The Riverside Park esplanade, looking South from around 73rd Street. The esplanade would become pedestrian-only from 72nd to 83rd Street under a Parks Department plan, and bikers would be rerouted to a new bike path. Photo by gigi_nyc.
A new bike path designed to separate riders from walkers got the go-ahead from a local committee on Monday, but some bicyclists say they’re worried it will make their commute an uphill battle.
At the Community Board 7 Parks & Environment Committee meeting Monday, the committee approved a Department of Parks & Recreation budget request to create a designated bike path in Riverside Park between West 72nd Street and 83rd Street.
Currently, bikers and pedestrians share a path known as the esplanade between these streets. Collisions between bikers and pedestrians are common on the esplanade because it is a narrow path used both by commuting bikers and strolling pedestrians.
A slide from NYC Parks showing the proposed bike path as a hashed green line. Click to enlarge.
The plan will reroute bikers to an existing path further inland and designate the esplanade as a pedestrian-only path. To do so, the Department of Parks & Recreation will implement new signage, pavement markings, and flexible bollards. The Department plans to widen the entrance at 72nd street and soften the transition to the steep sections of the path by the Rotunda by repaving those portions. LED bulbs will also be installed along the new bike path.
Councilmember Helen Rosenthal, who attended the meeting, applauded the plan and mentioned that it makes good use of the limited Participatory Budget funds to solve the issue. The project received $200,000 from Rosenthal through the participatory budgeting process, where locals vote on how to spend $1 million in city funds.
The plan was generally popular with the pedestrians who attended the meeting, but concerned some bikers who thought the portion of the path by the Rotunda might be too steep. The Department of Parks & Recreation maintained that the new path, although steeper than the current one, would be easily traversable by most bikers. They added that splitting the current path on the esplanade into separate lanes for bikes and pedestrians was not an option, because that path was not wide enough.
The park administrator said bicyclists will be able to handle the incline, Streetsblog reported.
Some audience members expressed concern about riding on the steep inclines, particularly during the winter, but [Riverside Park Administrator John] Herrold insisted it was no big deal. “I think it’s overstating the challenge,” he said. “When I’ve stood at the top of the rotunda and watched cyclists go up and down it during rush hour in the morning, it’s not the Tour de France guys. It’s people on Citi Bikes going to work. I don’t see it as an impediment to very many people.”
The Parks & Environment Committee expressed that the success of the plan hinged on enforcing the new rules and ensuring that bikers don’t use the pedestrian-only path. The committee recommended approval of the project with a 4-1 vote. It will go before the full community board on Nov. 1.
The Department of Parks & Recreation anticipates that they will begin repaving portions of the path and adding signs in late 2017. Once implemented, the new rules will be in effect year-round.
they should be using this money to remove bike lanes & pedestrian “malls”
Nick, Can you explain yourself. I’m curious where this brilliant notion comes from.
Hi Nick. Every time we have this discussion people like you say get rid of the bikes and pedestrian plazas and people like me remind you of your communities supposed commitment to a “Green” lifestyle. You are aware that “Green” refers in part to grass and using feet instead of cars, right? NYC is a small island, we should have more people power and less car power.
I agree! They should also pave over the park and extend the highway…
Just kidding. More pedestrian and cycling infrastructure is awesome.
I support the idea.
Full Disclosure: I am a big walker on that path.
“Collisions are common” because many walkers have their heads buried in their iPhones while lotsa cyclists are going at breakneck speed. Obviously the “Respect Others” signs don’t get much notice. As a regular runner trying to be mindful of everyone’s enjoyment of this public space, I am regularly frustrated by both clueless walkers and hostile cyclists. I look forward to the new bike path alleviating some of this conflict.
Is there a source for this? Data please?
“Collisions between bikers and pedestrians are common on the esplanade because it is a narrow path used both by commuting bikers and strolling pedestrians.”
Thank you in advance! I’m once again disappointed with CB7’s anti-cyclist brigade. Adding hills for cyclists, or claiming they need to walk alongside a six-lane highway, especially on a riverside route, can only deter people from riding.
