The bike detour in Riverside Park between 72nd and 83rd Streets has drawn praise for separating pedestrians and cyclists on what has been a dicey stretch.
But the new path also has its critics, including one community board member who says it is too hilly for many cyclists — discouraging younger and older people from pedaling through the park — and that it creates new dangers to pedestrians.
Bicylists and pedestrians used to both be allowed to use the promenade along the Hudson River between 72nd and 83rd. But complaints about collisions and congestion convinced city officials to separate the two users groups. With support from Council Member Helen Rosenthal, the city built a new path through Riverside Park that opened in June. Several people have told us the new path is helpful, but there’s been growing criticism too. Community Board 7’s Parks Committee plans to meet about the path and other issues at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 15 at 250 West 87th Street, the community board offices.
Richard Robbins, a member of Community Board 7 who has been an advocate for safer street design, wrote on Twitter and in an op-ed that the bypass is not a safe alternative.
Cyclists, for one thing, can easily coast down the hills on the new route at greater than 20 miles per hour, meaning that any pedestrian who happen to walk across the path could be surprised by a speeding cyclist, he wrote on Twitter. That leaves them at “FAR greater risk of serious injury or even death.” Younger and older cyclists struggle to get up and down the hills, while more competitive cyclists are likely to pick up speed whenever they can.
“The likely big reduction in casual cyclists could put pedestrians at even greater risk, as they won’t realize they’re walking in the bike lane until a less frequent cyclist speeds down one of the steep hills. (And cyclists are incented to speed down hills to gain momentum to get UP the next hill!),” he wrote.
The new path also does not have lights, making it especially dangerous at night, Robbins noted.
On Sunday, another cyclist pointed out similar dangers.
“Having spent a few weeks riding the new segregated riverside park path around the boat basin, I feel like they’ve actually made it more dangerous,” wrote Adam Fields on Twitter. “The route now covers three major hills instead of being almost completely flat, and putting bikes on a roller coaster and then re-merging their path with the pedestrian path is… not a way to make them go slower. As well, the bike route now crosses directly in front of the baseball fields, so these slingshot accelerated riders are not only still in the path with pedestrians (who still run/walk where the bikes go), but also a bunch of 5-10 year old kids playing little league.”
“I’ve seen some near misses,” he added. “Cyclist collisions are especially more likely, because some of them can easily get up those hills but many cannot, resulting in riders of wildly varying speeds going up the hills. And it makes cyclists even more likely to go faster on the interval downhills because they want to maintain momentum to get up the next hill, which is already challenging. Great for cardio workout, but this isn’t making anything more safe.
The Parks Department did not respond to a request for comment. Rosenthal’s spokeswoman Sarah Crean wrote in a statement that the staff “has been riding the path at all hours looking for safety issues. We are not observing people struggling with the hills. We are also working to ensure that safe riding along the bike path is enforced.”
“We will continue to closely observe this new path,” she adde. “And our office has spoken with the Parks Department about making the signage at 72nd Street more clear. Finally, we really want to encourage pedestrians to come back to the greenway along the River and enjoy it without worry.”
Photos by Michael McDowell.
Pedestrians need to stay off the bike path, this is the most heavily travelled bike path in the country!
Please provide data showing that “this is the most heavily travelled bike path in the country”.
Woody – just because an organization makes a statement on their website doesn’t make it true.
Similarly, just because the President says he had the largest crowd ever at his inauguration doesn’t make it true.
Please show me the results of a study, if there was a study.
UWS Eddy – there is a big difference between “the most travelled” and “one of the most travelled”. I could agree with the latter assessment.
Also, based on the condition of NYC’s roads and government in general, I cannot trust the DOT’s estimate of 25%, which seems unrealistically high, unless it includes members of the population that have ridden a bike at least once in their life.
Deb – Further to Woody’s analysis, NYC has over 2x the population of any US city and the DOT estimates 25% of the population to be cyclists. This implies a greater number of NYC cyclists alone than the population of almost every city in the US. The west side greenway is among the top bike paths in NYC, so ipso facto, it’s safe to assume this is one of the most travelled bike paths in the country – no studies needed, just a little common sense and some old-fashioned number crunching lol. Unless you can provide alternative statistical evidence, I gotta side with Jefd & Woodys.
