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

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