The Jamaica Bay Greenway

 Floyd Bennett Field Bike Path by Don Reipe
Floyd Bennett Field Bike Path. Photo: Don Reipe

Working Together to Enhance Our Shoreline

The Jamaica Bay Greenway is a 19-mile loop route around Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn and Queens that offers recreational opportunities, vistas of the bay and access to the beautiful natural landscape of the waterfront. For the roughly 300,000 people who live within a 20-minute walk as well as millions of annual visitors, the greenway serves as an ideal connection to more than 10,000 acres of federal, state and city parkland.

While many sections of the greenway have been recently rebuilt or are under construction, many sections are in need of improved signage, paving, road crossings and access links. The greenway is a key feature in the recent agreement between New York City and the National Park Service to jointly manage and improve parkland in and around Jamaica Bay. It also reflects a broader effort to improve public access to the New York City waterfront.

Regional Plan Association and the National Park Service have joined forces to organize the Jamaica Bay Greenway Coalition, which is a partnership of community-based and citywide organizations that are working to restore and improve the greenway and develop better access to the route from local communities. The coalition receives technical support from government agencies and experts to coordinate the planning, implementation and programming of the Jamaica Bay Greenway.
 
Working with coalition partners, RPA also has created a User's Guide to the greenway that provides information on recreational and natural resources around the bay. 
 
Coalition Partners
  • Regional Plan Association
  • National Park Service
  • Transportation Alternatives
  • Brooklyn Greenway Initiative
  • Millennium Development
  • Rockaway Waterfront Alliance
  • Gateway Bike and Boat House
  • Sebago Canoe Club
  • Friends of Penn and Fountain Parks
  • Partnership for Parks

What We’re Working On Now

Regional Plan Association, the National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservations Assistance and coalition partners have joined forces to conduct broad community outreach in the greenway’s neighboring communities. Our goal is to identify opportunities for improved access to the greenway and the adjacent sections of Gateway National Recreation Area and NYC Parks, develop community supported visions, and undertake an initial assessment of environmental conditions for the most promising of these opportunities. The first step of this process will be to work with communities to understand their desires and concerns, identify challenges and opportunities associated with greenway access, and build local support.

RPA, NPS-RTCA, and JBGC partners have been reaching out to communities by presenting at community board and civic association meetings, attending and participating in community events and creating opportunities for the public to enjoy the greenway, New York City parks and Gateway National Recreation Area sites. In the summer of 2013, coalition partners are conducting a series of workshops in communities north of the Belt Parkway to learn about community needs, desires and concerns related to the greenway and waterfront access.

For more information about the Jamaica Bay Greenway Coalition, contact: Kyle Kozar, RPA, at 917-546-4318 or [email protected]

Events and Programs

JBGC is committed to developing programming and hosting events that promote the use of the greenway and adjacent park properties. We have been working with our partners to bring people to experience the vast natural landscapes and recreational opportunities in Jamaica Bay. Below is a list of JBGC-supported annual events and programs.


Rockspot Tour Fall 2012 along the Rockaway Beach Boardwalk. Source: Rockaway Waterfront Alliance

Rockspot Tours
Hosted by the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, Rockspot Tours are community-led bicycle tours aimed at promoting public waterfront access and raising appreciation for New York City's longest and most spectacular waterfront. All the visited tour sites were selected by local residents as sites of "significant interest" and reveal the histories and personal stories of the Rockaway community. There will be 10 tours between the months of April and November. To register and for more informati,on visit: http://www.rwalliance.org/rwa/projects/rockspot_interactive_bike_tours/


Rockaway Bike Parade starting line, Jacob Riis Bathhouse 2012. Source: Rockaway Waterfront Alliance

Rockaway Bike Parade
Hosted by the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, the 2nd Annual Rockaway Bike Parade promotes human-powered transportation. Parade participants are encouraged to wear something fun, goofy or ridiculous as they bike or walk their way along the parade route with bikes, skates, skateboards, or people-powered carts or vehicles. To register and for more information visit: http://www.rwalliance.org/rwa/events/

Queens Bike Bonanza
Hosted by the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, this free event to the public and includes a bike swap, learn to ride lessons for kids, free helmet giveaways and activity tables for kids to make bike-related crafts. Join Bike New York, Recycle A Bicycle, NYC Department of Transportation-Bike Safety, NYPD and NY Coalition for Transportation Safety to promote and educate kids about biking. Pick up a free helmet, upgrade your child's bike, have your child learn how to ride for the first time or learn important cycling skills and traffic principles. For more information visit: http://www.rwalliance.org


And they are off. Start of the Epic Ride in Greenpoint in 2011. Source: Brooklyn Greenway Initiative.

The Brooklyn Waterfront Epic Ride
Hosted by Brooklyn Greenway Initiative and co-hosted by Regional Plan Association, National Park Service, Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, and Transportation Alternatives, the Epic is an annual 40-mile bike ride from Greenpoint to Rockaway Beach, showcasing the potential of a fully completed greenway along the Brooklyn and Queens waterfronts. The route is marked, allowing riders to travel in a group that moves at their own pace. To register and for more information visit: http://www.brooklyngreenway.org/event/the-5th-annual-brooklyn-waterfront-epic-ride/


(left) The launch of Millennium Active Seniors Bike program at Carmine Carro Community Center, Marine Park, Brooklyn. (right) Gateway Spring Fling Event 2012 at Floyd Bennett Field, Gateway National Recreation Area. Source: Millennium Development

Millennium Development’s Youth and Senior Programming
The Jamaica Bay Greenway Coalition recently started working with Millennium Development and Gateway National Recreation Area to expand Millennium’s existing youth and senior programming to include bicycling, kayaking and outdoors activities. For more information about Millennium Developments programming, visit: http://www.milldev.org/


South Brooklyn Bike and Hike Tour 2013. Source: Regional Plan Association

Penn and Fountain Parks Tours
In partnership with New York City Department of Environmental Protection and Friends or Penn and Fountain Parks, the coalition is hosting Bike and Hike tours that highlight opportunities to improve the Greenway and the potential Penn and Fountain Park sites. For more information about up coming tours, contact Kyle Kozar at [email protected]