Riverside Park Gets New Bike Detour After Pedestrian-Cyclist Crashes

Bikes are detoured from 72nd to 83rd Street. This is looking north from 72nd. Photo by Brian.

A section of Riverside Park that had been the scene of conflicts and crashes between cyclists and pedestrians, now has a new bicycle detour.

The new route stretches from 72nd to 83rd Street, moving cyclists away from the water further into the park so that they don’t crowd out pedestrians on the promenade next to the Hudson River. A cyclist slammed into a four-year-old near the Boat Basin at 79th Street earlier this year, sending the child to the hospital. The new route was funded via participatory budgeting arranged through Council Member Helen Rosenthal’s office.

Photo via Helen Rosenthal’s office.

“Mixing bikes and pedestrians on the Greenway, particularly in front of the boat basin, is problematic,” Rosenthal wrote in a message to constituents. “This separate cycling path will make the park safer for all of us, and I am urging the Parks Department to extend the path throughout the park wherever possible.”

Not every cyclist is using the detour, multiple pedestrians tell us.

“What I’ve seen so far during the day, around 90% of the bicyclists abide by the rerouting and use the upper path. When I took a walk with a friend last night around 9:30 p.m. however, there were a number of speeding bicyclists coming down the promenade – they went right through those barricades,” Marriane Hettinger wrote. “But overall, a great improvement at least during the day. After years of dodging speeding bicycles, it’s once again relaxing to take a needed stroll by the river!”

Some cyclists continue to use the promenade. Photo by Marianne Hettinger.

Another reader who asked that his name not be used wrote that cyclists have continued to use the path, and lash out at pedestrians. “A handful of angry bikers have taken to harassing the rest of us (due to their anger relating the the fact that they are being rerouted) by yelling at us and trying to scare us.” He said he thinks parks officers ought to be posted at the entrances and exits to the detours for a while to make sure that cyclists are using the separate path.

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 118 comments | permalink
    1. John says:

      I’m not surprised. The middle aged dads who have no respect for pedestrians act like they are in the Tour de France.

    2. Pedestrian says:

      Many cyclists just don’t care. Pedestrians are such obstacles to their enjoyment. As I walked along Broadway this afternoon one sped down the side walk another zipped by on the cross street going the wrong way. I’m losing all sympathy for them. Pedestrians don’t have a chance.

      • Chrigid says:

        Yeah, remember the when we believed bicycle riders wanted to be healthy and to contribute to a healthy planet, and how the rest of us wanted to save these noble heroes from the mean old cars?

        • Deb says:

          As I posted in the article regarding the removal of the parking lane for cars in order to have a separate northbound bike lane:

          If cyclists want the same rights as car owners,

          Cyclists must take a test to be licensed.
          Cyclists must have their bikes registered.
          Cyclists must have insurance in case of accidents.
          Cyclists must obey the rules of the road and obey traffic signs and signals.
          Cyclists must pay to park their bikes.

          Failure to be licensed, registered, insured, or breaking the law will resulting in ticketing. A cyclist with too many tickets should be punished by forfeiture of their bike.

          Fair is fair.

    3. Bibia says:

      I am a senior who cycles SLOWLY for health reasons. The detour is too steep and hilly for me. Is there any way that senior cyclists could use the existing path if they go as slowly as pedestrians? If not, many of us will jeopardize our health by not cycling at all.

      • Billy Amato says:

        Yes, walk your bike that is very healthy.

      • Norma says:

        Duh…walk your bike on pedestrian only strip.

      • NotImpressed says:

        Sorry Bibia, the rules apply to you too.

      • Matt H says:

        Amazing. What unsympathetic responses.

        I think it’s sad that as a sedate user who cannot deal with the challenges of the inland detour route — and those are some fairly serious hills for an older person! — that the plan makes no accommodation for you.

        • Marianne says:

          I agree with everyone. If it’s too steep, you can walk your bike and with time, especially for the 13-year old, he can build up his strength. It’s a great goal to have, to be able to bike up the hill.

      • Mark Moore says:

        That part where you have to bike up and over the traffic circle was too steep for my 13 year old son too. It’s a bit much.

        • Ken says:

          Then walk your bike… as so many other considerate bikers are in fact doing!

          • Mark Moore says:

            It has nothing to do with being considerate. It’s about the bike detour — not the area with pedestrians — being very steep. And yeah, walking is the other option, thanks for pointing that out.

      • James says:

        As a senior, I’m sure there are many routes through manhattan that you can ride without a steep incline. If one bike rider is let through the barricade then other will follow. It’s for the safety of all. Meaning the pedestrians who get hit by bikes and the bikers who have random pedestrians walk in front of them. It’s Manhattan, a concrete jungle, there are plenty of routes, rides down Riverside Drive…

    4. Mary McDowell says:

      I find that I have to be more concerned with the bicyclists than the cars when I am out walking.

      • nycityny says:

        Ditto for me. At least cars only go one way on one way streets, unlike many bicyclists. And cars stop at red lights too. What a novel concept that bicyclists might consider doing.

    5. Cyclist are bad says:

      We just need to completely separate pedestrians cyclist. It just isn’t safe. Especially these Tour de France and the illegal electronic bike riders. Ban them all or ride in the road.

    6. Harriet says:

      It’s about time they rerouted the bikers! They should be fined for disobeying the signs and barricades.

    7. Donald Keys says:

      In California these type of cyclist are called “spandex nazis” for good reason.