Here’s one data point. It’s become impossible to walk along the River esplanade because of the careening cyclists. I was almost run over any number of times as recently as Sunday.
Actually, if you want “data”, just go to the esplanade and watch. You’ll see the few walkers brave enough to try the once-lovely path cowering from the wheeled traffic.
If there is an “anti-cyclist” sentiment out here, the cyclists have brought it on themselves.
It’s a bike path, so yes, it’s full of bikers. What’s the problem?
It’s not just a bike path, it’s a shared path and it’s used a lot and it has the potential to be very dangerous for all users.
With no physical divisions for cyclists and pedestrians and just blurry lines on the ground it’s a real mess at times.
there is a need for a speed limit for safety
You need to distinguish between the racers and the normal bikers. It’s certainly possible to bike responsibly on that path, especially if pedestrians keep to the right more-or-less (as the signs request).
As for the racers – try to ignore them, it will really piss them off. I do that on my (normal hybrid) bike. Let them weave; they won’t hit you, their bikes are worth too much money. If enough people did that, they would be discouraged from training on the greenway.
Maybe we can agree that’s not what data and a source means, Cato?
I’m down there all the time and I’ve seen one collision in seven years – and I was the pedestrian who caused that one! so shame on me.
Still would be nice to know if there is data to back this up. Help us out please, WSR.
I both bike and walk. The path is not well designed for both but it is very clear that cyclists are more at fault and not because they are headless, simply that the bikes are fast and the path is narrow. No need to suspect “anti-cyclist” conspiracy.
Cyclists make it very stressful to walk anywhere in Riverside Park. Not only are they heedless and menacing on bike paths, they frequently ride on paths that are JUST for walkers. I recently spoke to the Parks Department, 212-594-2406. They are trying to deal with the problem, but obviously it will be intractable without substantive enforcement – walkers, let them know how you feel.
As usual, pelpe with a lack of understanding of City Planing balme mthe cyclist, or the drivers, or the runners. The problem is poor city planing. The only reason walkers and cyclists share the same path is because its poorly designed path. Just to remind you, it wasn’t built just for people to walk. It was built for anyone. The reason all of us cant co-exist is because the path is designed poorly. This renovation is a great idea.
I ride my bike everyday and this is a great idea! That section by the boat basin is dangerous to walkers and bikers because people are strolling accidentally walk into the path of bikers.
Omigod!! People walking on a walking path “strolling accidentally … into the path of bikers”.
I mean, how dare they?? Eyes straight ahead, LEFT foot, RIGHT foot, LEFT foot, RIGHT foot, IN LINE — HARCH!!
For whatever it’s worth, on Sunday afternoon I was walking (straight) along the river, on the walking path, when bicyclists came roaring down in the same line and *I* had to dodge out of their way. This happened several times. (And, no, I wasn’t plastered to a portable electronic device; it was in my pocket, where it belongs.)
Z O O M!!!
It would be nice to see the bikers rerouted – straight into the Hudson!
Bikes have entirely ruined Riverside Park for me. I don’t even go anymore. Especially down on the southern end.
Cool, one less pedestrian to get in my way. Can you convince your friends and neighbors of the same? Then you can stay inside and complain to each other about the bike lanes and pedestrian malls, and stay out of the bikers’ way!
yield to pedestrians
And there you have it, Ladies and Gentlemen, the source of the entire problem, in a nutshell.
Gail, there have been bikes in that park since the park was created in the 30s. Not sure what you’re getting at…
Oh don’t feign ignorance: in the last 10 years or less bike traffic has skyrocketed all along the Hudson River and in our area of Riverside Park. Mostly white, upper class, folks with their expensive bike gear and their $1000 bikes have turned the park into a race track of yuppy competition.
Oh don’t be feign ignorance: in the last 10 years or less bike traffic has skyrocketed all along the Hudson River and in our area of Riverside Park. Mostly white, upper class, folks with their expensive bike gear and their $1000 bikes have turned the park into a race track of yuppy competition.
