Ever since the High Line opened and began to attract flocks of tourists and unquantifiable millions of dollars to the adjacent West Chelsea streets, other neighborhoods and cities have been trying to replicate the formula. We even tried to imagine a new High Line-style retrofit park for each of the outer boroughs. But the parkland potential of one about-to-be-decommissioned piece of infrastructure hadn’t occurred to us: the Tappan Zee Bridge. Now a movement is afoot to convert Tarrytown’s Hudson-spanning bridge into a pedestrian crossing and park.
The Tappan Zee, you may know, is about to be replaced to the tune of $5.2 billion, although what the new bridge will look like and what will happen to the old are not-so-minor details that have yet to be determined—though demolition seems to be the current bridge’s likely fate.
But one group, lead by urban planner Milagros Lecuona, launched the Tappan Bridge Park project, in hopes that rather than being demolished the aging bridge could become a pedestrian walkway and park. The plan is a long shot, for sure, but given the glaring lack of public transportation, bike and pedestrian accommodations in the current design for the new Tappan Zee, it could turn out to be a vital retrofit.
Before that can happen, though, it will take a lot of signatures to get the attention of the many local, state and federal officials hoping to replace the Tappan Zee as quickly as possible. Sign the Tappan Bridge Park petition here.
Follow Benjamin Sutton on Twitter @LMagArt