By Daniel Katzive
Reconstruction of the 79th Street Rotunda structure has led to a rerouting of the bike route along the Hudson River through Riverside Park. Effective today, July 20, the bike path will no longer run over the Rotunda, but will instead continue on the promenade, along the river, past the shuttered Boat Basin Cafe and Marina. South of 79th Street, the path will continue to loop inland as it has done in recent years, around the running track at 72nd Street.
The new routing is partially a return to the status quo, which existed prior to five years ago, when bikers heading north and south shared the promenade with pedestrians. The decision to shift the route over the Rotunda was made in 2016, in response to complaints about crowded conditions and dangerous conflicts between bikers and pedestrians, particularly as the promenade passed between the Boat Basin Marina and the Boat Basin Cafe, both of which are now closed for reconstruction. When the rerouting was approved by CB7, a number of bikers protested over the steep climb and diversion from the river, as West Side Rag reported back then.
However, the new routing is only partially a return to the old days. As noted above, the new route continues to divert from the promenade south of the Rotunda. Moreover, whereas, historically, pedestrians and bikers shared the promenade without separation, the Parks Department has now created distinct bike and pedestrian lanes as the route passes the Marina.
This new bike path configuration is likely to be with us for some time as Rotunda reconstruction will last at least two years, according to a timeline shared by the NYC Department of Transportation with West Side Rag earlier this month.
Note: Users of Riverside Park should also be aware that sections north of 79th Street and north of 98th Street will be closed this Sunday July 24th for the New York City Triathalon.
Good idea with one glaring error:
Why not put the bikes on the inside and let pedestrians pause and look over the river?
Seriously, isn’t that obvious?
They haven’t considered moving the benches closer to the river, then having the bike path behind them, which would solve everyone’s problems…
Because that would put the cyclists too close to the benches, where people will likely be sitting and looking over the river.
With people sitting on the benches, having bikes on the inside would be a problem.
Benches. If you put the bikes on the inside, then no one can use the benches.
Yes, Paul. Arghhh.
Well, yes, if. you want to create an exponentially more dangerous, illogical traffic situation.
People who don’t ride bikes talk about people who do ride bikes as if we are just the bikes and not people who also have rights and deserve consideration.
Just a guess, but maybe because the benches are on the inside?
What does this matter, bicyclists and scooter drivers completely ignore the rules about where they are allowed to go in Riverside Park and Riverside Park South?
The Conservancy ignores the problem. It’s a big liability.
As a cyclist, my experience has been that there is a certain set of pedestrians who are extremely self-entitled and ignore all signs and lanes, too! They actually get very prickly when called out.
And as a cyclist you have much more momentum than any pedestrian.
You’ve raised a standard false equivalence.
If you cared about pedestrian safety, you’d know to avoid this kind of argumentation.
Furthermore, pedestrians share paths with bicyclists and scooter drivers legitimately — that’s the same path and lane some times, and some times the lanes are divided by paint on the pavement.
HOWEVER, I specified that bicyclists and scooter drivers are using paths utterly forbidden to them. You didn’t address my fundamental point.
Where are regular bikes not allowed to go in Riverside Park?
The biggest issue in the past few years was exactly that part of the promenade, and the detour was a pain. Now it will be legal again to go along the river without any hills.
I am mainly a runner and then a pedestrian and occasional cyclist but have to admit that detour was really tough.
I agree everyone should abide by the rules, and cyclists should be careful on mixed paths, while a bigger issue is e-scooters and motorized scooters.
that said, restoring the bike path is a great initiative!
Bicyclists and scooter drivers are forbidden to use the shore/riverbank walk north of West 72nd Street. I’m not sure how far up this absolute prohibition continues, but it continues to at least 79th Street.
They are also forbidden from using the same walk in Riverside Park South to the south of approximately West 70th street.
They break these explicit rules all the time.
It’s now terrifying to walk on that section of the path. I bike as well as walk, and I much prefer having the path separate. Surely most bikers can manage one small hill–if not, they can walk the bike a few yards. Here’s to a speedy restoration of separate paths.
For years now, bikes have been speeding along the path supposedly reserved for pedestrians between 72nd and 79th street on the upper level of RSD near where the traffic is. As a 90-year old senior citizen I have been forced to forego trying to walk there the past several years and repeated requests for the installation of speed bumps have been totally ignored by the Parks Dept.
I feel safer riding in traffic these days because of all the ebikes on the path. Many of them are no different than motorcycles. In fact, some of them are motorcycles!
They go 30, 40 mph, no helmets (not that that makes any difference to me), NO enforcement.
They are motor vehicles whether gas or electric powered and have no business being there.