    8. UWSMom says:

      Cyclists (and some motorists) treat this city like it’s the open road. It is not. We are a very concentrated population, and while motor vehicle laws aim to keep the roads safe, there is little reprimand for riding a bike recklessly. Because there’s no policing, the cyclists will do as they please, plain and simple. And more people will get hurt if they don’t self-regulate.

    9. Mary says:

      If you really want to ensure compliance, there should be parks police there to issue summonses and to confiscate the bicycles. Nothing like a financial loss to guarantee adherence.

    10. Nancy says:

      Wish they would do it up through the 100’s. It is hard to get to the tennis courts.

    11. Wendy says:

      The alternate bike route is a good move.
      I’d also like to see enforcement of the no electric bikes on this path.
      Furthermore I believe that all motorized bicycles and scooters should require a license that must be displayed. I’ve lived on the UWS and have never before been fearful if stepping off the sidewalk. It’s an invasion of bicycles and scooters on sidewalks and streets coming from any direction and very fast.
      Bicycling is being over promoted without consideration of the safety of pedestrians or how they can be seen by motor vehicles.

    12. Thomas says:

      Much needed. A few quick amendments will help: 1. Signs that proclaim NO CYCLING in several places along the promenade, but more important: 2. ENFORCEMENT. The new rules are essentially voluntary. Parks officers said they have too few people to enforce more than rarely…. even the e-bikes, which are totally illeagal in any park.

      • PAC says:

        I also miss the sign that used to be at the north entrance to Cherry Walk that said “Cyclists Must Yield to Pedestrians.” That means even if the pedestrian is in the wrong lane, you don’t get to run them over. It sounds like common sense, which most bicyclists have, but about once a year while I’m jogging I encounter someone on a bike who, unaware he or she is in the pedestrian lane, challenges me to a game of chicken, making me swerve left or right or just give up, stand still, and pray.

    13. Angela says:

      I’ve gone from being all for bikes to loathing them based entirely on my own experience as a pedestrian. It’s gotten to the point where I worry about being run down by some aggressive jerk on two wheels whenever I leave the house. Efforts like this one in Riverside Park are great, but better enforcement everywhere is sorely needed.

    14. RhasBaba BabaRhas says:

      This need to also be done on the stretch from 100th street to about Fairway…Cyclists proceed without regard for pedestrians or runners…it seems like they try to go as fast as humanly possible…plainly stated…someone is going to be killed by a blundering idiotic bike rider if this is not remedied immediately.

    15. young man! says:

      As a biker I will say it is about time they rerouted that section. Too many idiot tour de france wannabees recklessly racing down by the boat basin into a very crowded area used by people of all ages.
      Nice way to get some more activity on that upper path too.

    16. Jorge Melendez says:

      Good I’m so sorry it took that little girl for them to do something about these crazy bicycle drivers

      • Ellen Jacobs says:

        While the river path is much safer, the hill leading down on upper path from the Rotunda to the running track is horrifyingly dangerous because the bikers come speeding down, and there is no where to crossly safe onto the path leading to the river. The signage is ridiculously confusing. There needs to be a stop sign at the bottom of the hill. Also, the narrow park entry path at 72nd and Riverside remains a dangerous path shared by pedestrians, children, and speeding bikers. The small tunnel is especially frightening because no one can see each other coming at the turn.
        Amazing that Helen Rosenthal takes credit when she did absolutely nothing, despite .the years of letters and calls to her office. It took the public outrage inspired by the photo of the little girl injured by a biker that appeared in the Rag. Bravo to you, not Helen Rosenthal.

    17. Marcia says:

      Speedy cyclists are a danger to other older recreational cyclists too. I reported accidents are many! Ticket over10 miles an hour!!

    18. UWS Pedestrian says:

      Congratulations to the Parks Department for taking (any) action after several years of complaints. The number of bikes on the esplanade has decreased but there still are a core of bikers who disregard the barriers at either end and rocket along through strolling pedestrians. Talk about a sense of entitlement!!! Enforcement efforts are necessary to complete the measure. Also, be careful at either end of this section of the esplanade as bikers who are complying with the new route have to cross over the pedestrian esplanade at either end. Still, an improvement over all.

    19. Julie M Blackburn says:

      I am a cyclist and in favor of the separation, but also believe we really need to be more aggressive about enforcement. Yesterday I saw a motorcycle zipping along on the bike path re-route despite the prohibition against e-bikes on the Hudson River Greenway.

    20. tim says:

      as a cyclist, i will miss the promenade section, but unfortunately the tour de france spandex aggressives brought this about – if we had followed a respectful, bike-slow policy in congested areas, this would not have happened – the hilly inland detour sis not ideal, but it’s ok

      • davidaron says:

        Spot on. The Greenway has always been a shared path as is the Serpetine since R. Moses created this stretch of it over 80 years ago. It functioned fine when we respected pedestrians by slowing down and riding defensively. I have no problem using the new route if it means more safety for pedestrians. We bicyclists will just have to get used to it.

    21. Barbara Gish says:

      We live in a country that above all values human rights.
      We need to wake up to the fact being able to cross a street without fear of being hit by a bicycle is among these rights and must be protected whatever it takes.

    22. Sherman says:

      I run along the Hudson and yes, there are many bicyclists who think they’re Lance Armstrong and are a danger to runners and walkers.

      Whenever I run I stay to the right. This usually avoids problems.

      Anywho, why can’t they put speed bumps to slow down the bicyclists?

    23. Rikitikitok says:

      The one confusing fact is when I rode the new path, there were many pedestrians on the bike path, making it difficult for bikes to pass both ways. Why is it a pedestrian only path but not bike only? I dont mind the detour but it would be easier to navigate without people on it.

