Summer 2004, p.6
The NYC Department of City Planning is developing the city's first legally binding Waterfront Access Plan that, if adopted, will guarantee a waterfront greenway from Newton Creek in Greenpoint to North 3rd Street in Williamsburg – part of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, which will run to Sunset Park. City Planning’s proposed “Greenpoint-Williamsburg Land Use and Waterfront Plan” aims to rezone two-miles of the North Brooklyn waterfront to allow increased residential and park development.
T.A. and a coalition of environmental, waterfront, open space, greenway and transportation advocates are urging City Planning to require that the greenway path be at least 16-feet wide – the minimum width that will safely accommodate the high volumes of people who will walk, bike, skate and jog there. City Planning proposed a 12-foot wide path, which advocates fear will lead to chronic bicycle-pedestrian conflicts on the greenway.
The NYC Bicycle Master Plan recommends that high volume greenway paths be at least 16-feet wide. Where possible, the Hudson River Greenway’s bicycle and skater path is 16-feet wide and has an adjacent 8 to 10-foot wide pedestrian path.
If the Greenpoint-Williamsburg path is only 12-feet wide, it will be overcrowded and dangerous, as is the case on the Hudson River Greenway during warm months.
City Planning is smart to use this once in a lifetime opportunity to ensure public access to the East River waterfront and create a key piece of the City’s greenway and bicycle networks. The proposed increase in residential density, the current lack of park space, demographics and the existing popularity of cycling, will guarantee that thousands of people will use the path on nice days.
Write to: Amanda Burden,
© 1997-2013 Transportation Alternatives
127 West 26th Street, Suite 1002
New York, NY 10001