*Note: based on 2018 census; will review 2019 census once available.
It’s a shared path and not a velodrome.
What’s your next question?
PS: I ride it too. Responsibly.
Funny, it sure seems like there’s a big white cyclist with two arrows painted on the ground. There is no pedestrian in that logo as you see on actual shared paths.
That is now a bike lane, walk on the dedicated pedestrian path on the waterfront!
Wrong. It’s shared. The parks Dept just decided to not allow bikes by the water.
It’s a shared path.
I ride this many times a week on a citibike and overall I think this is an improvement. Yeah its hilly but the old path had many pedestrians and I suspect the data will show this reduces overall collisions/incidents
Not everyone wishes to walk along the greenway but rather prefer the shady path that has now, with this latest bifurcation, become the domain of cyclists.
Too many bicyclists don’t know what their brakes are for. Respect pedestrians by not flying down hills.
This is coming from a person who rides many miles a week through the neighborhood almost 52 weeks a year.
We should feel lucky to have an expanding bike infrastructure and shouldn’t abuse it, the beginner bikers aren’t the ones flying down the hills.
Excellent comment, thank you!
Ah the rub of unintended consequences.
As a long, long UWSider and Riverside Park regular, I agree with Adam Fields. The change has made the path section of the park far more dangerous. And far worse for the casual bike rider.
But the quote from Ms. Crean seems to indicate the new rules are here to stay
If and when some Little Leaguer or absent-minded pedestrian gets bowled over there’ll be cries and demands to prohibit bikes from the park altogether.
We should have just let well enough alone.
Up next: the fiasco of resident parking permits.
Why was this necessary? Because a number of cyclists couldn’t be bothered to follow rules of common courtesy. Sure, pedestrians with cell phones wander and are less attentive, but last I checked, it was the responsibility of those on vehicles (powered and/or unpowered) to ride at a safe speed and to give pedestrians the right of way. So, because of these many few, all of us need to adjust for them. So much in this city could be solved if people were just respectful of others. This is another perfect example of how decreased social civility in NYC clogs everyones pipe.
Totally agree – a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch. If this is as big of a problem as it appears to be, go back to the way it was and actively police the path.
They should stop bike riders for going too fast for the conditions – on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, they should have to slow down near the Boat Basin, regardless of what they can do at another time of the year. The tickets issued will pay for the salary of the person issuing them.
And to make it fair, anyone walking side to side across the path like a drunk while looking down at their phone should also be ticketed. And people walking more than three across and blocking the path.
I’m not sure what to do about the area near the baseball field at 72nd Street but it is a disaster – there is too much converging in one narrow place. They are doing construction under the bridge beyond the outfield there – perhaps once that is done they can put in an alternate path out there to ease some of the traffic.
Cyclists can get off and walk their bikes up a hill.
Walkers of all ages (including children) are in constant peril from cyclists treating the park like the Tour de France.
Why won’t anybody PLEASE think of the children!?!
And the elderly!
I believe the children are our future.
Teach them well and let them lead the way.
Show them all the beauty they possess inside.
Whitney Houston sang “The Greatest Love of All” but she is not listed as composer of either the music or the lyrics. The song is credited to Michael Masser and Linda Creed. Nice sentiment, but those are the facts.
I walk on the path a great deal, and this summer it’s been far more pleasant than usual thanks to the change. It’s such a relief not to feel as if I’m in danger of being run down when walking from the Boat Basin to the cafe. I hope the change sticks.
That’s good to hear, now I can come with my pooch and have a pleasant ‘no worry’ walk free from these aggressive ‘no care’ speed bikers!
Actually a park is not meant for bikes!
Put them on the streets with the cars and charge them a “Bike Street Congestion Fee”
Dogs have no respect for pedestrians. I was almost run over by one on 75th the other day. They also pee in our streets. Dogs need to be educated. We should charge them a fee if they want to continue to ruin our neighborhood.
The new bike detour seems generally safer to me, except in one location. Coming down at 73rd, (heading south), onto the merged walk / bike traffic, when combined with the proximity of both the ball field and the dog run, has felt unsafe to me. Extended dog leashes and bikes don’t mix very well, especially for (shorter) younger riders. I’d suggest finding a way to keep bike / walk & dog separation, if possible until after the ball field and the rise past the dog run towards the bike path under the West Side Highway (Joe DiMaggio at that point). I note also that the lanes up on the boat basin roundabout are a bit narrow for bikes coming at each other, so I see bikes generally jumping into the vehicle lane to avoid each other.
