7-mile Harlem River Greenway expansion connects Randall’s Island to Van Cortlandt Park

March 22, 2023

Photo courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

New York City is expanding the Harlem River Greenway to the Bronx. Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday announced plans for a seven-mile continuous walking and biking path linking Randall’s Island and Van Cortlandt Park. The new greenway aims to reconnect Bronxites to the Harlem River waterfront, which has been largely inaccessible since the construction of the Major Deegan Expressway in the 1930s.

Courtesy of the New York City Department of Transportation

The proposed expansion includes a network of off-street, multi-use paths along the Harlem River, as well as on-street bike paths, including a “north-south bike commuting corridor,” according to a press release.

The plan will be broken down into three segments of the expansion: Van Cortlandt Park to University Heights Bridge, University Heights Bridge to Macombs Dam Bridge, and Macombs Dam Bridge to Randall’s Island Connector.

The city plans to host three public workshops, one for each proposed new segment of the greenway, starting next month. Following another round of workshops in the fall, an implementation plan is expected in 2024. Find out more and register for the April community meetings here.

“Our administration is leading the way in undoing the devastation caused by highways like the Cross-Bronx Expressway, the BQE, and now the Deegan — reversing the devastation left by others in communities of color,” Adams said in a press release.

“Greenways help us move forward while righting the wrongs of the past, give people a place where they can exercise and breathe freely, and create a sense of community by bringing people together. That’s what the Bronx deserves and what this project will deliver.”

The expansion will be funded in part with the $7.25 million federal grant the city received in August to improve the greenway network’s reach in underserved communities of color. Other possible future new sections could include Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway into Brownsville, the Jamaica Bay Greenway, and the North Shore on Staten Island.

According to Ydanis Rodriguez, the commissioner of the Department of Transportation, the greenway will be for both recreation and transportation and connect to major landmarks, institutions, and critical commercial corridors in both uptown Manhattan and the Bronx.

“Historic disinvestment and highway construction has, for decades, severed Bronxites’ connection to their waterfront. This administration is centering equity in all its work — and that means ensuring communities in the Bronx have safe cycling connections and pedestrian access to and along the Harlem River shoreline, one of the city’s most beautiful natural landscapes,” Rodriguez said.


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