A ramp around 72nd Street leading from the upper part of Riverside Park down to the Hudson River and the fields in the lower part of the park has been closed since May. And it won’t be open for the July 4 festivities this week, meaning the huge crowds carting strollers, coolers and more will likely have to lug them down the steps.
The parks department tells us that the ramp has been closed because of a sinkhole, but it’s unclear why it’s taken so long to repair it. Meanwhile, bicyclists and other people heading into the park have been forced to carry their stuff down the 60 or so steps of a steep nearby staircase (below). They can also head to the ramps at 68th Street and Riverside Boulevard, or 85th Street, to access the lower part of the park (there’s also a way to get down at 79th, but it involves navigating the car intersection there). The 68th Street ramp forces bicyclists to dismount, and is too narrow for more than two or three people to walk past each other. If this July 4 is anything like past years, entering or exiting the park could be hairy with only one nearby exit.
“It’s a total inconvenience,” Upper West Sider Tom Mullen told us. “I am able to carry my bike down the stairs but those folks with strollers and children have a harder time making it down to the bike path/Riverside Park with the ramp out.”
A parks department spokesperson says “We hope to have that ramp open by next weekend.”
Bottom photo by Ed Yourdon.