Like many waterways through America's cities, the Bronx
River in New York has seen better days. Industrial waste and the impact of
millions of people living on and around its banks made the river suffer
mightily from pollution in the 50s, 60s and 70s.
But local efforts to restore and protect the Bronx River and
its watershed are having a real impact, raising awareness of the river's plight
and putting in place measures to reduce pollution, restore native vegetation
and stabilize this vital ecosystem that runs through the heart of the Bronx to
the confluence of the East River and the Long Island Sound.
A key part of that effort is the creation of the Bronx River
Greenway, a network of trails and preserved public green space extending eight
miles along the watershed. However, despite tremendous progress on this
wonderful local project, the City of New York and local supporters recently hit
a wall in the development of a small, but critical, section of trail alongside
a former rail line.
Amtrak and the New York State Department of Transportation
have been unable to reach agreement on indemnification and liability issues
related to the construction of a pedestrian overpass. Without this link, more
than 100,000 residents in adjacent neighborhoods will remain cut off from the
river, the new parks along its banks, and an invaluable bike and walking trail
You can help. The Bronx River Alliance is gathering
signatures to send to Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, urging
them to push ahead with negotiations with Amtrak. It's easy for you to do -
just fill in the
petition. The people of the Bronx will thank you!
Images courtesy bronxriver.org
The Duke Ellington Building
2121 Ward Ct., NW
Washington, DC 20037