Ah, if only we could have responsible dog owners and responsible cyclists. I guess we can’t have both.
Those retractable leashes are a menace on any sidewalk and should be banned. Dog owners gibberish gabbing while their four legged offspring tape of the sidewalk like there is a police incident.
The current solution is a terrible one. I’m embarrassed as a cyclist by how some of my fellow cyclist ride. The issue is decency and speed. Since we can’t legislate decency we must control the speed with traffic calming solutions. We shouldn’t move the same problem elsewhere and speed it up. I think the two paths should return to mixed use again with certain gates or bumps along the river to slow things down. Largely this is cultural and while cyclist shouldn’t be menacing pedestrians also need to accept that people will be cycling in more places.
As a cyclist and dog walker in this area, I totally agree. It’s not a matter of location, it’s the speed which has now increased.
That’s fair of you and I agree. Bikers are to aggressive today and more so the last few years because they think they own the road do to the city catering to them with bike lanes…I noticed in Central Park they scream at pedestrians and they have no right to and does not look good as a friendly city as New York is to the tourist. Enough with the these bikers and move them to the streets.
BAN BIKES FROM ALL PARKS
BAN EVERYONE FROM EVERYWHERE!!
Exactly! Or put them all in bubbles
Agreed: the new route has unintended hazards.
As a cyclist, I have no problem with the hills. But as a pedestrian, I’d be terrified of the cyclists coming downhill: even at a coast, one gains speed quickly. (And when I was a younger cyclist, that would have been great fun — and I see lots of younger folks who appear to feel the same.) Kids, dogs, and anyone who isn’t highly vigilant is at risk.
It doesn’t feel like a shared path when the speed disparity between walker and cyclist is great. Speed bumps? And/or creating a midline to attempt to segregate walkers and cyclists?
On July 5th, I broke my arm and other bruises when a speed racer clipped my bike handle bars on the Hudson bike path at w83rd (right before the bi-pass). A bike sped fast from behind and i didn’t see him until I was thrown from my bike. I don’t think it was due to the new bi-pass but maybe. The most important thing is to police new speed limits and requiring “on your left” when passing another bike.
Thank you , thank you, Thank YOU for using the correct word, “incented,” rather than that other horrible verb-turned-noun-and-back-to-verb bastardization.
Dear Community Boards and do gooders. Stop screwing things up. You destroyed West End Avenue, now CPW is next and Riverside park. People need to wake up and take responsibility for their actions!
You can’t protect everyone everywhere. Everything you touch you’ve made more unsafe.
I bike there often, too. There will always be jerks, and i agree that occasional police presence would do a world of good.
One other factor is delivery guys on e-bikes. 95.6% of the time when a bike is going way too fast, it is one of them. They are already illegal, so lack of enforcement strikes again.
More dangerous for whom? I’m an avid biker. We brought this on ourselves! Bikers are mad fast in heavily crowded pedestrian areas. If the hills are too much, walk your bike. No shame in doing that. As for lights, okay, maybe that’s a point. Let’s add them. But is anything in the park lit for biking? I don’t think so. We all have lights on our bikes, don’t we?
I give up on all cyclists on Manhattan. The bad cyclists far outweigh any good ones. I wish they would start ticketing heavily. If you are riding a bike in this city then you must follow the rules of the road, too many don’t and make it bad for the few that are earnest.
Speed bumps at regular intervals on all bike paths that are shared by pedestrians or intersect walking paths. They are effective in slowing down cars on streets near schools and other facilities; they could be equally effective in slowing down the Tour de France wannnabes. I know that bikes are less stable than cars and that cycling at top speed over a speed bump can be dangerous. Good. A couple of high-speed spills would send the message through the bike maniac community in no time. Meanwhile, speed bumps would pose no menace to responsible recreational riders.
