31 sensors installed along Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway for new study of usage

The Brooklyn Greenway bike path in Columbia Waterfront.
Photo by Ben Verde

Local urban planners are installing a suite of sensors across the edges of Kings County to help improve the 26-mile landscaped path known as the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. 

The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (BGI) announced the launch of the new user study on March 9, upon the installation of 31 sensors across the greenway, which will help the still-developing pedestrian and cyclist route meant to connect all of Brooklyn’s waterfront parks, open spaces, commercial hubs and cultural corridors. 

Officially called the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway (BWG) user study, the effort will collect data using the pathway sensors to help in the development of more greenways across the city.

Developed and monitored by Brooklyn-based data company Numina, the sensors have already started gathering information on Greenway-users routes for a better understanding on the BWG’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions, transit ridership, access to parks and open space, and other metrics.

“The BWG is one of the most heavily used greenways in New York City, and we are eager to know more about how it’s being used so we can continue to advocate for it,” said Executive Director of BGI Hunter Armstrong. “In 2023 and 2024, the city will be creating a new citywide greenways master plan, and we hope that a better understanding of the BWG will help shape greenway planning efforts across New York City.”

The citywide greenways master plan arises from an initiative to make the city’s walking, running and biking networks more interconnected and accessible in hopes of a healthier and greener future.

“The wealth of data from BGI’s ongoing study of the Greenway’s user mobility patterns will be key in understanding how to maximize green infrastructure throughout New York City,” said Research Manager for Regional Plan Association Ellis Calvin. “The Greenway is a key component of RPA’s Five Borough Bikeway, our proposed network of priority bike lanes across all five boroughs, which is essential to creating a carbon-free New York.”