The hills by the rotunda are almost impassable on a CitiBike. Super-steep.
I am a walker and not a bicyclist but I think the pedestrians are the biggest problem in the effort to share the path. They walk in the middle of the path without regard for bicyclists who might try to pass. But people are unlikely to change their ways so creating a separate bike lane is the right thing to do. I always feel jittery walking there as I constantly look over my shoulder for bicyclists when I try to pass slow pedestrians or change my route.
I am a cyclist and a walker. The esplanade is scary for everybody. That part of the path is just too narrow for both. It’s a relatively short part of the entire bike path, and a small price to pay (losing the river view and climbing the hill) to make it safer and more fun for all of us. Plus, it’s downhill in the other direction! I think it’s a great idea.
Totally agree with Gail. As an avid walker, I don’t go to Riverside anymore. I have nothing against biking or bikers but I don’t want to share the same path with them.
Great idea. I like this. I bike, run and walk in that area all the time. Some bikers are too fast, some walkers are too oblivious, and it makes for a bad combo.
This is a great idea. I walk and run along there and am always worried about the bikes whizzing by. Now, they just need to add more police along there and it will be both safe and secure.
Seems that it would be helpful to have some reliable data as to the maximum grades on the proposed path.
Love walking on that path, so yes, I love this. Except when it’s super sunny and hot and I walk on the upper path to be in the shade. Ha ha.
I’ll have to look at the rotunda area. I’m having a hard time picture where it is steep.
As to the current situation, my Sidewalk Rage is in full force toward the pedestrians and bikers who don’t keep right and pass left. One caveat is that it’s reasonable to want to walk side by side with your friends in the park, but it’s just such a bad area for it.
Do the park police have the authority to ticket cyclists for excessive speed and going on pedestrian only paths? I’ve asked them and they say they don’t.
While we’re on the subject of ticketing, how about ticketing pedestrians for going on the portions of the path that are for bikes only? In the areas where the paths do diverge, it would be nice if there could be more signage and if people would actually obey it. I just rode on the path on Monday, and there are ALWAYS joggers in the bike-only areas, despite some additional signage that was added relatively recently in a couple locations. The bike-only paths are too narrow for there to be joggers as well, a situation which translates to a line of bikes having to weave around them while bikes are also coming in the other direction. Added incline aside (I’ll have to take a look at the particular area in question), I think separating the paths is a great idea in general.
This new plan is overdue.The Citibike types are annoying, but real danger on the esplanade is not the Citibike people but the racers who plow through at breakneck speed. I too avoid that section if I can.
Awesome!! I proposed this idea a long time ago. Now one can enjoy walking through this section of the esplanade without having to worry about speeding cyclists. I’m on that path even after 10pm…enjoying a river walk when most of you are home afraid of getting mugged.
I also stopped going down to the river in this area, where I live, because the bikers made it so dangerous. I used to go there all the time. One day, walking with my 3-year old grandson, he was suddenly surrounded on both sides by a group of bicyclists who didn’t slow down, or give any warning. I screamed at him to NOT MOVE, which he did and, fortunately wasn’t hurt, but it was a very scary experience for both of us. This is no longer an area that can be enjoyed and I am fully supportive and grateful for the new bike path.
About time! Now they should put speed bumps on the upper level walkways of the park so the Lance Armstrongs of the world who pedal without abandon and force pedestrians to move aside have to slow down. The stretch of what is supposed to be a pedestrian path from 72nd to 79th streets adjacent to the RSD roadway runs by a playground and is dangerous territory, especially for seniors.
As for the path along the river, always intended for pedestrians, bikes should never have been allowed there in the fist place.
Fixed the quote for you guys:
“Currently, bikers and pedestrians share a path known as the esplanade between these streets. Collisions between bikers and pedestrians are common on the esplanade because it is a narrow path used both by RACING bikers and strolling pedestrians.”
