Riverbay opposes Hutchinson River Bridge switchback

The new two-mile extension for the Hutchinson River Parkway Greenway has hit a bump, as a small piece of the proposed route is being questioned by the host community.

The management company for Co-op City, Riverbay Corporation, is for the Greenway project but is against a bike path that would run up a switchback to the Hutchinson River Parkway drawbridge as part of the Greenway. The proposed switchback is located at a sharp turn where Bartow Avenue meets the Hutchinson River Parkway.

According to Riverbay Corporation ombudsman Joe Boiko, the residents support the plan for a greenway, but would prefer to link it up to the existing Greenway at an alternate location, perhaps at Pelham Parkway.

“We are not against the Greenway and welcome it, but we just want to make sure that it is implemented in a way that is safe for pedestrians and bicyclists,” Boiko said. “We think that it is good that visitors will bike through Co-op City and that the residents will be able to bike through the co-op.”

The main sticking point in the proposal by Parks, which would create a switch-back up the side of the bridge, would be that it could potentially involve alienation of wetlands and also creates a dangerous situation for commuters and pedestrians who use the narrow path under the parkway to get to and from Section 5, Boiko said.

“We propose to make a connection on Pelham Parkway so they will not have to open up a fence by wetlands, and you will not have to worry about people riding under the highway around a dangerous curve,” Boiko said.

The underpass also has a sewer grate, Boiko added, which could make biking difficult.

The proposed path at “killer curve” is a hazard, said Community Board 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns, and the board’s Parks committee is in agreement with Riverbay.

“The plan would bring people through Section 5 on the Greenway and then up a series of switchbacks to the drawbridge itself, where there is a pedestrian path over the bridge, and we feel this to be unsafe,” Kearns said. “We are not opposed to the Greenway itself, and the board only questions this one aspect of the entire project, and so did Riverbay Corporation; we are for this project as a whole.”

Kearns said that he did not know of any other possible routes proposed by the Parks Department, which did not comment as of press time as a result of the Passover holiday.

A major part of the 15 miles of Greenways currently in the Bronx, linking Ferry Point Park with Pelham Parkway, was completed in 2006.

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