Report Mar 17, 2017

Transportation and Access Improvements for the Jamaica Bay Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area

Full Report (8.72 MB)

Learn about what NPCA is doing to increase access to Jamaica Bay by boat, bus and bike.

Currently, New Yorkers have very few options to get to New York City’s largest national park, Gateway National Recreation Area (NRA). Improving access to Gateway NRA’s Jamaica Bay Unit in south Brooklyn and Queens has long been a pressing issue for a diverse set of stakeholders. Transit-dependent residents who live close to Jamaica Bay face many hurdles when trying to access this local treasure. The need to improve transportation in this geographic region of NYC seems particularly urgent in recent years, as larger discussions about equality and resiliency have dominated the public sphere.

The National Parks Conservation Association, Jamaica Bay Greenway Coalition and Jamaica Bay Advocates worked together with supporting organizations, city, state and federal agencies to develop ideas and transportation projects that can improve access to the Jamaica Bay unit of Gateway NRA. Where these projects primarily aim to enhance the visitor’s experience at Jamaica Bay, they can also provide co-benefits such as increased opportunities for outdoor recreation, environmental education and ways to better prepare local communities for emergency evacuations.

This report suggests a series of recommendations that would increase public access to Jamaica Bay with projects ranging widely both in authority and feasibility. The recommendations center on expanding water-borne connections to and within Jamaica Bay, extending and rerouting existing bus lines that connect to park entrances and capitalizing on the existing segments of the Jamaica Bay Greenway for new, critical connections to landlocked neighborhoods.