Its the tour de france type riders that have ruined the riverside path. As both a biker and a pedestrian on that stretch I welcome this change.
…And quit whining about a 25 foot change in elevation – you know you are going to be going at breakneck speed on the downhill portion.
The original report did not need correcting. The narrow pedestrian path is, in fact, “used both by bikers and strolling pedestrians.”
When one is on foot, strolling calmly in a peaceful environment, even an oblivious CitiBike biker descending suddenly can cause shock or injury.
This will certainly help, but if the pattern holds from the rest of the city where the bike path is separate from the pedestrian paths, the bikes will respect the pedestrian paths (except for the inevitable Citibike-riding tourists), but oblivious pedestrians and joggers will wander onto the bike path with their earphones in and engrossed in conversation or emails.
As for the incline — bring it on! We all need the extra exercise
With regard to the “oblivious pedestrians and joggers [who] will wander onto the bike path with their earphones in and engrossed in conversation or emails”, I would be happy to let Darwin’s laws of natural selection play their course. Eventually the phoneheads will learn.
It’s your assumption that “the bikes will respect the pedestrian paths” that I believe will prove false. There’s absolutely no empirical reason to believe that the posting of a few more signs will get the WHIZZZZers to stay off the pedestrian walk. They are, after all, entitled.
They’ve never respected pedestrians, and there’s just no reason to believe they’ll start now.
I used to ride back and forth between the UWS and Battery Park City almost daily along the greenway. Most parts of the greenway have separate, parallel pedestrian paths with “BICYCLISTS MUST DISMOUNT” at any entrances from the bike paths. The portion south of 72nd st is a good example. I’ve never seen anyone riding in there; there’s no reason to. (And if you do see one, you have my blessing to chastise them) But there are always pedestrians and joggers on the bike path. I’ve even seen joggers in dark clothes with headphones running at night along the path. Clueless.
It’s even worse on the bike path by the east river north of the fulton fish market. The bike path is clearly delineated but not physically separated, and the pedestrians are completely oblivious and march 4-across down the path.
Despite all this whining, I have to say that NYC has developed a fantastic bicycling infrastructure over the last decade or so, and for the most part it’s a pleasure to commute via bike.
Also, the tour the france wannabees really need to not bike in Manhattan. There’s really nowhere for them to go. All these bike paths are for normal biking, not racing.
This is very good news. I’m a walker, always stay to the right, never text/phone or listen to music while walking, and still feel that I might, at any moment, be hit by a bicycle despite being alert. It really does take the fun out of walking in the park.
Having the bike lane bypass that curve around the 72nd st softball field to the dedicated bike lane is really key. That’s a scary curve there, for both bikers and pedestrians.
I find most people on bikes are obnoxious, arrogant, self-absorbed and rude. The one place in Central Park I thought I could walk in peace away from dogs and bikes would be the jogging path around the reservoir known as the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, as dogs, bikes and baby strollers are not allowed. Nope. Always people who ride or walk their bikes around the path, as well as dogs and strollers. Nobody cares about anyone but themselves. Disgusting.
I walk and/or jog the reservoir path very often, and I RARELY see people riding or even walking their bikes. I see walkers going in the wrong direction, or walking 3 across, but not bikes. The bike paths in Central Park are wide and wonderful (and a lot steeper than the rotunda area in Riverside!). I don’t know why there would be a biker on the dirt reservoir path.
One reason that bikes ride on at least some of the dirt paths in Central Park is that there is only one safe or legal way to cross it—at 72nd street. The cars get 4 transepts through the park, heavily used. The walkers can go wherever they want.
But bikes can only (legally) go around the park counterclockwise. Or, if for some unfathomable reason, they might want to cross the park and get to the other side of it, they are supposed to bike on down to 72nd and cross there.
At 86th, they SHOULD be able to use the bridal path at the very least, to cross, and there SHOULD also be connecting bike paths to deliver them safe passage to the streets.