    24. Mark P says:

      I rode this new path yesterday.

      As Bibia says, it is quite steep. And that creates a safety problem, as Ellen says, where the separate path briefly rejoins the former multi-use path at 72nd street. The bike path comes down a hill, next to pedestrian stairs, then rounds a sharp bend that is still narrow and has confused & distracted pedestrians. WSR reports “not every cyclist is using the detour” – I can also report not every pedestrian stayed in the ped lane in that area.

      Overall I respect the change. It’s unfortunate the behavior of a few ruined the old route, but there it is. I hope DOT will continue to work on the area around 72nd street to improve it.

      • Matt H says:

        My understanding is that the swing out to the river and then back in is temporary. There’s work underway (or that will get underway) to pave a connector through a part of the old dog run near where the highway first becomes an elevated overpass, connecting directly to the new alignment of the bike path where it goes past the stairs up to the tunnel.

        Whatever pros and cons there are about the change overall, this part is definitely going to be beneficial once it’s done.

        • UWSEd says:

          The stairs at 72nd St. are an important access to the lower park; it’s the only entrance to the park between 79th St. and 68th St.

          If the jog out to the river and back at 72nd St. is eliminated by the addition of a path at the bottom of those stairs and through the (stolen!) dog park, any idea what people walking down the stairs will do when they reach the bottom?

          They will have no choice but to walk across the bike path.

          THIS is NOT an improvement, but rather it’s just setting the scene for pedestrian/ cyclist disasters.

    25. Matt H says:

      I’m not liking the tenor of the comments here. People riding through the park are just ordinary New Yorkers, no different from you and your closest friends. They’re not out to get you, they have just as much to lose in a crash than you do.

      And some, of course, are jackasses, whether they’re biking, driving, hurtling onto the subway without letting people get off first, or whatever.

      But you know, in an ideal world we’d spent a few hundred thousand dollars, widen the path, and build enough safe infrastructure for everyone, jackassey or not.

      I think the detour is a good idea at times of peak usage. I’m a bit ticked off that it wasn’t applied seasonally. (That was really the intention of the CB7 membership resolution supporting this back in 2016. One of the older board members got confused about what he was voting for and ended up voting for a 24/7/365 closure rather than a seasonal closure, when he meant to vote for only the seasonal closure. And the 24/7/365 measure only passed by one vote.)

      I mean, the person quoted complaining about sharing the path with riders at 9:30 PM? Even in the summer, how many people are actually out and about on the path at 9:30? How safe is it to ride the hills on the detour route that late at night? (Lighting on these paths is not good.)

      Or for that matter, how many people are actually on the path any time of the day in the dead of January? (I ride year-round and can tell you: not many.) Rules are rules, but it’s sad we can’t come to an understanding to share more reasonably.

      Also, a reminder, if you reach for the phrase “they ride like they’re in the Tour de France”, this is a tell that you think in terms of stereotypes instead of actually engaging with the real world, understanding people as individuals. It’s a step removed from casual racism.

      • Mark P says:

        Really appreciate the spirit of Matt’s comment: let’s figure out ways to share that are as win win as possible. It’s not us versus them. We are all us. I’ve been a spandex biker, briefly and long ago, and I’ve been a distracted pedestrian, rarely but inevitably accidentally, and I’ve been a frustrated driver. One of these days, maybe, I’ll be a less mobile elder. And I hope it will still be in this vibrant, ever evolving city.

      • SuperCool Biker says:

        I’d say it’s actually worse than racism. Bikers have had a long history of being discriminated against, by both car drivers and pedestrians and it’s time we end the pedestriarchy that New York City has been handcuffed by.

        Pedestrians often don’t understand their privilege and the negative connotation that this hateful simile brings to both bike riders as well as Francophiles.

      • UWS_lifer says:

        I’m sorry but this comment is just absurd and really illustrates how these bike riders think. Everyone is a persecuted class now, huh?

        If you’ve got issues, talk to your biking buddies not the folks trying to take a walk in the park without being run over. Thanks.

        • Cato says:

          — “If you’ve got issues, talk to your biking buddies not the folks trying to take a walk in the park without being run over. Thanks.”

          Thank you. This is an excellent response and I completely agree with it.

          The main commenter may not like the many comments being posted by frightened pedestrians, but perhaps he or she should step out of the bicycle bubble for a minute and consider that there may be some merit to those widespread fears.

      • Arjan says:

        Great comment Matt.

        When I read comments that people are “fearful if stepping off the sidewalk” or that whenever they leave the house the are afraid of “being run down by some aggressive jerk on two wheels” it makes me sad.

        I walk and bike throughout the UWS, so I get the perspective from both sides. Reading the outcries in the comments here, cyclists are depicted as evil killing machines. In my personal experience, I think I can count the number of times in a year that a cyclist hindered me while I was walking on one hand.

        I think the solution is pretty simple: everyone who is complaining about the behavior of cyclists should ride a bike for a week. I’m pretty sure that getting some biking experience will help you understand how and why cyclists behave the way they do. Cars are a much larger danger, but because almost everyone understands how it is to drive a car they induce less fear in people (totally unjustified).

        With that cyclist experience you won;t be afraid anymore of them, so there is no need to be scared for your life when you leave your apartment (because of cyclists).

        • SuperCool Biker says:

          Agreed, Arjan. Until these privileged walkers ride a mile in our Shimanos they shouldn’t talk about the fear they have of being run over by a cyclist, even if they actually been run over by a cyclist.

