Building Another Link in the Hudson River Greenway

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Manhattan Waterfront Greenway

Greenspaces in New York City are an emerging trend for bikes and pedestrian traffic. Here’s a project that outlines the expansion of the Hudson River Greenway.

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After more than 20 years, another link in the proposed greenway from Albany to the southern tip of Manhattan is about to manifest.

Legislation has been passed for a stretch to be constructed through the Bronx from the Manhattan Hudson River Greenway north to the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail in Yonkers. This will create a continuous path convenient for cyclists, pedestrians, the disabled, commuters, and even people running errands (on bike, I assume!).

The next step for Community Board 8 from the Riverdale section of the Bronx is to procure funding for engineering studies and construction. I am so glad to see this project moving forward after so long! I still feel tied to this area, even though I’ve been gone for over 25 years!

Residents of Riverdale also want to put the ‘river’ back in ‘Riverdale’. The railroad tracks have separated the city from the river for 150 years. There is virtually no access, except for a tiny park of about 6000 sq ft. This new greenway will provide a park and two miles of accessible waterfront.

Albany through Manhattan

The state of New York has proposed a bike and pedestrian greenway all the way from Albany through Manhattan. It would wind along the Hudson River connecting communities. Trails would go off to parks, natural areas, and historic sites, while providing river access.

Having been an avid hiker in my days back east, I see this as the Appalachian Trail of the Hudson River! Both run for hundreds of miles and can be used anywhere along the route. People do spend an entire summer hiking the Appalachian Trail. That would be a fulfilling exercise for the Hudson River Greenway!

Hudson River Greenway route PreferredAlternative

Green space benefits

The time is right for this project to be built. I don’t like to use the word ‘trendy’, but urban planners everywhere are beginning to include more green spaces to benefit residents and the environment.

It has been shown that nature is good for human health and well-being. Greenery spruces up a neighborhood, can raise property values, and provides a source of community pride. People feel good about themselves and where they live when they are surrounded by and have access to nature!

Plants bring in wildlife, and ecosystems are created. They convert CO2 to oxygen, and clean the air. Plantings reduce the heat island effect common in cities. It’s always cooler in the forest, right? Plants lower summer temperatures. They reduce storm run-off, too. Soil absorbs water so it won’t run down the roads to a sewer drain, leaving the city with the expensive task of processing it. Less run-off also means less erosion.

Trends

If nature is ‘trendy’, I hope it stays that way. Just as healthy food is now ‘trendy’, I hope people realize how much better they feel when they eat well, and that they continue to eat well. I hope urban planners continue to create more green spaces so residents feel good about themselves and their environs. Make these trends the norm! Happy, healthy people are productive people!

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Nan Fischer

Nan Fischer has been living and building green for over 35 years. Nan’s emphasis on the BuildDirect blog is about how to make your dollar stretch further, while also moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle, as well as upcoming and existing technology to help us live in an ecologically-friendly way. Nan also authors posts on the website of her seed business, sweetly seeds.