As a woman who twice a day walks two dogs down the ramp from the 72nd Street tunnel I find the new bicycle route very worrisome. There is no longer a safe path for to get to the water – the “crosswalk” across the path leads to no pedestrian path, but rather to the bleacher steps requiring one to traverse the grass and gravel running path. Coming from the south, there is no safe pedestrian path to continue to the ramp. It is bad enough walking dogs in the upper park toward the 72nd Street tunnel with bicyclists speeding by – I have also seen groups of children trying to get across from the crosswalk to head up the ramp. There are multiple accidents waiting to happen.
I am an unhappy upper westside dog owner.
Build a safer path for cyclists in the park where needed. Pedestrians and cyclists should never share a path…ever!! Again, build a safer path for the cyclists, and make the cyclist union pay for it.
1. Pedestrians have the right of way in the park, everywhere, no matter what the labels say.
2. Why don’t bikes have bells?
I have to say, I see both sides of this. I tremble to think of toddlers on the original path being exposed to speedsters. But I use the new detour daily riding a Citibike to 83rd St, and I can’t remotely make it up the long final hill. In addition, the new route lets us out in the middle of a traffic circle that is used by the 79th St bus as a turnaround and by a line of cars exiting the West Side Highway. It’s quite the obstacle course!
As a year-round, daily commuter, I find the new detour very dangerous because of the very steep hills and the speed they cause one to go. I am an avid user of my brakes and someone who is not trying to win a Tour de France stage each morning and evening, and I’m still going faster on this new section than I’d like to go.
In addition to the points raised by others, to the south of the traffic circle there is irregular pavement caused by deterioration of asphalt in one place and tree roots in another, which creates additional hazards. Also, the existing signage makes it appear that it is a bicycle only route, and while I empathize with the pedestrians, they should also be aware that cyclists are not expecting them, as all indications are that this is a bike-only route.
I cannot imagine how this route will be in the winter, as it seems unlikely to be plowed or salted, and without any unobstructed sun, the snow will not melt along this new route. In addition, as it is poorly lit, I, as a woman, would no longer feel safe commuting along this route after dark, though I have done so for several years.
The previous route had problems, but it was far safer for all concerned than this detour. It would have been much better to have improved the speed bumps along the lower route than to introduce this bypass, and I would note that the cobbled stones on the lower route that were intended to slow traffic were actually part of the speed problem; if one rides too slowly over the cobbled sections, thin tires can get a bit mired/stuck in the gaps, which is a pretty strong incentive to go ride through them faster to avoid crashing.
I wasn’t expecting to read the word velodrome today.
What a pleasant surprise.
I’m on both sides of this argument. I enjoy not (usually) having to worry about hitting a pedestrian on my commute but also, those hills are tough (and this is coming from someone who has ran 10 marathons). To try to avoid the last one (which used to be the only one but is now the third on my commute home), I’ve been hitting the street at the 79th Street roundabout, but that is in no way safe for bikers. There has to be a better solution. And I miss seeing the water.
I’m a senior cyclist and injured my back pedaling up the ultra steep hills on the new bike path. The ramp approaching the 79th Street roundabout is especially steep. I’m now walking my bicycle up. What was a good idea, separating the cyclists from pedestrians should be reconsidered. I doubt any of the architects of this detour have tried to navigate it themselves.
The new path has created a more dangerous problem, instead of a solution. And there are many solutions such as to have LARGE STOP signs at the bottom of the hill so that pedestrians can cross without risking their lives. There should also be cautionary signs as the bikers come flying off the rotunda. Also, bicyclists need to be licensed since they are moving vehicles as are the motor bikes and electric scooters, which are also guilty of ignoring signage. Another, more radical thought, is not to allow bicyclists on the path between 82nd Street and 70th Streets inside the park. Why can’t they be detoured onto Riverside Drive for those 12 blocks? They are really a menace because there are no legal rules. And if there were, there are no police to enforce them. Can’t there be speed limits and have some sort of radar to track the violators?
I’ve run along this path for years, it’s the wannabe Tour de France riders who brought this on everyone
It’s also true that people who are uncomfortable with the new path can walk their bikes, meaning, dismount the bicycle and walk, along the pedestrian path. Safe for everyone.
What a joke. Perhaps those who are waking should sit.
