Statement of Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives:
The exciting announcement of a major investment to close the gap in the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway underscores Mayor de Blasio’s already strong commitment to making biking and walking accessible and safe for more New Yorkers. We thank the Mayor for taking this important and long overdue step to realize a vibrant waterfront for communities along the East Side. This is tremendously welcome news for anyone who has experienced the inhospitable conditions that cyclists and pedestrians currently face as they attempt to make their way along the East River waterfront. For too long, the East Side has suffered from the lowest ratio of open space to residents and workers in the city. Mayor Bloomberg’s 2011 land-swap agreement with the United Nations made it possible for the City to close the 22-block gap. Now Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to fund a new esplanade and Greenway extension will finally give residents, commuters, and visitors a continuous and safe path for recreation and transportation.