Plans for a Hudson River Greenway took a small step forward on Oct. 30 as members of Community Board (CB) 8’s Special Committee for the Greenway met to discuss the controversial biking and hiking path along the river from Manhattan to the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail in Yonkers.
The group reached a general consensus to continue with plans to secure funding for engineering studies to determine the best location for the Greenway.
“We know what direction we have to head in at this point,” said committee member Bob Bender, who heads CB 8’s Parks and Recreation Committee.
The agreement followed discussion of a letter sent by Metro-North to CB 8 in which the agency stated it would take CB 8 concerns into account. Metro-North, Amtrak and private landowners all own portions of the right-of-way that would be needed to create a direct path along the Hudson River.
Previously, committee members had raised concerns about sustainability and flooding issues that need to be addressed before any plans with respect to the waterfront can proceed.
Several committee members felt that the discussion should focus on the portion of the proposed Greenway between 254th Street and Yonkers, which would stretch along the waterfront.
Determining the best way to cross the Metro-North tracks at 254th Street, as well as the best location for the Greenway along that portion, would pave the way for long-sought waterfront access for residents. It could also be a first step toward an overall vision for a Greenway.
“If we can do that in my lifetime, that would be great,” said Paul Elston, president of the Friends of the Hudson River Greenway.
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Committee (NYMTC) was harshly criticized earlier this year when it presented a three-stage plan for the Greenway which included constructing a $75 million cantilevered bike lane on the Henry Hudson Bridge, widening public and private roads in Riverdale for bicycle use and allowing bikers to pass through Riverdale Park on their way to 254th Street, where they would cross the Metro-North tracks to the water.