The same concerns should apply to the bike lanes that have haphazardly been approved for Central Park WEst from 59th to 100th. There is a massive and consistent overflow of pedestrians coming out of the park and coming out of the subay crossing the same streets to enter the park. The vast majority of Bikers do not obey the rules of the road nor show regard for pedestrians. In addition the majority ride in the wrong direction, do not cross at intersections, do not follow traffic signs and riding on sidewalks in these highly populated areas. Anyone and everyone should not be allowed to ride a bike on NYC streets without knowledge and safety being at the forefront! That needs to be addressed before providing more bike accessibility – for the safety of all!
The new bike path is completely unsafe. I saw several riders going north ride directly into the traffic on the 79 St . rotunda because they were unaware that riders in both directions have to share one narrow lane. I also saw a head-on collusion between two bikes on the southern hill of the detour.
As bikers use the hill more, over time they will get more fit and the hill will be easier. For now, if you’re having difficulty with it, ride as much of it as you can, then walk it, and then over time, you will get more fit and be able to pedal the whole thing. It’s not that long a hill and the fitness will come quickly. I assure you, it will. And you’ll be fitter and healthier for your efforts.
Exercise Physiologist and Director, Mt Sinai St Luke’s Hospital Weight Loss Program
PS: I bike most of the time, and when I don’t, I’m a pedestrian. I know both sides of the issue, and I know the hill in question.
PSS: Put just a few small speed bumps or rumble strips on the hill. If they are few and small they will still slow down the bikers on the downhill but not be too much of an annoyance on the way up. Problem solved.
PSSS: Neither bikers nor pedestrians are going away. Let’s work together calmly, let’s listen to each other, let’s be willing to compromise, and let’s look for solutions. And while you’re at it, look both ways before crossing the street.
Rich Weil for Mayor!!!
This is a great comment Rich and I think you bring up an important point that as UWS’ers we one of the most out of shape neighborhoods in upper Manhattan (behind upper midtown east of course). This is very sad. Let’s channel our aggression into fitness and green transportation. Also please keep children off the bike path. Thanks.
More from me… I hate to get on a tear about this but it’s horrible to be walking small dogs on a pedestrian-only path and have somebody seriously not care and come whizzing by on a bike.
– Public shame: Get loud. If every person who saw bikes on the pedestrian-only paths said something, eventually bicyclists would get the point that it’s not a couple of unhappy kooks. Speak up!
– More public shame: The police/parks could release the names of the people they ticket while riding on the pedestrian-only paths, and tweet them, Parks could retweet, WSR could retweet.
– Better eduction: the signage stinks. I’ve watched cyclists dismount their bikes, and then get back up and ride inside the pedestrian areas. And then literally be shocked that someone would say something to them. So maybe give people the benefit of the doubt and improve the signage. “You’re entering a pedestrian-only area. Get off your bike.” Not quite sure everybody knows what “Dismount” means. Especially tourists.
– If neighbors or the Community Boards cared enough, they could hand out flyers to cyclists telling them WHY it’s so important to stay on the bike lanes. Parks workers have been knocked down by cyclists, as have children. And it’s just super unpleasant to have somebody whiz by on a bike when you aren’t watching for it. It’s a community issue.
This afternoon only two bikes came by me and my dogs on the pedestrian walkway. Both Citibikes. One of them told me to “go F myself” when I pointed at the nearby bike path. Citibike should also participate in educating their riders and restricting their scofflaws.
Ticket$. Public shame. Education.
Public shaming will not work, but…
Ticketing, fines, and confiscation of bikes might work.
Deb- do you have any statistical analysis to suggest otherwise?
How does one shame a driver? Does one say “Shame on you for parking next to a hydrant”? Whereas a driver with enough tickets will have their car towed and impounded.
If bikes and their owners were licensed and registered, cyclists could be ticketed, and unpaid tickets would result in confiscation of the bike until fines are paid.
Public shaming…sure, that will work. Practice that strategy on pedestrians who flout every law that applies to them.
The problem is that Helen Rosenthal pushed this through to make the cyclists disappear, poof! There was no effort for a consensus solution
We praise the change. It was clear for years that too many cyclists were speeding through the shared path and creating danger and fear, especially to the elderly and parents of small children. Fairly recently, a 4 year-old child was hit by a cyclist and hospitalized. And that was just one of many accidents. It is so nice to walk by the river and not be afraid. We were unable to walk on that stretch with our elderly parent. The cyclists who go too fast and don’t abide by the signs to go slowly and respect others are responsible for this change. They now should go slowly on the new path. It’s up to them to cycle safely. As a DOT worker said, people were afraid to walk on the shared path. Now they can. We applaud those who made this part of the participatory budget years ago and those who voted for it. We applaud Helen Rosenthal for backing it.
