West Street to Become Best Street
by Jeffrey Harmatz
Apr 07, 2009 | 1523 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Brooklyn Greenway got a much-needed boost last week when more than $2 million was dedicated to its continued expansion in Greenpoint. Federal transportation money earmarked for New York State was set aside for the development of a portion of the extended bike lane and walking path that will one day run along the entire Brooklyn shore of the East River.

The Brooklyn Greenway is a comprehensive plan to create connected pedestrian walkways, cycling lanes, and green landscaping along the entire Brooklyn coastline. Guided by the Brooklyn Greeneway Initiative, the 14-mile route will connect neighborhoods in Brooklyn that have traditionally been separated by automotive traffic and reintroduce the waterfront to neighborhoods that have not actively engaged the waterfront in decades, despite the fact that they are built right next to them.

The money is part of Transportation Enhancement Program, which provides federal funds to city transportation projects.

"We put in an application for the money last year with the Department of Transportation, and the state selected West Street out of four other sites we designated," said Milton Puryear, director of planning for the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative.

West Street was selected for the Transportation Enhancement Program over sites in Red Hook, DUMBO, and Kent Avenue.

"The money received will go back to the city to cover specifically construction costs," said Puryear

Since it was conceived in 1993, the greenway has been bolstered by more than $20 million in federal funding set aside for the project's construction, and the total funding acquired will ultimately be matched by the city.

The new funding, which is specifically designated for Greenpoint's West Street, will provide a crucial Greenway link through an industrialized neighborhood in North Brooklyn. Currently, the street is in a state of moderate disrepair, with heavy industrial and truck traffic doing serious damage to the street, and its few sidewalks are cracked.

The $2.5 million will go towards funding the construction of the greenway along the entirety of West Street.

Design and engineering for the whole of the greenway is set to begin shortly, and once complete, the federal funding will ensure that West Street will be one of the first areas to undergo the transformation into a greenway.

"We're happy that we got the funding from this particular program, and we're hopeful that we can get through the design in a timely fashion," said Puryear.

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