          And I also agree that we should bring more cars onto the path just to show everyone that cars are much more dangerous than bikes. Maybe this will help people realize that people riding fast on bikes shouldn’t be feared but applauded.

          • Arjan says:

            SuperCool Biker, thanks for your constructive comment, that’s exactly what I was aiming for!

            As being a SuperCool Biker yourself, how do you read the comments like “every time I go out I’m scared that I’ll be run over by a cyclist”? I’m sorry to say, but to me it sounds very exaggerated and only meant to fuel the opinion that cyclists are only a nuisance in this city.

            One of the biggest problems here I think is a lack of mutual understanding (or well, understanding of most pedestrians for how cyclists work, because they have never ridden a bike. I expect that nearly every cyclist has experienced traffic as a pedestrian as well). Of course there are unfortunate incidents happening, but the general tendency of the the comments here, that cyclists terrorizing pedestrians, really annoys me and is just not true I think.

            • Cato says:

              — “One of the biggest problems here I think is a lack of mutual understanding (or well, understanding of most pedestrians for how cyclists work, because they have never ridden a bike.”

              Really? Generalize much?

              What makes you — or even lets you — think that “most pedestrians … have never ridden a bike”? I would bet, to the contrary, that most have.

              And, anyway, so? We still don’t like to get run over, or chased, or cursed at. What does experience at riding have to do with that?

      • Mark says:

        I agree with Matt here. As a cyclist, and a respectful one at that, this seems like a big pile on and a lot of stereotyping.

        It’s always the cyclists fault and never anyone else. Sorry, but that’s not true. I beg to differ.

        I’ve seen far more discourteous people walking dogs on long leashes, groups of wide-spanning pedestrian traffic that take up half the width of that walkway, joggers with headphones in (with no awareness to their surroundings), and plenty of kids running wild because their inattentive parents have their noses stuck in smart phones. I’ve seen more of these instances on every ride than the so-called “Tour de France” cyclists.

        Any normal cyclist can attest to this, as we constantly dodge each of these cases many times over on every ride. It’s why most of us ride slowly through that part of the waterway.

        Don’t forget that it’s your job to pay attention too and many of you simply do not. Let’s not forget that there are many facets to this problem and it’s not one-sided as it’s being made out to be through this thread.

        • lcnyc says:

          Spot-on. The hyperbole in this thread is ridiculous. I’m a runner, a cyclist and a walker and I’ve seen plenty of bad behavior in each category. Plenty of good, too. Let’s all share responsibility and be courteous to one another. It’s not that hard.

    26. Jean Louise says:

      Would it be possible to put speed bumps in where bicyclists are not allowed? That would slow down the disobedient riders.

      • Cato says:

        — “Would it be possible to put speed bumps in where bicyclists are not allowed? That would slow down the disobedient riders.”

        This is a great idea, also suggested by others posting here. But why limit it to roads where bicyclists are not allowed? Why not keep bicyclists to reasonable speeds even where they *are* allowed? We know from experience that they (or many) will ignore posted speed limits. Speed bumps will *make* them obey the law.

    27. kaylord says:

      This is a bad move. Cyclists now gain even more speed on this hilly path. I’ve already witnessed some close calls so it’s just a matter of time before a cyclist hits a pedestrian. I prefer walking my dog under the trees instead of taking the riverside promenade. I find it hot because of the lack shade in summer and cold and windy in winter. The real problem is speeding cyclists and this does nothing to address that.

    28. Gail Dedrick says:

      Good. I cannot tell you how much I hate cyclists. I have never felt nearly as threatened by car traffic as I am bikers. They want to act like a car when it suits them and a pedestrian when it suits them. They have ruined Riverside Park for me.

      • Arjan says:

        “They want to act like a car when it suits them and a pedestrian when it suits them”

        That’s what you get when you make them behave like a car at some places in the city and like a pedestrian at other places. Bikes are neither of the two, so the solution is pretty straightforward: makes infrastructure and rules specifically for cyclists.

        • Deb says:

          No, the solution is as follows:

          Cyclists must be licensed, their bikes must be registered, cyclists must have insurance, and cyclists must follow the rules of the road and obey all traffic signals and signage.

          No license – get ticketed.
          No registration – get ticketed.
          Disobey the rules – get ticketed.

      • Mike says:

        Those must be two unrelated thoughts, since nowhere in Riverside Park has distinct paths for cars and pedestrians for bikers to move between.
        Is it too much to exercise common sense when on a shared path? That means keeping to one side with other pedestrians and not spreading across; keeping leashed animals close to you, as a leash is intended to do; checking ahead and behind you before meandering from park side to riverside or across byways. Basically, using the same sense that is essential when driving, biking, and walking around this city.

    29. Zanarkand says:

      Also gotta love the “share the road” signs for bicycles and motorcycles you see now. I have no problem sharing the road but tell bicycles to follow traffic signs, especially directional traffic signs. And tell motorcycles to not go in between cars on the highway in traffic. Then we are all good.

    30. Carolyn Simpson says:

      Can a bike barrier be installed of the kind that pedestrians can walk through but bikes cannot ride through because it goes left, then right too quickly – but still would accommodate strollers?

      • Ken says:

        Thank you — a commonsense reply. Speed bumps will never work — in fact that’s probably a part of the Tour de France experience. Barriers? Yes!

    31. Mark Moore says:

      That one surprised us when we were biking last weekend. It’s a mostly OK detour and I understand not wanting bikes and pedestrians to mix in that area, but the part where you have to bike through the traffic circle is tough.