My son plays on those ball fields at 78st and I witnessed small kids field balls into the new bike path. I also witnessed a motorcycle using the path. They need to change the entrance to those fields or else someone will be seriously injured.
I’d recmend diverting all foot traffic to the avenues, perhaps west end, to make more space for bikers on sidewalks & riverside. It’s becoming difficult to get any decent exercise with all of the pedestrians wondering without purpose thru the park. Obviously children would be given right away at traffic lights. Seems reasonable.
The problem isn’t with the bike path it’s with the cycle cyclists. The weekend warriors, the dudes hell bent to prove that they are the next Lance Armstrong In the Tour de France. In the two decades I’ve been living here I’ve been running that path. I’ve seen toddlers and small dogs injured. I’ve got run down myself on a weekday jog, Only to be cursed out for slowing someone down.
I applaud the new separation of the pedestrian and bike paths. Cyclists have not responsibly learned to share.
I agree with Nikki. This isn’t the Tour de France, and so these men shouldn’t be acting as such with their tempers. Maybe we should start testing for blood doping at the bottom of the bike path to weed out those who are using PEDs. This eliminate most of the angry bikers.
The CB7 board meeting was contentious and dominated by attendees from the bike segment. Out of 18 speakers 15 were bikers. They were in favor of reversing the decision to reroute bikes from the esplanade. Two board members tried to push through a resolution to do this. The final board vote was 6 to 2 against the proposed resolution. Walkers and joggers were virtually unrepresented but their interests were championed by the CB7 chairwoman, other board members and a representative from Helen Rosenthal’s office.
The rules of the road are designed for cars and secondly pedestrians. Bicycle planning is an after thought and it’s apparent though out the city. The fact that there is so much space designated for cars is the problem. It forces us to squabble over what little space we have where cars aren’t allowed. Let’s find common cause in increasing space in the city that’s car free.
I’m starting to think that most people who are riding and who are posting here don’t remember that the bike path used to travel thru Upper Riverside Park – south of the tennis courts and north of Boat Basin – until the early 2000s when they build the over water extension along the highway. Bikes and runners had to go up the steep blind curves for the stretch and share what was once a frightening blind and poorly lit area. And the irony, no one complained back then. We were cautious of each other especially when wet leaves covered the section. So, what’s the problem now? No one is willing to spare consideration for their neighbors? Sad, but UWS used to have a really nice friendly neighborhood feel. My father was here in the 50s, my relatives a bit earlier and I have been here since 2002. I guess this is indicative how who we have become – angry and intolerant. Be happy with what you have…the bike path and parks Downtown south of Chelsea and going into Battery Park were places to avoid prior to the 1990s. Everyone seriously needs to chill.
It’s so tiring listening to all the bike haters whine about cyclists.
It doesn’t matter what happens, where it happens or who is to blame.
You immediately blame the cyclist.
You wanted a path free of bikes, Riverside Park obliged by moving bikes to a BIKE path. Now you want to walk on the bike path. Then when accidents occur on the BIKE path, you still blame cyclists. INSANE!!!
Now you want to ban bikes from all city parks.
Here’s an idea…stop feeling so entitled, looking at your phone and stop walking in the bike lanes. That will go a long way to reducing the number of accidents.
Central Park has over 45 pedestrian crossings and yet most accidents occur outside those crossings because pedestrians feel entitled to cross wherever they like.
Wake up pedestrians – you’re at least half the problem.
all this could have been solved with speed bumps on the old shared path. But since that did not happen, the pedestrians would be foolish to try to walk on the new bike path.
Furthermore, stop the off leash dogs. Just as there is a bike path, there is also a dog run, so use it.
As a 20-year bike commuter on the Greenway, it’s clear to me that virtually all danger is due to the speed of careless bikers, not where they ride. Electric bikes and scooters present a special menace, but again only due to the ease with which they speed. Scientific analysis of vehicular pedestrian deaths resulted in the 25mph limit on roads, and the same solution is needed on shared paths. Congested sections need speed limits enforced by some proven combination of policing and barriers, supplemented perhaps by radar (notifying/shaming bikers at excessive speed as you see on hazardous roadways with chronic speeding). Speed cameras could aid enforcement crackdowns even without the benefit of license plates.
