Our vision for the Harbor Ring, a 50-mile recreational pathway circling the length of New York Harbor and connecting Brooklyn, Staten Island, New Jersey and Manhattan is getting closer to reality as economic revitalization spurs interest in waterfront access throughout the region and the MTA continues heeding cries for long-sought access to the Verrazano Bridge.
In this climate, Staten Island’s own North Shore waterfront holds enormous potential for Harbor Ring expansion. The North Shore waterfront is exemplary of increased interest in waterfront access happening across the city. It also connects the Goethals and Bayonne bridges, both to gain bicycle and pedestrian access, with the Verrazano Bridge, the Harbor Ring’s central missing link. Given that it's imperative for increased bridge access to be complemented by safe and accessible rights of way on land, a key first step towards realizing the Harbor Ring is the creation of a greenway spanning Staten Island’s North Shore Waterfront.
People are already talking about the idea for a greenway spanning Staten Island’s bustling North Shore. The North Shore Waterfront Greenway, Inc and Staten Island Community Board 1 have both called for a similar version of the concept. New York City Council Member Debi Rose even mentioned the creation of a multi-use pathway spanning the waterfronts of the North Shore in her 2018 “State of the District” speech. With immense existing support and untold benefits, it’s time we elevated the North Shore Greenway to a reality.
A multi-use greenway spanning the waterfront would restore waterfront access to the communities it borders, many of which are environmental justice areas and open up recreational and transportation opportunities to those who need it most. Given the deep inequities to transit access that mars our western shoreline, where many residents live in transportation deserts, the value of added active transportation opportunities alone would be incalculable. Furthermore, through careful planning that’s cognizant of the shoreline's fragile environment, the same benefits that such a greenway would bring to North Shore communities could also complement our existing waterfront economy.
With such benefits, it's no surprise that people are already talking about the idea for a greenway spanning Staten Island’s bustling North Shore. The North Shore Waterfront Greenway, Inc and several community leaders have all called for a similar version of the concept. Likewise, the need for increased access to the North Shore waterfront has been included in multiple studies including the North Shore 2030 Plan and Working West Shore 2030 reports. We need you to use your leadership to help us make this shared dream a reality.