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The Five Borough Bicycle Club


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A ride through the past to build a future.

Edward D DeFreitas | Published on 11/25/2015

What the B&O hath wrought, we can use for a path.

Hi fellow 5BBC'ers,

On Sunday November 2nd, I led an unusual ride with an unusual response from the Trippers.

The theme of the ride was to show where the abandoned North/West Side Staten Island Railway is. The hopes of some Staten Islanders is that it gets turned into a green way.

The Trippers who are not from S. I., were totally taken with what they saw. I say that because, unlike with the average rides I've led, nobody complained about the overcast weather or getting lunch at 2:00. They just kept on looking and saying things like "I've been a hundred feet from this place a dozen times and never knew it exists". This place is truly a hidden treasure. They took dozens of pictures. The former Borough President, Guy Molinari, made a demonstration project when he was in office. The North/West Side is economically depressed. The MTA owns it and has no money to resurrect it as a transportation route. The seawalls are slowly collapsing.

I feel that the best idea is to turn it into a green way.

Cyclists can commute from north/west side communities to the St. George Ferry in from 20 minutes to an hour, depending upon their start point and speed. That transportation corridor would help revitalize the communities and provide lower cost housing opportunities for people to get leg up. This is the way many other less expensive neighborhoods got started. The bus route along Richmond Terrace is slower but, could be a bad weather alternative.

I guess you know where I'm heading.

Do you think that a North/West Side Green Way is a worthwhile project for the Club and members to support?

I'm willing to do what I can. The last time I and others pushed for a green way, after slowly building a groundswell, Westchester County built the Old Put Trail.

I think we can do it again. It's the right time with the new Ferris Wheel being built right at the beginning of the trail.

Thanks. Ed DeFreitas