The transepts are dangerous for bike riders—blind curves, large trucks and tourist busses going fast, potholes, no shoulder…but that’s where we are supposed to ride, if we want to cross the park.
Transverse not transept. Transept is part of a church.
Bridle not Bridal. Bridal is the adjective of bride.
Are you planning to get married in a church soon?
There is a transept at102nd street. And on a bike you shouldn’t need transepts every 10 blocks.
I agree 100% with you. I also use that portion of the Bridal Path daily. I often encounter police officers on foot or in their vehicles but I’ve never been told to dismount.
Every now and then somebody will say something to me about riding my bike through there. I find it ironic considering that drivers are doing the same thing I’m doing w/o any repercussions or even a second look from anybody on the path.
It’s “bridle,” not “bridal”
By transepts I’m talking about the built in roads for cars to cross the park—there are four of them, at 66th, 82nd, 86th, and 97th—central park is several miles long, so these are obviously needed. and they are very busy.
What I’m saying is that bikes need more than one way to cross the park safely and legally.
Currently the assumption is that biking in the park is only about recreation. But as bicycling increases, I don’t see how anyone can argue that bicycle riders need safe and legal ways to cross the park LESS than cars do!
There’s a section of the bridal path at around 86th that is used to park cars–police mostly. It’s an obvious place for bicyclists to cross safely as well, and yet, I’ve been told by cops to get off my bike when riding there.
It really infuriates me , because I commute across the park 3 or 4 times a week, and it’s simply not practical for me to use any route other than the 86th street transept, and risk getting mowed down by a tourist bus or a speeding taxi—which has almost happened several times.
I’ve tried many other routes, but when I take into consideration that after crossing at 72nd or at 100th street where I can cross most of the way and then walk part of the way, I then have to find a way back to 86th on the East Side where there are no safe bike routes south to north.
So I just bit the bullet and take my chances, like many other bike riders are doing these days—I see them. Those transepts are dangerous for us, but noone cares enough to give us a way to share the park with pedestrians in a few places.
I don’t think that’s what the commenter above is saying. The portion of the bridal path he is referring to is the one where there are always a bunch of cars parked and Parks’ vehicles also use it to get from one side of the park to the other. Same way riders are using it to safely traverse the park.
And yes, I know, there is a kind of path up near 96th street—it’s hidden, but if you know about it, it’s there.
But it doesn’t cross ALL THE WAY. You have to walk dismount your bike on the east side, for a 3 minute walk, or break the law.
To me, that’s not a real bike crossing.
Yeah!!! Its about time that pedestrians have a place of their own. It will be nice to have the chance to stroll along the river without having to take your life in your hands.
It’s not just walkers and bikers. It’s also roller bladers, strollers, joggers, wheelchairs etc. I’ve seen too many accidents over the years. The current lane is just not wide enough to accomodate all the traffic. Separating bikers/roller bladers from others is way overdue and should occur all along the water.
Portions of the bike path were under repair this summer, forcing people to this new path. I am no slouch of a biker, but the hill that takes you above the boat basin at 79th was basically impossible to climb without walking your bike. And on the other hand, what goes up must come down, right? So the speeds down the hill after you finally finished the incline are crazy. Considering that most Citi bikers don’t wear helmets, this will be a real problem. Not to mention the oblivious walkers and tourists on their cell phones and with their selfie sticks. That’s who causes the accidents. Not bikers. And Why do the walkers deserve the better views?
The Boat Basin hill is definitely steep but not impossible. Sure, a lot of cyclist may have to walk it but I’ll take that over the jumble fuck that takes place where the two paths currently meet. Really, you’re complaining about not having a view when we’re getting a dedicated path?
As someone that used to commute up this path on a daily basis, I have to say that a lot of my fellow cyclists would ride like jerks around here. But even if everyone behaved as a model citizens, there are just too many users on this path. A dedicated path for cyclist would be the safest and more practical choice.
