Neighborhood input is needed to realize safe and respectful designs of the route through Riverdale
Community Board Special Committee
Bronx Community Board 8 established in October 2014 a Greenway Special Committee to hold public meetings and report to the Community Board its findings and recommendations, if any, on the creation of an all river Greenway route. Committee timeline, meetings and minutes are on the Committee website.
Preservancy position on Greenway design
The Riverdale Nature Preservancy is in general agreement with the proposed route for the Hudson River Valley Greenway through Riverdale, which brings the greenway close to the Hudson River. Proximity to the Hudson River has been a goal of the community since the beginning of the planning process.
The Preservancy believes that a great deal of work needs to be done, in conjunction with neighborhood input, to realize safe and respectful designs of the route through Riverdale.
Riverdale Park→ The Preservancy supports design options that do not introduce paving into any part of Riverdale Park. The greenway must protect, preserve and enhance the natural areas through which it passes. Planted areas should not be reduced in size. Planting should use native, non-invasive species that do not require extra maintenance and that do provide habitat for wildlife.
Softscaping for water management→ Water that intersects with the greenway, whether rainwater, surface water, groundwater or the Hudson River should be managed with green infrastructure rather than hardscaping and should be intentionally directed to planted areas that it can support.
Community character→ The greenway must respect and preserve the distinctive character of the neighborhoods along its route, include the narrow, winding streets, stone walls, and cobble-lined swales. Materials and design of the greenway must be sensitive to the surrounding community aesthetic.
Pedestrian safety→ Many residents of Riverdale view the greenway as an amenity for walking, jogging and appreciating nature. It will be imperative for designs to address the different needs of pedestrians and bicyclists.
Access→ Riverdale’s hilly terrain will have an impact on users’ ability to access the greenway, and the greenway should also be accessible in all kinds of weather. These must be considered.
Community shapes selection of a preferred route
Five routes were originally considered for the greenway route. Interests and concerns were raised by the public and recorded by NYMTC at the TAC and other public meetings. Similarly, interests and concerns of affected agencies were raised and recorded at meetings of the Steering Committee.
These interests and concerns became the basis of criteria that NYMTC and its consultants used to evaluate the five routes and ultimately recommend one main route and several alternate and interim routes.
These criteria were:
- Greenway experience
- Safety and convenience
- User comfort
- Connectivity with transit, neighborhood destinations, and other trails/bicycle networks
- Implementation issues such as legal compliance/constraints and cost
Public Meeting at Wave Hill, November 2009
The Riverdale Nature Preservancy, Friends of the Hudson River Valley Greenway in the Bronx, Wave Hill and Bronx Community Board 8 co-sponsored a public meeting on the Greenway on November 18, 2009. Some 75 residents and other interested individuals attended this 2-hour meeting at Wave Hill.
The purpose of the meeting was to expand public outreach and participation in the greenway planning process. Dedicated community members attended Technical Advisory Committee meetings from the start of the planning process. This public meeting aimed to engage additional stakeholders. Planners used discussion from this meeting as well as from previous community meetings and workshops to narrow down the choices of greenway routes.
Attendees were supportive of increased public access to the Hudson River and the greenway goals.
- Franz Paasche, Co-President, Riverdale Nature Preservancy
- Paul Elston, President, Friends of the Hudson River Valley Greenway in the Bronx
- Gerry Bogacz, Director of Planning, NY Metropolitan Transportation Council
- Howard J. Mann, Project Planner, NY Metropolitan Transportation Council
- Joshua Laird, Assistant Commissioner for Planning and Natural Resources, NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation
- Representatives of Community Board 8
- Elected Officials
Community tests river access
On August 4, 2005, Riverdale gained its first legal access to the Hudson River waterfront. A small scenic overlook opened at the Riverdale Metro-North station, providing views of, but not physical access to, the river.
The community viewed the pocket park as a pilot project, a prelude to the future opening of miles of riverfront by the Hudson River Valley Greenway.
The park is considered a success by the community. It is an attractive access point to the river, although maintenance can be spotty, and no negative impacts have been reported. This successful test case helps make the case for broader river access.
More information is available on our Riverdale Station Park page.