The Bronx may be the greenest borough, with almost 25% of its land dedicated to parks, but residents in The South Bronx do not have equitable access to green spaces. Now that The Randall’s Island Connector—after 2 decades of wrangling with city agencies and community advocacy groups—area residents and the rest of the borough have access to an additional 330 acres of parkland.
The $6 million connector, which only stretches for a quarter mile under the Amtrak line from 132nd Street to Bronx Kill, is now paved with bike and pedestrian lanes so that Bronxites can enjoy the wide open spaces which Randall’s Island provides along with the many playing fields.
As a child, I fondly remembering the arduous treks one had to make to get there, something Congressman Serrano also recalled at today’s ribbon cutting ceremony from his past.
Cyclists and pedestrians can now get to the island directly and quickly without having to go through the long route over the Triboro Bridge (sorry, it’s still hard for me to call it the RFK Bridge).
During the ribbon cutting ceremony, the most humbling moment for Bronxites came when New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito acknowledged, not just the government agencies and officials involved in making this happen, but the community advocates who have fought the long fight for this day to arrive.
Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo, who also has provided support for the project echoed the Mark-Viverito’s sentiments in saying, “This is for those behind the cameras, the people back there,” referring to the well over a hundred community residents, activists, cyclists, and the everyday Bronxite who came out to enjoy this day.
It’s not everyday that our elected officials go out of their way to thank the community for their hard work and recognize the grassroots efforts that made such things as the Randall’s Island Connector happen and to them they have our sincerest gratitude.
Now let’s get out there and have some fun!