    32. Leon says:

      I appreciate the efforts to solve the problem. It is far from perfect but a step in the right direction. The area near the baseball field at 72nd is still a mess, both where the new bike path merges back in then on the southern side of the field where it is incredibly narrow. They are currently doing a lot of work behind the baseball field so perhaps there is a way to take advantage of that space?

      Speed bumps would be a great idea but I am guessing they are problematic for strollers and even more so for wheelchairs. I like the little blockades like they had by the boat basin that essentially force you to slow down – these can be a bottleneck but I think it is worth it.

    33. Mary says:

      You could have a odd and/or even day use of the area. Taking turns using the most popular routes ensures everyone a fair share of the path. Just saying… there are ways to overt conflict, and have fairness for everyone. (You all sound like a bunch of little children.)

    34. Lunabee says:

      Do I recall correctly that at some point there was a rule that cyclists had to dismount and walk through the area near the boat basin?
      Isn,t that the best solution rather than a detour up and down a hill? Seems there might be more pedestrians on the hilly path.
      They need a dedicated bike lane in that area. No way that pedestrians and cycles can share the same space.
      And it is time for enforcement. Cyclists go too fast and disregard traffic lights and stop signs. And the e bikes are really scary. They go very fast and they are heavy. If hit by one of them the pedestrian will surely suffer injuries.

    35. angela weiss says:

      Bikes should be considered vehicles, as that is what they do, and tickets should be given out to the biker who breaks the law as it is with cars. I do not understand why we do not have patrol persons on the streets who give out tickets to both cars And thanks. Surely the city can use this revenue that will come in from giving a baker a summons as they are breaking the law not only on the promenade but on every Avenue there is a bike path as they go through lights, go the wrong way on the street, and seemed very unaware Of pedestrians especially children and elderly.

    36. Bill says:

      Bicycles need to be licensed with clearly and easily visible license numbers that can be copied down by pedestrians and reported to police for infractions and aggressive behavior. Right now cyclists feel free to do as they wish because they are effectively anonymous.

    37. Cato says:

      Coincidentally, a study was just published finding that “A Quarter Of NYC Cyclists Don’t Stop At Red Lights, Study Finds”. https://patch.com/new-york/new-york-city/quarter-nyc-cyclists-dont-stop-red-lights-study-finds

      As reported, the study (after breaking out percentages of riders who don’t stop at all, or who only paused briefly before continuing through a red light) concluded that only 51 percent — HALF! — stopped fully at the red light.

      The study also found that “30 percent [of bike riders] were spotted wearing an electronic device while riding”. Yet another hazardous behavior, not even discussed in the Riverside Park context.

      Complaints about law breakers in Riverside Park are not an anomaly. Bikers city-wide show themselves to be above the law. And they’re dangerous.

      • Seth says:

        You don’t need a study to know that 99% of pedestrians go through the red light (other 1% are the tourists)

        • tired of almost dying because of pedestrians not following the rules says:

          let each pedestrian here who has never crossed against the light or mid block cast the first stone. what a bunch of hypocrites. im sick of almost dying because you are running on the bike only portion of the west side path and do a u-turn in the middle without looking with your headphones on, or in the case of the shared path, not walking on the proper side as designated by the markings. people in glass shoes…

    38. UWS senior says:

      While this may be well-intended, it is clearly insufficient to protect the safety of UWS residents.
      It seems that the safety of pedestrians (ie, every single NewYorker) is being sacrificed for the comfort of a relatively few cyclists.
      Bike lanes on the avenues deprive pedestrians of safe transit, cyclists ride against the traffic on one-way streets and rarely obey traffic lights, cyclists turn park walkways into their own velodromes,… as a life-long UWS, I am tired of looking 360 degrees every time I cross a street or avenue but I must in order to improve my chances of safe passage. Sidewalks are not even safe as those are commandeered by cyclists, too.

      I, too, used to be in favor of bikes over cars. But I have never been hit by a car and I have been grazed twice and hit once by cyclists within a block of my apt.

      Something should change but is unlikely to as traffic enforcement is unlikely to increase/improve. It’s easier for them to catch slower moving cars than speeding cyclists.

      I see cars getting ticketed all the time for minor infractions but have yet to see a cyclist get a ticket for speeding or breaking the traffic rules that cars and pedestrians have to obey.

      • Seth says:

        I have yet so see a pedestrian get a ticket for ignoring a don’t walk sign

        • Deb says:

          Years ago on a summer Sunday afternoon when there is hardly any traffic in the city, a cop stopped his car, got out, and berated me when I was crossing Broadway against the light with my kids in a double stroller. I went home, called the precinct, and reported the vehicle number, and complained that the police probably have more important tasks at hand than to yell at a stressed out mom trying to get home to feed her babies.

    39. Michelle says:

      Ugh. This going right through the small amount of off leash area where I walk my dog in the morning. Now my small dog is at risk!

    40. Joan says:

      Too many bicyclists are just not obeying the rules. They are endangering pedestrians more than ever. I don’t remember so many bicyclists riding on the sidewalks in previous years. Even electric bikes are on the sidewalks now. If you point out to them it is illegal, they either ignore you or curse at you. It is time to be able to walk safely and for bike riders to be fined for breaking the rules.

    41. Marilyn says:

      High speed bikes should also be banned further up that same stretch in the 90s. Let them ride on all those bike lanes which creates massive traffic congestion on Broadway, Amsterdam and Columbus.

      The bike lobby must be lining city council coffers. No other explanation for the havoc they are allowed to bring to Manhattan in the parks and in the avenues.

