Mayor de Blasio announced today a new initiative that aims to narrow a mile-long gap on the East Side's section of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. The city says it will build a new esplanade between East 61st Street and East 53rd Street, offering at least some relief to cyclists and pedestrians on the East Side who've felt shortchanged, considering the Greenway's contiguous pathway over on the West Side.

The mayor championed the new initiative, for which he will funnel $100 million in City capital, on Twitter today:

The East River section of the Greenway has a major gap in the trail between 37th and 60th Streets, where cyclists and pedestrians are redirected to First and Second Avenues. Cyclists and joggers have long complained about the gap, with one East Sider telling the Daily News in 2011, "You can't get around the East Side on a bike. The West Side is really nice. This is pretty sketchy."

The City has also committed to expanding protected bike lanes on the East Side, with improvements on Second Avenue in midtown happening this month. The Mayor's office says they'll begin to design the new esplanade this year and kick off construction in 2019, with an expected completion date in 2022.

Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Paul Steely White applauded today's "exciting announcement," calling it "tremendously welcome news for anyone who has experienced the inhospitable conditions that cyclists and pedestrians currently face as they attempt to make their way along the East River waterfront. For too long, the East Side has suffered from the lowest ratio of open space to residents and workers in the city."