Greenways Today

This way is green. The word "greenway" first entered the dictionary in 1966 to describe "a corridor of undeveloped land in or near a city designed for recreational use."* They are one of the few places in cities where cyclists, skaters and pedestrians can commute or recreate free from the pollution, danger, and harassment of motor vehicles.

Greenways bring people closer to nature and provide a sense of empowerment by providing a place to see large numbers of citizens who choose an alternative to gas-guzzling, fume-spewing, earsplitting transportation that poisons our air, damages our eardrums, and subjects our nervous systems to constant stress.

While there has been tremendous progress in the construction and improvement of greenways in New York City, much work remains to be done in order to finish planned greenways as well as to keep the greenways we have open and fully accessible.

Greenway budding in lower Manhattan. Photo by Nancy Asquith. Near Cherry Walk. Photo by Nancy Asquith. Climbing to the George Washington Bridge. Photo by Nancy Asquith. View of Manhattan from a New Jersey greenway. Photo by Nancy Asquith. Photos from the 4th Annual Missing Links Along the Hudson Ride.

As part of its continuing effort to introduce bicyclists and skaters to this resource, TIME'S UP! has a Greenway Ride, and also incorporates greenway routes into many of our other rides, including the Coney Island Cyclone Ride, the Folds Up! Ride, and the Riverside Ride.

It is our hope that as more and more people use the greenways, the numbers will build to a critical mass, encouraging/forcing elected officials to recognize the importance of greenways to the community and build more of them.

BECOME A GREENWAY GUERILLA!

The Manhattan Bridge Greenway at night. Photo by Jym Dyer. TAKE THE PLEDGE:

The minute you see anything blocking the greenway, move it. Carry a piece of chalk, and if you see construction or ramps, draw arrows to indicate the temporary detours. Greenways must be obstacle-free in order to work. Voice your complaints loud and clear by calling 311.

Once upon a time, there were only stairs on the Brooklyn end of the Manhattan Bridge greenway. One night, some Greenway Guerillas installed a little ramp to help people roll their bikes onto and off of the bridge. This little ramp saw much use in its brief lifetime, until the city replaced it with one of their own

 

Be creative. See you on the greenway!

 

* Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition.