As part of the study, Parks and the DOT reviewed two routes in the city’s greenway network, held town hall meetings, and engaged community stakeholders to determine key needs and set priorities for new park amenities along each route. The studies were made possible by a $1 million grant through the Mayor’s Fund to Move New York City Forward from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
“Mayor Adams is creating fantastic green infrastructure for our city that will serve as an urban oasis for generations to come,” said New York State Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar. “As someone whose district includes the Forest Park section of the greenways, I look forward to the day myself and my constituents being able to travel dozens and dozens of miles enjoying nature’s beauty.”
“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 Donovan Richards Jr, Borough President of Queens. “This improved connectivity will improve safety and attract more people to our wonderful parks. As the design process for these projects moves forward, I look forward to supporting a strong community outreach effort that will gauge the needs and thoughts of Queens residents.
“I am pleased to support the continued and essential infrastructure needed to create a more multimodal transportation system that reconnects diverse communities to their waterfront,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “We look forward to working with local elected officials, the DOT, and other stakeholders to support community engagement efforts for these critical transportation projects.”
“Greenways connect communities while creating vital park spaces and circulation routes for pedestrians and cyclists,” said Shekar Krishnan, Member of the New York City Council, Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Committee. “I am thrilled 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 to see a mayor paying attention to the outer boroughs,” said New York City Council Member Robert Holden. “I’m happy 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 want to congratulate Mayor Adams for committing $47.6 million in funding to connect greenways in Brooklyn and Queens,” said Vicky Paladino, New York City Council Member. “Closing these green spaces will increase accessibility and strengthen the interdependence of the city. My constituents in Queens will greatly appreciate these improvements, especially during the warmer months as we emerge from the pandemic and begin to venture outdoors more and more.
“No matter what borough they live in, every New Yorker should be able to access and enjoy safe open spaces for active transportation and recreation,” said Carlina Rivera, New York City Council Member. “I applaud today’s announcement of $47.5 million in funding to connect the city’s greenways through Brooklyn and Queens, and look forward to working closely with the mayor, the parks department and the transportation department to bring greenways to everyone.”
“I want to thank Mayor Eric Adams for providing this funding to fill the greenway gaps in my district and create seamless connections for park users,” said Sandra Ung, New York City Council Member. “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 has 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 greenways plan, we are creating a network of parks and green spaces that connect boroughs and connect communities,” said Nantasha Williams, New York City Council Member. “This plan will improve access to surrounding areas, reviving some of New York’s disconnected neighborhoods. It’s a great initiative and I can’t wait to see it expanded to other spaces, like in southeast Queens.
Mayor Adams is a longtime champion of the city’s greenways, including his investments as Brooklyn Borough President in the expansion of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway and support for ongoing planning work led by the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative. Expanding New York’s greenways has been a key priority for the city – there are now over 150 miles of greenways across the five boroughs. Parks and the DOT intend to expand the Destination: Greenways! model for determining the development of greenways on additional routes in other boroughs.