Parks plan new Hutchinson River Greenway

The current plan for the Hutchinson River Greenway (above), which has been put forth by Parks, adds to an already extensive greenway on Pelham Parkway and Mosholu Parkway. Photo courtesy of the Department of Parks and Recreation

Greenways currently line Pelham Parkway and Mosholu Parkway, and NYC Parks is now beginning work on a new route that will stretch from Pelham Parkway to Bronx County’s northern border with Westchester.

Construction is expected to begin in the fall, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation has confirmed, with a new Hutchinson River Greenway that will allow for walking, running, biking and in-line skating across community boards 10, 11 and 12.

The new greenway, which mirrors the Hutchinson River and will meander along its route, should be completed in one year, by the fall of 2010. The project is funded with nearly $5 million in Croton Mitigation Funds.

“This greenway will run 2.5 miles from Pelham Parkway to the city’s northern border when it is complete,” said Jesslyn Tiao Moser, a Parks spokeswoman. “It is currently in the design phase. The design should be complete by February.”

Members of the community will have the new greenway courtesy of Croton Mitigation Funds: monies totaling more than $200 million that were granted to Bronx parks in exchange for constructing the Croton Reservoir Filtration Plant underneath the Mosholu Golf Course in Van Cortlandt Park. That money will be generated from sewer and water tax revenue.

At certain points along the greenway, trees would be added to beautify the path, which in other greenways have had lanes headed in each direction, and sometimes separate lanes for pedestrians and cyclists. In addition to being landscaped, the Hutchinson River Greenway is to have signage to direct the flow of traffic, and bike racks.

So far, only the district managers of community boards 10, 11, and 12 have seen the plans – which were presented at monthly intergovernmental meetings at which district managers are participants.

“The goal of [the greenway] is to create more greenery and enhance the physical environment,” said Community Board 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns. “Trees serve as a sound-break and absorb pollution. It is along the highway, not on any street. It is something that I think the board would be in favor of, though they have not yet had a chance to review the plans.”

Kearns said that Community Board 10 would have a chance to fully review the design and ask questions of Parks at CB 10’s next Parks and Recreation Committee meeting on January 21. The other boards are expected to soon present the plans to their own Parks and Recreation committees before coming to a vote at full board meetings in February – finalizing the design phase with their input.

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