Spring is almost here and with that comes new chances to get out and explore our region. With that in mind, consider taking in the “High Line” on your next visit to New York City. Located on Manhattan’s West Side, the High Line is an ongoing conversion of an abandoned elevated freight line into a public park and greenway. The space provides a peaceful, unique perspective over the frenetic city, including planting areas, promenades, viewpoints, and art displays alongside a wide walking path. Section 1 opened in 2009 and Section 2 opened in 2011, with plans for a third and final section to be completed in the near future. The current park stretches for approximately one mile above the streets of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District, in close proximity to public transportation. For more information, including videos, slideshows, renderings and more, visit the High Line website at http://www.thehighline.org/
The High Line is a high-profile example of adaptive reuse, taking old infrastructure and converting it into something completely new and functional instead of tearing it down. A similar project is slated for closer to home. This summer, RIDOT plans on starting construction of the Washington Pedestrian Bridge, converting former lanes of Interstate 195 Eastbound into a public park. This park will include a trail connecting to the East Bay Bike Path, designed by PARE.
– Brandon Blanchard