Empire State Trail

Upstate, Urban Design

Renderings courtesy of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office

This is what a renewed Erie Canal could look like in the years to come. Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed a $300 million proposal on Monday to revamp the 19th-century waterway that was started by Gov. DeWitt Clinton in 1817. The multi-phase plan originates in research conducted by the “Reimagine the Canals” task force assembled by Cuomo last May. The first phase will begin later this year and comprises two parts: a $100 million economic development fund to invest in communities along the canal and $65 million toward preventing ice jams and flooding in the Schenectady area. The remaining $135 million will be allocated based on recommendations made in the task force’s report.

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City Living, Getting Away, Policy

Pochuck Creek, tri-state trails, RPA

Pochuck Creek, photo via Pixabay

The NY-NJ-CT region features hundreds of parks and landscapes, from the Catskills and Pinelands to the beaches of Jersey and Long Island. Despite all of this open space, these recreational spots are disjointed from each other and from the communities that would use them. To better connect the parks to one another and to residents, the Regional Plan Association (RPA) has released a new proposal that calls for a Tri-State Trail network, linking 1,650 miles of biking, hiking, and walking trails in the greater New York region. The trail network would put over 8 million of the area’s residents within a half-mile of a trail, increasing access by 25 percent. It would put over 80 percent of today’s residents, or roughly 18.6 million, within just two miles of a trail.

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City Living, Getting Away

Joggers, walkers, cyclists, cross country skiers and just about anyone who can move their feet will in the very near future be able to follow a single trail direct from the bottom of Manhattan all the way to the border of Canada.

This morning Governor Cuomo announced that the state would invest in building a $200 million Empire State Trail that would span 750 miles and become the largest, state multi-use trail in the nation. The project would build upon two existing but incomplete trailways—the Hudson River Valley Greenway (now 50 percent complete) and the Erie Canalway (now 80 percent complete)—and essentially run from Battery Park City all the way up to the Canadian border in the North Country, and from Albany to Buffalo.

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