Painting the Boro Green: 14-Mile Brooklyn Greenway from Bay Ridge to Greenpoint Gets Rolling

The city is set to complete the Brooklyn Greenway, a 14-mile stretch of waterfront bicycle paths—a move that will help get bikers and runners off the streets.
Some sections have already been built, like improvements to the once-dangerous Kent Avenue.
Kent is now one of the most popular bike routes in the borough.
Kent connects to another busy if fraught thoroughfare, Flushing Avenue.
A separate lane was created, but more improvements are planned.
Someday Flushing will have dedicated lanes for everyone.
The same stretch today.
In Greenpoint, big changes are in store for West Street.
Bike lanes galore for North Brooklyn.
Other options for these rough streets present themselves in places like Long Island and Berlin.
In Dumbo, Vinegar Hill and other historic industrial neighborhoods, the Belgian block streets present a challenge, so the city is looking at using smoother stones.
Along Halleck Street in southern Red Hook, major changes are in store.
It'll be downright pedestrian.
A new pedestrian bridge is being contemplated to shorten the trip at the mouth of the Gowanus Canal.
The streetscape of Industry City in Sunset Park will be transformed as well.
The streetscape of Industry City in Sunset Park will be transformed as well.
The greenway will help New Yorkers connect not only to the waterfront but also the industrial past that once surrounded it.
In areas calling for shared sidewalks, where the stretches are already particularly wide, innovative proposals like this clearly delineated path in Germany are being contemplated.

Most New Yorkers with $14 million would likely opt for a pricey slice of real estate on the Upper East Side, maybe with a little left over for dinner for a thousand friends at Per Se. But in Brooklyn, they choose instead to spend that money on their bikes.

With $14 million in funding, secured by Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez, the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative and the Regional Plan Association, the borough will finally see the completion of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, a 14-mile foot and bike path running from Greenpoint to Bay Ridge. Some segments of the greenway already exist on some streets and riverside parks, but these funds will help stitch the entire thing together.

The greenway’s implementation plan, which was finalized today by the city’s Department of Transportation, details plans of a finalized route, implementation framework and funding options for 23 capital projects to connect the neighborhoods. Congresswoman Velazquez represents many of these waterfront communities, hence her support for the project.

The document arrives after a three-year planning stint with the first phase finally coming to fruition. If all goes well, it is projected to enhance access to the borough’s waterfront as well as to improve safety and boost the area’s social allure.

“This plan was designed by Brooklynites for Brooklynites, and it charts a course for a reimagined waterfront stretching from Newtown Creek to Owls Head Park,” DOT Commish Janette Sadik-Khan said in a release. “This document marks both the end of the planning stage and the start of a new era, as these dynamic neighborhoods embrace the waterfront as New York’s sixth borough.”

For a visual, imagine a repaved and freshly painted Flushing avenue, accompanied by a foot and bike path extending the length of the road.

Unfortunately the folks in Manhattan will still have it a bit nicer. Because long stretches of the Brooklyn waterfront remain intermittently industrial, much of the greewnway will run near but not on the water, as it does along the East River in Manhattan and in Hudson River Park.

Still, this lets Brooklynites continue to nurse their superiority/inferiority complex while clinging to what little grittiness in the borough remains.

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