The current “improved” bike traffic pattern with its inherent speed resulting from the downhill sections, combined with puzzled pedestrians of all ages–and their dogs–is a recipe for disaster. I predict the worst to occur near the track and ball-field at 73rd St. where fast-moving, unsteady bikers barreling downhill going north meet bikers going steeply downhill southbound from the upper park into a hairpin turn, who both cross paths with wandering pedestrians, dogs and little-leaguers crossing at odd angles. Neither the intended bike or pedestrian zones are clear here as others have correctly pointed out. Bikes and cars are already tangling in the traffic circle at 79th St. The only saving grace is that both bikes and cars are forced to slow down in the circle by hills, traffic patterns and gaping potholes, so I don’t anticipate any deaths, just flaring tempers and fender-benders.
Any solution must slow down the bikes/scooters in congested areas, not send them careening down hills into pedestrian traffic. Effectively enforcing a ban on electric vehicles would also help. On a percentage basis, they tend to speed recklessly even more than non-electric bikers in my extensive experience. I bike very respectfully as do many of us, but only a culture change of enforced speed limits in the limited areas of congestion will slow the Lycra-clad Lance wannabes and the other speed-demons.
As a respectful biker myself I have to say well said to Truman Burbank.
I think the current situation is a definite improvement. Having had bicycles and pedestrians for a long stretch on the same path was just too dangerous.I saw a toddler run over her head right in front of me and an older woman hit by a speeding cyclist. Especially those racing apps make cyclists pick up speed tremendously on a flat stretch. So we CANNOT GO BACK TO THE WAY IT WAS!. The current solution is not perfect, but at least it gives pedestrians a breather
There are still cyclists breaking the rules but at least there are fewer going on the pedestrian path now. What about a traffic light on the hill so pedestrians can cross over safely to the soccer field? And by the way, those hills are not that steep, and if they are for the elderly or young, they can walk their bikes a few steps- it’s all exercise !
Why is everything suddenly about catering to the relatively few number of bikers instead of pedestrians on walkways in the park? It’s outrageous.
Let the bikers get off and walk a few blocks — it’s still exercise and if they hadn’t been such irresponsible riders in the first place this would never have been an issue.
Also are you waiting for someone to get I hired or killed before addressing this same problem in the 90s along that same river stretch.
I’ve been effective banned from walking there with my dog because of the extreme hazard and unpleasantness caused by the bikers.
I had enough and I’m not gonna take it anymore…
Pedestrians it’s time to march against these extreme undesirable bikers here in Manhattan !!!
BAN “ALL” BIKES FROM MANHATTAN
This is hilarious.. Bikers pretending to be little old ladies, pet owners, and mom’s with infants. Ask any of the real users not hiding behind a computer. Keep them separated.
I feel many of the issues raised by the community board could be addressed by increased signage both for bicyclists and pedestrians close to the bottom of the hills:
Bicyclists – Yield to Pedestrians
Pedestrians – Proceed with caution while crossing the bike lane.
Bicyclists also travel down steep hills in Central Park where pedestrians cross, but the signage is better.
Thrilled by the new bike-free promenade where finally I wasn’t in danger of being hit by careless, speeding, aggressive or distracted cyclists, and have had many close calls down there. PEDESTRIAN SAFETY SHOULD ALWAYS COME FIRST — always the most vulnerable. Cyclists should always ride responsibly and carefully wherever they are riding, as they could also be injured in an accident, but experience tells us this is often not the case.
Why is it that cyclists are always speeding and riding recklessly?
How come pedestrians have no responsibility to look where they are walking, particularly when in or crossing the bike lane?
Bikes travelling at 15-20 mph are not speeding. This is an easy speed to reach on a bike. Yes, it is way faster than a pedestrian moving at 2-3 mph but both have a responsibility to travel safely.
When walking in a bike lane, the pedestrian needs to exercise caution.
When riding in the shared path, both need to exercise caution.
Pedestrians – Stop hating on bikes and take some responsibility for your actions!