2020: A Transformative Year in Review


Dear friend,

When it comes to the Greenway, we’ve often said, “if you build it, they will come.” This year, that maxim held true. A record-breaking 1.3 million Brooklynites came to the Greenway this year for fresh air, safe transportation, exercise, and community.

BGI continues to advocate for the development and completion of the Greenway, closing the gaps in Vinegar Hill, Red Hook, Sunset Park, and South Brooklyn.

This year, the Greenway got a lot closer to completion, with new or improved segments in Greenpoint, Gravesend, and along the Shore Parkway Greenway by the Verrazzano Bridge. Additional Greenway segments are currently under construction on Kent Avenue South in Williamsburg, Flushing Avenue near the Navy Yard, Front Street in DUMBO, Bay Ridge near Owl’s Head Park, and Hamilton Avenue in Sunset Park.

To assess the current and future impacts of the Greenway, BGI launched our Greenway User Study, which will generate data to document how the Greenway serves as a climate, transportation, and community solution that serves all of Brooklyn’s communities equitably.

This year we had to reimagine BGI’s annual biking and running events for the socially distant era. While we missed seeing our community, we were delighted that these events inspired many people to discover the joys of the Greenway for the first time. The Greenway Ride and Brooklyn Waterfront Challenge were month-long, self-guided events that drew over 1,000 participants, who logged more than 13,000 miles on the Greenway.

Also drawing new fans: our Naval Cemetery Landscape at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which drew more 28% visitors in 2020 than last year, despite a 6-week COVID-19 shutdown in the spring. The NCL has become a vital open space where Brooklynites come for comfort, contemplation, and to safely connect with neighbors. Our new self-guided tour helps interpret this award-winning Landscape for visitors of all ages.

We’re excited for more to come in 2021!


  • BGI and User Study partners will begin collecting data along the full 26-mile route to measure the Greenway’s impact on health benefits, climate resilience, transit access and equity, community cohesion and bike and pedestrian safety
  • BGI will continue advocating to close gaps in the Greenway route for NYC’s #BikeBoom including temporary bike lanes during construction projects
  • BGI will help green the Greenway by planting dozens of trees along the new West Street segment in Greenpoint
  • BGI will expand public access and increase organic practices at the Naval Cemetery Landscape
  • BGI will continue to offer COVID-safe public events, volunteer opportunities, and activations on the Greenway

BGI is only $7,000 away from reaching our total year-end goal. Please join us by donating today to support the completion of the Greenway, essential public infrastructure for New York City’s pandemic recovery.


Thank you to everyone who already donated and all who are working to realize the vision of a greener, stronger, healthier Brooklyn.


See you #ontheBKGreenway,

Terri Carta
Executive Director
Brooklyn Greenway Initiative