$100 million of New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s executive budget will be used to help finish the final missing section of greenway in Manhattan between East 61st and East 53rd Streets, enabling cyclists to circumnavigate the whole of Manhattan without using busy roads.
The project is estimated to take around five years and will increase accessibility for cyclists and pedestrians to travel through the busy New York suburb.
Three different parties involved in the project have already given their initial approval: the Army Corps of Engineers, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as well as the United States Coast Guard.
The city is hopeful that designs for the greenway can be completed and approved this year, with construction beginning in 2019. The goal is to have the entire stretch completed by 2022.
“We’re jump starting the completion of a greenway linking the entire Manhattan waterfront," de Blasio said.
"The greenway has vastly improved quality of life on the West Side, and we want families in every corner in the borough to have that same access to bike, walk, and play along the water. This is the first of many big investments we’ll make as we bring the full greenway to reality."
The commissioner of the Department of Transportation (DoT), Polly Trottenberg explained the extensive greenway plans should help meet the increase in safe cycling routes throughout New York, the largest city in the US. According to DoT, the number of riders on the road has increased 80 per cent in the last five years.
Part of the City’s larger, 1,100-mile bicycle lane network and started in 1993 by former mayor David Dinkins, the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway has grown with every mayoral successor.
It’s estimated that around 7,000 cyclists ride on the multi-use path every day, making it one of the highest-traffic paths in the entire country.