Agreed. That’s not much of a climb at all for the average biker. I ride a basic single speed bicycle with lots of gear on a rack for my daily commute and I had absolutely no problem making that climb when the construction detour was in place. As others have already stated, the key to making this work will be keeping pedestrians off of the dedicated bike path. Pedestrians and joggers routinely use the dedicated bike paths further down the greenway, despite the fact that they have the much wider esplanade available to them.
WSR, have you considered/ would you consider implementing a rule against such gratuitous use of foul language as that in the above comment?
It’s not gratuitous if it’s warranted.
Thank you, Zulu, for proving the point once again. You’ve written three quite coherent paragraphs and expressed your thoughts very well — and never once needed to use the (as you call it) “f-bomb”.
And that’s all anyone wants you to do. So, please, keep it up. Practice makes perfect!
Cato and Independent,
I would like to point out the use of profanity in literature has been in use since Shakespeare. The Great Gatsby for example has plenty of swear words within it’s dialogue. More recently, a book titled “Go the Fuck to Sleep” by Adam Mansbach can be found on bookstore shelves across the country.
In addition to the above examples I’m also going to mention that a number of studies have shown that those who use profanity may have a higher linguistic skill level. Just saying.
In any event, there is a whole lot of effort put forth on your parts over a lowly but innocuously placed f-bomb. To each their own I suppose, but to be frank this topic is getting kinda boring. Peace out!
Exactly. And “Zulu” would certainly appear to have sufficient command of the English language so as to not actually need to resort to such profanity.
~ George Orwell, Politics and the English Language
I suggest that WSR add this to the comment posting guidelines and add a link to said guidelines near the box for posting a new comment. I also suggest that next-to the “Website” field, WSR add a note such as the following,
(For sharing a personal website. Otherwise, leave blank.)
The need for such an explanatory note is evidenced by the many comments with sites such as AOL, Yahoo or West Side Rag entered into the “Website” field.
Which is why the request to the moderator to block such gratuitous foul language.
Thanks for proving the point!
Your opinion, my prerogative.
That’s a good dictionary definition, but not analytical. The point was (and is) that your use of the swear word was not warranted.
The English language is sufficiently rich that there are other, less offensive, ways to make the same point. There’s no reason to fall back on gutter talk if you can express the idea without it.
Hence, “unwarranted”. Hence, “gratuitous”.
That’s great news for all! Bikes and pedestrians should be on different paths indeed.
I go running along the Hudson on a regular basis. Most bicyclists are courteous and respectful but some are dangerous and reckless.
There have been several times when I narrowly avoided getting hit. Last year I almost got into a fist fight with a bicyclist.
To enforce safety maybe there can be periodic police patrols with speed guns randomly checking that bicyclists don’t ride too fast. There should also be signs along the route warning bicyclists not to ride too fast. If a bicyclist gets caught speeding he/she should be ticketed.
Sherman, unfortunately speeding on a bicycle is unenforceable. The solution to this issue should be focused on the design and not so much enforcement.
Posting speed limits would help. Most people don’t require force to stay within the law.
dannyboy, how is a bicyclist to know how fast he or she is traveling when bicycles are not equipped with speedometers? From a legal and practical point of view it’s a nonsensical approach to enforcement.
Case in point, a number of years ago the NYPD issued a few speeding tickets at the bottom of a hill in CP. Within a day of issuing those tickets, those police officers were ordered to go to the homes of the people that received the tickets earlier to inform them that the tickets were not valid.
Speed on a bike cannot be judged by effort either. A strong tail wind can push a cyclist to considerable speeds with very little effort from the rider. As said before, it’s a much better idea to separate the paths as the current design is planning on doing.
“I, on the other hand countered your original argument and advanced the issue at point by stating factual information and an actual instance in which speeding enforcement was attempted and failed.”
Zulu, you are looking backward and I forward:
Clearly there are more bikers now.
Clearly bike technology has encouraged riding faster.
Clearly biking culture has fueled faster biking.
Clearly bikers are riding faster now, than in the past.
Yet you feel that there is no need to consider these new higher speeds, by more and more cyclists, which result in more and more injuries.
