Advocating for a 'Greenway Stimulus'

The pandemic bike book would seem like the perfect time for the federal government to invest in an interstate system for cyclists and walkers.

June 13, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


New York City Bike Infrastructure

Michal Ludwiczak / Shutterstock

The pandemic-era bike boom means greenways in New York are busier than ever, according to an article by John Surico: "Bike traffic on the Hudson River Greenway often appears to match the paralleling West Side Highway. Last summer, around 150,000 cyclists a month — or about 5,000 a day — passed through Kent Avenue, in Williamsburg. This year is on track to surpass that. (Now there are calls to widen it, as a recent video captured more two-wheelers than four.)"

But New York City’s greenway system could still use funding and planning help to transform a "collection of fragments" into a cohesive network, according to Surico. Other greenways around the country are facing a similar dilemma: more popular than ever but still far from complete.

That's where a pair of advocacy efforts come in. In New York City, the "Greenways 4 NYC" coalition is calling on the federal government to commit $1 billion to fund "a 400-mile protected five-borough greenway, an idea the city proposed nearly 30 years ago," according to Surico.

"Nationwide, greenway boosters are thinking even bigger," adds Surico. "A chorus of advocates believe that the time has come for a 'Greenway Stimulus.' About 200 environmental and active-transportation organizations [...] are stepping up pressure to carve $10 billion out of the Biden administration’s prospective American Jobs Plan, or corresponding infrastructure-related bills, to help complete hundreds of proposed walking and bike trail projects around the country

Monday, June 7, 2021 in Bloomberg City Lab

Street-level view of sharrow symbol on asphalt with parked car in background

How Sharrows Became Cycling’s Most Hated Symbol

Originally designed as a low-cost way to encourage safer road sharing between bikes and cars, the sharrow has become a symbol of the lack of commitment to protected bike infrastructure in many cities.

August 2, 2022 - Denverite

A image of the World's Columbian Exposition overlayed with a picture of Keanu Reeves in the rain from the movie Point Break.

Keanu Reeves Set to Play Daniel Burnham in ‘The Devil in the White City’

Planning is going to get a new level of star power as a limited series adaptation of The Devil in the White City gets ready for television screens in 2024.

August 8, 2022 - Reel Chicago

View from middle of street in downtown Telluride, Colorado with mountains in background

Marrying Urban Identity and Economic Prosperity

A new book posits that truly successful communities have a strong economic base and a firmly rooted sense of place.

August 5, 2022 - Governing

Women Public Space

Urban Design Through a Gender Lens

Building cities to be safe and accessible for women and LGBTQIA+ people has benefits for all users of public space.

5 minutes ago - Architecture Daily

Rendering of downtown Milwaukee sports stadium with soccer field

Sports Stadiums Bring Few Economic Benefits

While their developers often tout jobs and local economic development as benefits of major stadium projects, research shows these venues often make little impact on local economies.

1 hour ago - Urban Milwaukee

Dallas Freeways

A How-To for ‘Freeway Fighters’

Ten recommendations for effective freeway removal advocacy.

2 hours ago - Strong Towns

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.