Ritchie Torres Secures $12.3 Million for Bronx River Greenway Link
The city is set to move forward on a long-delayed project to build a key link in the Bronx River Greenway [PDF], thanks to $12.3 million secured by Council Member Ritchie Torres as part of a half-billion dollar plan to reconstruct West Farms’ Lambert Houses.
The two-way bike path will run north from Starlight Park along the west side of East 177th Street, guiding cyclists across East Tremont Avenue via a mid-block crossing to Bronx Street, a car-free block that connects to the Lambert Houses and Bronx River Park, the next leg of the greenway.
Last year, 22 vehicle occupants and nine pedestrians were injured on the blocks surrounding the proposed greenway segment, according to DOT crash data. The project will simplify three complex intersections by eliminating excess vehicular lanes, shortening crossing distances, and adding sidewalk expansions and median islands.
Streetsblog first reported on the plan in June 2014, when the city presented its preliminary design to Bronx Community Board 6. That year, greenway advocates documented the sorry state of walking and biking access to Starlight Park:
Torres said he pushed for the project to get funded because he believes safe streets are “a matter of public health.”
“What we need is not only more housing, but more infrastructure, and not only more infrastructure, but safer infrastructure,” he said. “A poorly designed street is an insidious threat to the residents who live there.”
Now that funding is secured, the design phase will wrap up this summer, DDC told Torres’s Deputy Chief of Staff Raymond Rodriguez. Construction is slated to begin in spring 2017 and take three years.