    42. DJ.DABA says:

      WSR should remove the comment feature like many other websites have recently.

      • Cato says:

        — “WSR should remove the comment feature like many other websites have recently.”

        Says someone in a comment.

        • DJ.DABA says:

          Ha! Nevermind, if it weren’t for the comments we would never hear from brilliant minds like Cato.

    43. UWS_lifer says:

      Let’s be honest…THESE BIKERS HAVE GOTTEN OUT OF CONTROL and just blatantly disregard traffic rules and regulations.

      They are a danger to themselves and others. We have bent over backwards trying to accommodate them…Hello CitiBike, bike lanes, etc… but it’s just not enough.

      I had to stop running on the Greenway years ago because of these Lance Armstrong types carelessly zipping around with impunity. I don’t need to get into an incident with some weekend warrior that will almost surely end up with me being arrested, or stabbed, or god knows…this is still NYC after all.

      Anyway, now I can head back to Riverside to run, especially since the Reservoir is over run with tourists this time of year. Thanks to Rosenthal and the Parks Dept.:)

    44. Spandex liberal says:

      Stop complaining about the bikers. As a law abiding biker I have had endless pedestrians crossing the street on red right in from of me, putting me in danger. I bet you that not a single one of the people complaining about bikes not following the rules, actually stops for every don’t walk sign.
      In addition, I am fine with the new bike path, but can we get pedestrians to stay off it. Can’t have it both ways.

    45. stu says:

      I am getting somewhat bored and annoyed of this issue – particularly the hyperbole. My experience as a pedestrian and cyclist (commuter and recreation) leads me to believe that much of the anger and fear we hear is a degree of perception. I think we can all agree that a very small percentage of cyclists ride recklessly and rudely. Probably the same % as the % of runners and pedestrians who behave as such.
      The problem is that cyclists and pedestrians do not understand the other’s behavior. Remember, cyclists and motor vehicles are not comparable. Whereas a driver of a vehicle has almost no risk of bodily harm if they hit a pedestrian, a cyclist has as much risk of injury — if not more– than the pedestrian if they are involved in collision. Its simple physics and the nature of being confined up high on a seat, and being thrown off it. Even merely falling over on a bicycle on your own can lead to severe injury if you land the wrong way. As a result, 99% of cyclists — even the arrogant selfish jerks — are incredibly cautious and aware of their riding and surroundings because they themselves have something to lose if they hit someone or something.
      The “close calls” and “almost run overs” folks rant about – as I can attest from experience are not close calls or almosts. I get how someone who sees a bicycle coming at them — even at relatively slow speed – can become startled and feel like they might get hit. It can be scary, I admit. But they have to understand that the cyclist will not hit them. Just as a runner who is coming from the opposite direction toward you will run around you and not hit you, so will the bike. Particularly the “lance armstrongs” who have more to lose in an accident, and happen to be, generally, the most experienced and best bike handlers on the road.

      This is not to apologize for the truly reckless out there – but I think folks need to become accustomed to one other and understand each other’s behaviors and mindsets. Using hyperbole like “blowing through red lights” (only cyclists with death wishes blow through red lights) or “scared to cross the street” doesn’t help the conversation

      • Ted says:

        Your comment is emblematic of the whole problem. The whole idea of the cyclist as the best judge of what’s safe riding and what’s not is completely egocentric. Cyclists are not the only part of the equation. A child on the path may inadvertently step into the path of the bike throwing the rider’s calculus of “safe” out the window.

        The US interstate system was originally designed to handle speeds up to 120mph. Despite this we have little tolerance for drivers who say, “I know i can be safe driving 105 mph on this highway”. We don’t let people decide whether or not they want to honor the one way street signs either.

        As a group cyclists are quite unpredictable. Many blow through stop lights and stop signs. Many drive the wrong way on streets or in bike lanes. There are many illegal electric bikes as well. All of this leads to an environment where the pedestrian can never be sure how a cyclist will behave. I don’t think many New Yorkers take much comfort in your “the cyclist doesn’t want to hit you” assurance.

    46. David says:

      Come guys (and other comments), can we stop demonizing cyclists? The former path in question was always mixed; I’ve used it for years and pedestrians (and joggers) are often at as much fault as cyclists. Haven’t been on the path since this detour so can’t comment personally. Is there more signage than what’s painted on the ground? Should be, but as with so many other bike routes in NYC, would not surprise me if there’s nothing more. And how about keeping pedestrians and joggers off of bike paths? Let’s spread the blame for accidents and altercations all around ’cause all are at fault!

      • Mark says:

        Well said. Thank you.

      • Michael says:

        The kids with their parents or recreational cyclists have NEVER been the issue. But some individuals just dont get it. Very simple and needed exigency should be implemented by NYC Law Department. Upgrade infractions that result in pedestrian injury into either an NYC unclassified or class b misdemeanor with incumbent penalties. If a biker injures a child (irrespective whose fault) an automatic applicable class A misdemeanor is applied to the bicyclist actions. It should be a felony negligence charge but anyway, there has to protective law in place in penal code for public safety. Otherwise it will be finessed. To be sure the egotistical garbed up hot heads letting off steam on the track in their fantasy tour de france will take and abide by such clear notice of accountability. Why such is not the case is perhaps another sad mystery of misapplied political correctness in effect. It would definitely work and when it does not the example made of the offending cyclist would properly resonate. It’s unfortunate that we arrive at this impasse.

    47. Charles says:

      This is the busiest bike path in the United States. It’s a major commuting artery. Pedestrians have many paths to stroll on in the park for pleasure. They should not be allowed to endanger cyclists or themselves just so they can be next to the water. Ban pedestrians from all parts of the bike path.