Keep looking backward, is that how you bike?
I didn’t decide, you conceded when you failed to advance your argument and resorted to falsely accusing me of:
-Not being cooperative when my prior postings show otherwise.
-Speeding dangerously when you have no proof. Plus if you saw my bike you’d realize I would require divine intervention to reach dangerous speeds.
-Being unstoppable, well, thank you for the vote of confidence, but I never said that nor was it implied.
Further, you replied in all caps denoting anger and screaming, tail tale sign of loosing your cool due to not having a counter point.
I, on the other hand countered your original argument and advanced the issue at point by stating factual information and an actual instance in which speeding enforcement was attempted and failed.
For somebody that advocates for a higher discourse you sure don’t practice what you preach.
I don’t care for you hurling personal insults
is that too much like a petulant child for you?
also, since insults are so comfortable for you, YOU KNOW IT IS CRAZY TO BELIEVE THAT YOU DECIDE WHO WON AN ARGUMENT WITH YOU. You know that, right? Maybe not.
dannyboy, I’ve noticed that when you loose an argument you respond like a petulant child.
Go ahead and post as many speed limit signs as you want. Let me know how that works out.
ok, i retract my comment that bikers would like to cooperate
continue to speed dangerously
as you say, nobody can stop you
but we now know that you don’t care to be cooperative
I wonder how many of these people who recommend approval of this new path actually ride bikes themselves. I am an 83-year-old woman who loves biking along the river, but I’m worried that this pleasurable exercise may be taken away from me if I now have to pedal uphill.
The Hudson River Greenway is the most heavily-used bike route in the US and is the only safe and protected route for those of us Upper West Siders headed to midtown and downtown on bike and foot. Any changes to the route should be made based on data and not anecdotes, and should be made with the recognition that this facility is essential not just for recreation but for transportation.
I run on the greenway a lot more than I ride on it, and I agree that it can get very congested. But the answer has to be a solution that makes sense for all users, and it does not seem like CB7 is adequately weighing the needs of bicyclists on the trail.
I grew up in this stretch and still live here. I like to walk sometimes with dogs and the bikes make it near impossible at times. I also like to bike ride and often find it is so crowded with both riders and pedstrians that it is scary. Shared space is a tough thing to figure out, but this seems like a good solution to me. I don’t think those hills are that steep – getting out of the park at 72nd St is a far more strenuous climb. And for those using the park for commuting purposes – let’s get more bike lanes on the streets to accommodate those riders! The parks were meant for recreation.
Been walking and biking that path for over 20 years. Just rode it today.
The biggest problems are weekends, “serious” (fast) bikers, and careless walkers.
Speed limits, speed bumps or cobblestones (some cobblestone speed reducers exist now) and weekend based separations of bikes and pedestrians are good solutions.
But don’t relegate us old folk to the hills.
I am a biker and a walker. This sounds like an excellent idea as many bikers go very fast on the shared pedestrian walkway.
I’d like to see data as well.
But it does seem likely that there is enough of an issue that an alternate route would be helpful.
As someone who uses that path a lot, on my bike, I have tried the alternate route several times, and I can see some people having trouble with the last portion of the hill on either side. We should really push to have them take this seriously and do the gradation improvements. It’s obviously a vital commuter path for many bike riders, not just a place for spandex teds to get exercise.
It also needs to be adequately lighted during the night. it’s no fun riding at night on a hilly, icy dark path—-I see a real issue with using this alternate path during the winter or during inclement weather—the alternate route in its entirety is very hilly, and it’s up in the trees, removed from sight in places, and thus could end up being much more dangerous late at night, and attractive to muggers.
This is great! Now I’ll be able to walk on the esplanade again. They can find a good bike path but it should NOT be on the same path as pedestrians.
the esplanade was on the Sopranos, not the UWS.
No, the esplanade most certainly *is* on the Upper West Side. That’s why we’re all discussing it.
What about further north on the path along the River?
