On Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city will set aside $100 million of the upcoming Mayor's Executive Budget in order to help connect existing bike-and-recreation paths and eventually finish the contiguous Manhattan Waterfront Greenway — a recreation path that traces the entirety of Manhattan’s 32-mile coastline.
The news of the huge investment came via an announcement from the Office of the Mayor ahead of Wednesday’s revelation of the Mayor’s Executive Budget.
In the announcement, the Mayor’s office singled out a stretch of land on the city’s East Side that runs by the United Nations headquarters that is part of the longest gap in the Waterfront Greenway.
“The Mayor will dedicate $100 million in City capital to significantly narrow the Greenway's largest gap,” the announcement reads. “The New York City Economic Development Corporation will construct a new esplanade in the East River between East 61st Street and East 53rd Street.”
According to the announcement, design work on the esplanade will begin in 2019 and construction is expected to be finished by 2022.
“We're jumpstarting the completion of a Greenway linking the entire Manhattan waterfront,” de Blasio said in the announcement. “The Hudson River Greenway has vastly improved quality of life on the West Side, and we want families in every corner in the borough to have that same access to bike, walk and play along the water. This is the first of many big investments we'll make as we bring the full Greenway to reality.”
In addition to the $100 million, an additional $5 million will be dedicated to funding a multi-agency study on the remaining gaps in the Greenway. At present, according to the New York Times, the largest gap in the Greenway runs from East 41st to East 61st Street. The New York Post reports that no plans on how to connect East 41st Street to East 53rd have been announced, but the Mayor’s office told the Times that remains a priority.
“Just think how cool it’s going to be when the single most important island, maybe on planet earth, when you can walk or bike all the way around it,” Alicia Glen, the deputy mayor for housing and economic development, told the New York Times about the path. “That is one for the ages. That's really exciting work.”
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