      • ST says:

        Make all cyclists have license plates so pedestrians can report reckless riding.

      • Steven S says:

        Couldn’t agree more. Cycling organizations paid for the campaigns to advocate for these bike paths not NY Frontrunners, not some Pedestrian safety org…Cycling orgs. Pedestrians can walk literally anywhwere they want and yet on stretches along the river where there are Pedestrian only walking areas…these people still manage to find themselves in the middle of bike lanes.

    48. Erika says:

      Me too! Walking from 83 to 90 on Promenade is taking your life in your hands. Maybe I’ll go south now. Thanks CCM Helen Rosenthal.

    49. Marianne says:

      Today again during the day and evening, there were speeding bicyclists on the pedestrian-only strip. What I’ve learned is, that there are apps where bicyclists compete who goes fastest. The bicyclist who struck a mother in Central Park a while back (she died) was or is an avid user of that app. Many bicyclists , it seems, use this app. This is SOOOOO dangerous. Something has to be done or the app forbidden on routes where there are pedestrians.

      • Matt H says:

        So, the “competition” in this app happens among maybe the fastest 1% of users. They’ll go for attempts like this in favorable conditions, e.g., on empty country roads with no traffic controls. Or in NYC parks, in off hours, when the park is completely empty. Or maybe during permitted sanctioned races, as happens way early in Central or Prospect Park most weekends in season.

        On the Hudson River Greenway it is essentially a nonfactor. Most segments on the Greenway have been marked as unsuitable for having a leaderboard and won’t show top 10s. Yes, app users can mark segments that way. If you see someone riding like a jerk, it’s because they’re a jerk, not because an app told them to be a jerk.

        As for the Jason Marshall/Jill Tarlov crash, he was going through that part of the park at all of 12 mph — barely more than a fast running speed — when a wave of pedestrians crossed out in front of him on his green light, against their don’t-walk sign. Marshall could’ve done better to be sure, but in no way was extreme recklessness part of that story.

        Most people just use Strava as a way to show and share the rides that they’re up to. Unclutch your pearls please.

    50. ST says:

      You couldn’t sit on the benches to watch the sunset without being worries your toes were going to be run over. Spandex Fascists indeed.

    51. Upperwestsidewally says:

      And all we’re waiting for now are the recently NY State-approved electric scooters and electric bikes in the parks and on the sidewalks, with a speed limit of 20 mph (!).
      Better have some ambulances on stand-by in RSP as well.

    52. AR says:

      Why don’t they replicate the cycling route model that they use in Rockaway beach? Move the benches closer to the riverfront and have a separate bike path by the grass along the Greenway?

      The biggest problem is that pedestrians want easy access to the water edge, so why now grant that? And cyclists will be less in the way of pedestrians, by being behind them.

      • Matt H says:

        This in really what they should do. It would require major regrading of the hills leading down to the water, narrowing the ballfields, moving the bathroom buildings at ~77th street (or perhaps narrowing them), and doing something creative — cantilevering a ped-only path out over the water? — at the boat basin at 79th Street which would otherwise still be a pinch-point. But this would be a multi-million dollar investment. Even in a place where construction costs for this sort of thing were more under control, it’d still be hundreds of thousands.

        In any case it’s little out of reach here, sadly…

    53. Tom says:

      Listen, for a moment, to the angry, judgemental, anti-cyclist rants – that bucket all cyclists into a caricature… then look and ask yourself: “are you really any better?”

    54. Barbara S. Migdal says:

      Wonderful improvement!! Walked there last night. Many people enjoying a stroll along the Hudson without having to worry about being hit by a bicycle.

    55. anonymous says:

      It’s gangs of teenagers who are defying the bike route–I’ve seen them twice. I suggest that they put in a couple more barriers that are easy for pedestrians to walk around, but force cyclists off their bikes. That would make it less fun for the scoff-laws. Right now there’s a stretch between 72nd and 83rd without one of those barriers. Add at least one around the 79th street boat house. If they must get off their bike every couple of blocks, cyclists will be more encouraged to take the route where they don’t need to do that. If you can sail along for half a mile without getting off your bike, well, there’s a temptation.

    56. Julian says:

      I get the issue. But I’ve started having to take that new path and it’s horrible especially for some kids I see. The whole thing is a hill. A better solution would be putting the bikers back with the pedestrians but butting a barrier so it’s not too dangerous but that seems like something that would never get done. Another solution would be having the pedestrians go on the hills and the bikers along the river. I just want to get a little extra exercise by biking near the river to the clay tennis courts. But this has really discouraged me to do that. Just going to make the subway more crowded. Don’t need that.

    57. Ugh says:

      I need to stop reading these comments. People are real jerks. WALKING YOUR BIKE IS NOT A SOLUTION FOR PEOPLE WHO CANNOT HANDLE THE HILLS! You people should try and bike or walk these hills.

      • Christine E says:

        Unless you live at the boat basin, or you began your ride much further south (such as Chelsea), you already committed to doing hills just to get to/from the riverside bike path. The river path is low elevation relative to the rest of Manhattan. So to say one can’t handle the hills make little sense to me. If you can’t handle hills then you should bike in bike paths on avenues, not trek down to the riverside esplenade. Btw I frequently dismount and walk the bike when riding, as needed. Safety first!

