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June 2016 Newsletter

A Win for the Urban Environment

NY promises $97 million to "fix" the Sheridan Expressway

Robert Moses loved roads. As New York’s master builder, he oversaw construction of 416 miles of highways, freeways, expressways, and parkways. Many carved up poor neighborhoods, especially in the South Bronx.

Moses even planned to have the Sheridan Expressway cut through the Bronx Zoo. It remains an unfinished, unnecessary eyesore that blocks access to the Bronx River and brings extra traffic and pollution to a community with high rates of asthma and other chronic health problems.

Since 2007, The Trust has given the Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance a total of $270,000 to advocate tearing down this ill-conceived highway spur. The Alliance’s plan inspired the City to recommend putting in a narrower boulevard with pedestrian crosswalks flanked by affordable housing, stores, trees, and a bike path.

In a significant victory, this spring the State announced $97 million in its 2017 budget to transform the Sheridan and breathe new life into the South Bronx.

“New York City is setting an important precedent—bad urban planning can be fixed,” says Patricia Jenny, our vice president overseeing grants.

To build on this momentum and to support this trend statewide, now we’re giving $100,000 to the Tri-State Transportation Campaign to work with Albany, Buffalo, Poughkeepsie, and other cities interested in converting outdated highways into boulevards that emphasize people, not cars and trucks. 

ABOVE: An illustration of how the Sheridan Expressway could be transformed with State funding to provide access to the Bronx River. Art courtesy of NYC Department of City Planning 

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