As we start to settle into new patterns in our personal and professional lives, I’m especially grateful for the community of Greenway users, advocates, and supporters who keep us focused on the important work we do. As the BGI team has moved to a remote-work situation, Greenway use and Naval Cemetery Landscape visitation have spiked over the last few weeks as people look for new ways to commute to work, get outside, and reflect on current events. One thing that remains the same is the need for a fully-realized Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway to connect a greener, stronger, healthier Brooklyn.
Greenway Use Spikes During Coronavirus
Bike and pedestrian traffic have increased dramatically in the last few weeks in response to the Coronavirus crisis. Our Numina sensor at the Naval Cemetery Landscape near the Brooklyn Navy Yard has been recording bike and pedestrian traffic 24/7 since last June. We have seen a sizable, week-over-week increase in Greenway use since the Coronavirus pandemic arrived in NYC:
Change from the previous week
|Week 1 (Mon 3/2 – Fri 3/6)
|48% more cyclists; 20% more pedestrians
|Weekend 1 (Sat 3/7 – Sun 3/8)
|149% more cyclists; 49% more pedestrians
|Week 2 (Mon 3/9 – Fri 3/13)
|90% more cyclists; 15% more pedestrians
|Weekend 2 (Sat 3/14 – Sun 3/15)
|119% more cyclists; 41% more pedestrians
The Greenway is an essential connector as New Yorkers turn to biking and walking as Coronavirus-safe strategies to move through the city. In the first two weeks of March, bike traffic on the East River bridges was up 52% compared to this time last year, and CitiBike usage rose almost 70%. With more riders on the streets — many of them cycle commuting for the first time — the Greenway is an even more vital route that serves people of all ages and abilities.
Naval Cemetery Landscape
At this time, the NCL remains open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am-4 pm. This unique open space was created for personal reflection and contemplation. There is no denying the importance of green space in this city, and the need for nature’s restorative powers becomes even more apparent during times of uncertainty and heightened anxiety. We can still connect with nature while practicing social distancing.
We are asking visitors to heed the CDC’s recommendations and remain at least 6ft from other visitors enjoying the space in order to keep our community safe and prevent the spread of illness. We have taken extra precautionary measures for our staff to remain safe and we have the capacity to limit visitation if necessary. We will be making these decisions in accordance with the mayor and governor’s guidance, please follow BGI (@bkgreenway) and the NCL (@navalcemeterylandscape) on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for updates.
Like many other organizations, BGI is working to confirm our event calendar for the rest of the year. We’ll make announcements regarding our Greenway Ride and Greenway Marathon, Half & 5K as soon as we are able. Thanks for your patience, and please stay tuned!
We know that spending time outdoors is vital for physical and mental health, during this crisis and always. The Greenway is an essential infrastructure that also provides safe passage for alternative modes of transportation. Please support our work to realize the full potential of the Greenway by making a much-needed gift to BGI. Your donations help us keep the Naval Cemetery Landscape open and continue to push for the Greenway’s timely completion.
We thank you for your continued support,
Executive Director, Brooklyn Greenway Initiative