    58. uwsrunner says:

      As a runner I’m very happy they’ve made this change. Years ago I was hit by a speeding bicyclist in Central Park and sued him and won because of his negligence. He was doing what I see many bikers still do over by the river which is swerving in and out of those in his way.
      The weekends are crazy. You were taking your life in your hands if you even walk on that strip. If you get hit you should definitely get a good lawyer.

      • Steven S says:

        No one should be at risk but I think all runners and pedestrians should take a week and bike a long their chosen running and commuter routes so you can “ride a mile in a other persons shoes”- It will make you safer pedestrians and safer runners. Cyclists shouldn’t have to swerve around pedestrians. In the mixed use sections like the Esplanade Peds are thoughtless and do not considerately share the path at all. When Runners run in designated bike lanes they create danger because cyclists then have to swerve around them while avoiding oncoming cyclists who are using the bike lane. If you are running and walking side by side…on the designated bike path….you are the danger not the cyclists. When you walk/run side by side in the bike lane on truncated sections like the path leading to 125th Street…you are putting cyclists and other pedestrians at great risk.

        SHARE THE PATH…STAY RIGHT PASS LEFT…WHEN PEDS AND RUNNERS AND CYCLISTS ADHERE TO THIS SAFETY GUIDELINE THEN EVERYONE STAYS SAFE. You don’t see non-Citibike/daily bike rental cyclists riding center lane and creating clogged paths. Most of us are speeding to get away from pedestrians as quickly as possible because y’all are unpredictable, extremely careless, and selfishly unaware of in how you conduct yourselves in a shared use environment.

    59. Steven S says:

      I cycle the greenway often and the reroute at 72nd is a disaster waiting to happen. It’s difficult to get up that small incline so you have wobbly citibike riders swerving in front of riders coming down the hill. This should have been rerouted after the Bathrooms before large baseball field.

      And let me tell all the whiny pedestrians in this thread something, you are the danger all along the greenway from the GWB TO BPC. Now y’all are complaining bikes are coming down the hills fast…well, how about we close off the Esplanade to pedestrians and you can walk up and down the hills cyclists are bow being forced to navigate? Many of you are complaining it’s hard to cross the path…yeah, it’s hard to cross a path safely while texting and not looking both ways (a basic life skill last I checked). And parents, you have parks all over NYC where your kids can run around in circles doing whatever they want without a care in the world…go to those parks…it’s hard keeping your kid safe while txting and walking and acting like every bike you see is the first one to appear in history when you are walking ON A BIKE PATH! Peds don’t use the designated peds lanes. Now that we’ve been rerouted at 72nd..I swear I see more peds going right and walking up the hill. Cyclists don’t want to hit Pedestrians but Pedestrians don’t care if they put Cyclists at risk by walking center path, walking diagonally while txting across a bike path, making sudden right or left turns into path to cross without looking both ways first. I’m sick if hearing how cyclists are terrorizing pedestrians…it is quite the opposite and every sign that says “Bikes to Yield to Pedestrians” reinforces the entitlement of not having to pay attention when walking. YOU HAVE TO LOOK AROUND YOURSELF AND BE AWARE. CYCLISTS SEE YOU WAY BACK AND ARE TRYING TO CALCULATE “what’s this idiot txting and walking going to do? walk leftwards, to the right, …” you have the esplanade to yourselves now.stop complaining.

    60. Mark says:

      I believe each of the fellow cyclists here have posted some good food for thought about how multi-faceted this problem is. It’s amazing to me how the anti-cycling contingent here is willing to close their eyes to the reality of any of these points, no matter the facts or rationale. Their holier than thou attitudes and failure to bear any responsibility whatsoever sickens me.

      I guess the biggest disappointment to me here are the WSR editors. Not because they seem to be fine letting the majority of posters here paint those of us who are cyclists as evil fascist killing machines. But because when someone (as I did previously) call attention to who seems to possess the real fascist attitudes in this thread, my post gets suppressed from the conversation. So I’ll try again.

      Go back and read this thread again for things like (paraphrased mostly):

      “I can’t tell you how much I hate cyclists!”;

      “Cyclists should have visible identifiers so they can be identified and penalized.”;

      My favorite, “…charge people with misdemeanors and felonies even if it isn’t their fault…”

      What does that sound like to you? I think you all know and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

      Please think hard about this thread next time you’re walking your dog on a 15ft leash, jaywalking, letting your kids run wild in the park, and/or distracted by your smartphone. Then remember who you assigned blame to when typing from your ivory towers.

    61. Mike says:

      The new path is hilly but overall it is a big improvement I think. I ride this almost daily as part of my commute.

    62. Alistair Lowe says:

      I’m a cyclist and think it is great – it would have been nice to have a few orange signs warning of the change “hey – follow the white arrows and we will take you up and down”. I figured it out and tried to help others figure out. The concern is “will I ever make it back to the river or will I be stuck east of West Side Highway”

      I’d comment that on the parts we share, can dog owners keep their dog on short lease (had a few 6 foot ones veer in front), and can humans stay on side indicated and not 3 or 4 wide. I slow down in congested areas, but we all need to accomadate a bit

    63. Robert says:

      I am a conscious cyclist who is observant and takes care to slow down and be careful around pedestrians. I do not speed through crowded pedestrian walkways. In my experience, pedestrians can be just as careless and unconscious of what is going on around them as the worst cyclists. The path was not intended to be a pedestrian-ONLY path. Pedestrians should be aware that others are using the path, as well, and always keep to the right as we ALL are expected to do. Often, groups of pedestrian spread out several abreast, and walk in scattered groups, as if they are the only ones there. They have to share just as cyclists and skateboarders and runners do. This is NOT an equitable solution.