Recently, US DOT announced that NYC DOT, Parks, & EDC had won a $7.25M funding to expand NYC Greenways.
For those of you who have been following our efforts, you know that we have advocated for many years to ‘fill in the gaps’ in the trail system in Eastern Queens to create a family-safe greenway that could be used by anyone regardless of whether they were 8 years old or 80 years old.
We’ve stood on street corners, spoken at various community events and meetings, met with electeds and presented to our community boards – and our own John Kelly even called WNYC to #AskTheMayor what was the holdup?
This all resulted in Destination Greenways. For those of you who attended the Destination Greenways meetings for Eastern Queens, it was an opportunity for multiple stakeholders in the community to come together and provide input on the goal of connecting the various parts of the community. Hundreds of our community members weighed in and helped to shape the final plan. The plan was a sufficient enough framework that Mayor Adams was able to allocate $24 million to complete significant portions of the greenway in this years budget. We are hopeful that in subsequent years the rest of the project will be fully funded.
But significant portions of the New York City Greenway System remain unfinished. Our organizations (Eastern Queens Greenway & Motor Parkway East) as well as other members of the #Greenways4NYC Coalition wrote letters of support to the US DOT so that the agencies could get funding to conduct a Destination Greenways like process of community input so that plans are in place that can then be funded.
We’re very pleased that the announced Eastern Queens route aligns with the Motor Parkway East goals of connecting the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway trailhead at Winchester Boulevard and Union Turnpike to Nassau County. In fact, as our own Laura Shepard pointed out, it is actually listed as Project #1.
The map still leaves gaps in the system…
…but we’re hoping those will be addressed too.
We look forward to hearing more about this process and working with the agencies, greenway users, neighborhood activists, our elected officials and others on making the process work.