MTA highlights potential concerns in Greenway plan

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After a meeting between the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), Metro-North officials and representatives from Community Board (CB) 8, the board was expected to pass a finalized resolution in response to the New York Metropolitan Transportation Committee (NYMTC)’s plans for a Hudson River Greenway. The vote was scheduled for Tuesday night, after The Press went to print.

A delegation including Land Use Committee Chairman Charles Moerdler, Parks Committee Chairman Bob Bender, CB 8 Chairman Robert Fanuzzi and Traffic and Transportation Chairman Dan Padernacht discussed the community’s concerns at the meeting on June 4.

Mr. Moerdler, a member of the MTA’s Metro-North committee, said one of his particular concerns was that damage from Hurricane Sandy has left the prospect of building a Greenway north of West 254th Street along the Metro-North railroad tracks a “physical impossibility.”

“Instead of people spinning a lot of wheels and getting a lot of people introducing legislation, the first order of business ought to be an engineering feasibility study,” he said.

Mr. Bender said that the finalized resolution, which will state that NYMTC should not use Riverdale Park or alter local streets as part of its Greenway plan, will stress the need for an engineering study. In addition, committee members have been working on modifications to the language in light of the meeting with MTA officials.

At a March 27 Parks and Recreation Committee meeting, the panel passed a resolution outlining its support for waterfront access while highlighting many of the issues community members have with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council’s (NYMTC) three-stage plan for a hiking and biking trail spanning from northern Manhattan to the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail in Yonkers.

The objections included opposition to the $75 million in spending proposed for bridge and road improvements, the use of Riverdale Park as a thoroughfare and the widening of country roads west of Henry Hudson Parkway.

“There’s broad support for the Greenway throughout the community,” Mr. Bender said, adding that Metro-North’s major concern was protecting the riverbank and preventing future flooding to its tracks.

“The goal of the engineering study, which is definitely the next step in the process, is to make sure the Greenway does not in any way compromise the efforts Metro-North has underway,” he said.

Mr. Moerdler said an engineering study will help avoid the pitfalls of the Second Avenue subway, which was proposed in the 1920s and is still under construction.

“Instead of doing it piecemeal, do the kind of stuff that makes some sense. Understand what is doable. Plan and get it done, one, two three,” he said.

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