The state is spending $5 million to fund a new bike and pedestrian path on pilings in the Hudson River between 57th and 59th Street. The money will go to the Hudson River Park Trust, which is transforming Pier 97 at 57th Street into a park with a playground, sloping lawn activity field, and concession area.
There’s already a bike and pedestrian path at this location, but “the condition that’s there now is essentially ‘interim’ and has been that way for a long time,” wrote James Yolles, a spokesman for the park trust, in an email to West Side Rag.
The money is from a federal program focused on building bike and pedestrian infrastructure, Americans with Disabilities Act accessible sidewalks, and improving access to public transportation. The state administers the funds, and the governor announced the grant.
The path will be widened in some areas, with the new width ranging from 14 feet to 40 feet.
Ken Coughlin, a member of Community Board 7 and a cycling advocate, said he hadn’t heard about the project until now. He wrote in an email that area is somewhat dangerous for cyclists because of “trucks entering and leaving the marine transfer station.”
The new path may make it easier to accommodate more people. “I assume the new path will be wider and better accommodate walkers as well as cyclists. To my mind, the money would be better spent making the waterfront path between 72nd and 83rd safe for both cyclists and walkers, but clearly someone thought this was more important.”
This week, new signs also went up prohibiting certain vehicles — including e-bikes — from using the bike path in that area.
These signs went up this morning on the NYS portion of the West Side bike path (below 59th Street). pic.twitter.com/I9KACplUUA
— Steve Vaccaro (@BicyclesOnly) March 9, 2021