Yeah, the greenway becomes really dicey north of the 80’s.
Looking at this map, the new dedicated bike path from 72nd, the existing pedestrian path from the rotunda and the exit/entrance to the dog run will merge at the same spot. Seems that collisions will be even more common and now include our four-legged friends also. They’re not solving any problem, they’re just moving it elsewhere. Plus ça change…
You write that “pedestrians and cyclists share narrow path with many conflicts.” Why not widen the path where narrow? The lamp post could be moved (and fixed) for far less money than installing sections of a new bike path. (The lamp hasn’t worked in years and either the city or Community Board 7 Parks & Environment Committee refuses to fix it though it is needed at night for safety reasons, especially when there is ice or snow on the path, despite numerous calls.) Furthermore, the barriers near the marina gates are excessive and constrict the area available to walkers and cyclists, causing more danger. Marking with paint esplanade lanes to separate walkers and cyclists, as done both north and south of the esplanade, would help avoid accidents.
Terrific news! Cyclists at top speed weaving through strolling pedestrians has made the promenade dangerous and even inhospitable for bench sitters. The proposal makes sense and restores the promenade to its original intended purpose.
Turns out that Riverside is so popular that people now drive in from NJ to cycle.
Yes astonished to see more and more driving in (yes in cars/suvs) with their bicycles, parking their cars – and setting out to cycle
I ride that path everyday and this is needed. Both riders and walkers do not respect each other. And it’s dangerous for both. The path gets narrower close to the pier and the boats. The speed bumps do not help. It’s worse if you ride too slow over them. Everyone is looking at their phones. No one is paying attention. It gets very dangerous close to the baseball field.
Many people who have difficulty with the long ramp or stairs would be able to utilize Riverside Park South if an elevator was
added to the area. It could probably be easily done about
70th St. which is fairly close to where the ramp to/from street to park is located.
This is hilarious only because for years I have watched the spandex clad Lance Armstrong wannabes speeding down the perfectly level path as I remembered actual cyclists climbing over the pass approaching Leadville, CO. Now the posers are whining they may have to go up a single hill. Heaven help them if they ever live in San Francisco or Boulder or some other real cycling town. Guess that carbon fiber frame isn’t magic after all.
For all the cycling community’s rhetoric about “transportation alternatives” what they really mean is “bikes first and the heck with the rest of you”.
Well Ted, you’ve given a great example of a straw man within your argument.
The folks objecting this re-route are actually not the spandex claded type or the carbon bike users (nothing wrong with them per se). They are in fact those riding for leisure or even those using citibike for transportation.
Quite opposite to your statement, the transportation alternative efforts are focused and driven to make everybody’s life in this city safer, not just bicyclists but also pedestrians. After all, we’re really all pedestrians at one point ot another when you live or even visit NYC.
As a 55+ woman living above 96th St and bikes to work in the West Village 1X/week, this proposal is unacceptable as is.
I would NEVER ride down to Riverside Greenway to bike up going SOUTH. I’d be a sweaty mess by the time I got to work. f Perhaps going NORTH this would work; I would just never be by the river on my way home which is fine.
Yes, we need a designation for bikers and pedestrians and joggers along the ENTIRE Greenway. How about clearly painted sections like they have in other worldwide cities?
Or, allow bikers to use the path along the river between certain early morning hours before pedestrians are out?
The tour de Force/obnoxious speedy riders (you know who they are) should NOT be allowed to ride at all. They are dangerous to everyone.
“The tour de Force/obnoxious speedy riders (you know who they are) should NOT be allowed to ride at all. They are dangerous to everyone.”
These are the riders who cause the majority of the complaints. I urge bikers to help get this small percentage under control. I don’t know if it is speed limits (voluntary or enforced) that would curb the speeding, but most folks can coexist as long as there is not a 30+ mph difference in their speeds.
Close the West Side Highway to cars and make it a biking heaven. Solves the bike path problem neatly.
I’m dead serious, though I realize this idea is before its time. Maybe next century…