Nonprofit to Build New Bike and Pedestrian Path Just South of Riverside Park

A diagram from the state showing the design for Pier 97 and the path leading up to Riverside Park.

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.

A satellite image of the piers and current path.

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.

NEWS | 11 comments | permalink
    1. John d GORMAN says:

      Daily I travel from north of 96th St down to Bowling Green via the West Side and back home at end of day. What is the case against e-Citibikes, e-scooters and just plain old smallish e-bikes? They bother me not and are as a rule courteous and non-offensive. And why only the NYS branch of the bike path targeted?

      • young_man! says:

        I’m on the greenway several times a week on my pedal bike and it isn’t about the majority of people on e-bikes being courteous it is all about the small percentage of e-bike/e-scooter/e-etc riders who ride like maniacs and spoil it for everyone else.

        Keeping motor vehicles off the greenway makes it safer for normal park users, especially children and the elderly that can’t jump out of the way of a 25 mph vehicle.

        Similar problems exist with the spandex clad people that try to use the greenway as a tour de france raceway but no way to ban pedal powered bikes from a park.

    2. Paul says:

      Motor (and e) bikes and scooters have always been barred from the Greenway, so nothing is new there.

      The claim about the transfer station interfering with bikes is nonsense. There are several points along the river where buses, trucks, taxis cross the bike path. The ferry terminal, the Circle Line, the Chelsea Piers.
      All we riders have to do is stop when others have the right of way.

      The better question is whether we need to spend 5 million dollars for two blocks of improvements to a long existing pathway.

      • Sid says:

        E-bikes were legally recognized last June by the City Councils, and thus are allowed to ride on the Greenway and bike lanes.

        • Paul says:

          Legalization of ebikes on the streets did not extend to the Greenway. They’re still prohibited there.

    3. Josh says:

      What’s wrong with taking a scooter down this path? I’m not talking about the scooters that go 30mph or ebikes, but scooters that get around 15mph. Slower than some cyclists.

      Do you suggest we go on the road with cars? Come on now.

    4. chuck d says:

      I used to commute on the greenway and that stretch is narrow AF! Not surprised that the park that was promised to get built never got finished but the buildings went up anyway. I wonder who the developer was?

    5. RiverFan says:

      Instead of joining all the usual kvetching about scooters, e-bikes, yadda yadda, try clicking the Pier 97 link above!
      Doing so reveals plans for a wonderful addition to this area: a beautifully-landscaped park with all sorts of great amenities, even a public restroom and a concession stand!
      There are similar piers both in-place and planned further downtown, and now it will be our turn.

    6. susan says:

      Referring to “young_man!’s comment: I call those cyclists Spandex Commandos. They are a menace.

    7. Christine E says:

      Can WSR please investigate how it costs $1.7 million per block to build a 3-block bike path? The alleged “non-profit” builder seems rather profitable.

    8. Kevin says:

      That 2-block area is basically a free-for-all. Hopefully the design keeps peds and runners safely away from the bikers. And wouldn’t it be nice if someone took a couple thousand of those millions of dollars and fixed the pedestrian pavement that’s literally falling into the Hudson just above 59th.