This afternoon, for the very first time, I witnessed park workers pulling over two actual motorcyclists in the bike lanes near Chelsea Piers. It was such a thrilling sight! It’s bad enough that we cyclists have to endure the *illegal (for this path)* e bikes and e scooters, but there are tons of moped and motorcycle riders on the paths, and — speaking as someone who rides this path daily for years (5 miles each way) — it is high time these psychos be nabbed. Here’s praying this incredibly rare enforcement increases dramatically. // As for the lanes by the old marina, currently there are some giant obstructions in the bike path that necessitate cyclists ride for a bit in the narrow pedestrian path; immense caution is required on all parties.
The park near Chelsea Piers is private. I’d be very surprised to learn that City Park workers were doing the enforcement.
There is absolutely no excuse for not enforcing the ‘no electric/gas vehicles’ law in the Riverside Park bike lanes. I understand the reluctance to chase these vehicles in the street but catching them on the bike path is far different and possible to do safely. If the NYPD can’t take on that challenge, they’re pretty useless when it comes to making our lives safer.
I’m struck by how much worse Riverside Park and Riverside Park South are than Central Park regards bicyclists and scooter drivers not obeying basic rules and very clear signs, like: “dismount bicycle/scooter here”.
This. This. This. Please enforce the rules! My dog got hit by a biker when we were running along the river in a bike free zone!
Was the dog on a leash Michael as they all should be? It’s such a problem in central park, balls end up going into the street and dogs without leashes chase them and cause accidents with the bikes. If dogs are kept on a leash, that’s not a problem.
dogs off leash become an issue in the morning hours (in the areas where they should be on a leash before 9am) – I see dogs jumping on runners or pedestrians almost daily
Before 9am dogs are not required to be leashed.
Ish: That’s true in many areas of Central Park but not all. There are areas like Strawberry Fields and the Ramble where, even before 9am, dogs are allowed only on leash. There are other areas where dogs are never allowed at all, even on leash, such as Sheep Meadow. You can see the complete rules here: https://www.centralpark.com/visitor-info/dogs-in-central-park/
Just in some areas. Please check the parks website
BTW it is now a regular thing for bicyclists from NJ to drive in, park their cars – and bicycle in Manhattan
for real? are these people so afraid of the subway?
hell i moved to NJ, come back to manhattan and the neighborhood all the time, sometimes driving but never bringing my own bike; citi bike is more than enough
Please be courteous.
You’re not in the Tour de France.
Just slow the hell down.
Yes, because it’s totally appropriate to paint all cyclists with the same broad brush.
I personally prefer to imagine that I am competing in Liège-Bastogne-Liège when I do my bike commuting, so there.
No, it’s not “totally appropriate to paint all cyclists with the same broad brush” — but it’s certainly appropriate to do so for the oh. say, 95% of bikers who refuse to obey ANY traffic rule or commonsense practice. Please, can you at least own up to what virtually every pedestrian & cyclist knows to be the case? Make your excuses but at least own up to the reality.
95%? References to back that up?
Psst. I think you might have missed the joke…
How was that painting with a broad brush?
With the way our streets are maintained, I tend to imagine I’m riding in Paris-Roubaix…
This is the first mention I’ve seen that there will be a triathlon.
So it will impact on public access in the park?
Will also impact on bus riders. Between the triathlon and closed Columbus Ave for “open streets” bus riders will have zero access.
They start the triathlon very early in the morning so the impact on you should be minimal – I just checked the web site and everyone has to be done by 1 and the last runner is expected to be in Central Park by noon.
Given the forecast for this weekend, I’m not sure if they will even end up having it as it will be very dangerous with the heat. I know they have dealt with this before.
I am a lot happier about having streets closed occasionally for something like this than for the Open (or more properly called “closed”) streets.
For five years pedestrians have been able to walk for several blocks along the river with some degree of safety (excepting when bikers decided to ignore the signs and barriers). We fought so hard to get a bike free zone, so it is disheartening – even if understandable due to the construction – to lose this modest enhancement even for a few years. The arrogance and disregard for the safety of many bikers who race full speed while wearing their Tour de France appropriate spandex through crowds of strolling pedestrians and parents with small children led to the decision to block off the section of the esplanade. I hope when the construction is completed the bikers will “permit” resumption of several blocks of sanity despite the “inconvenience” of having to bike uphill for a short distance. Wouldn’t want them to get actual exercise while they are exercising after all.
not all cyclists wear spandex or “exercise”.
many people commute on bikes along Riverside Park and West Side Highway, in part to save money on subway or gas.
You want the entire esplanade back, but bikers have to share the rerouted bike lane with pedestrians? Maybe pedestrians should stick to the bike-free zones and let the bikes have some degree of safety, too.
Funny how a combined bike/pedestrian path along the Hudson wasn’t an issue for *decades* until the recent introduction of electric bikes/motorized scooters to NYC streets….
the bikes were a nuisance to pedestrians for well over a decade on Riverside Drive, paying no heed to pedestrians. Very scary.
It was an issue for years and got settled after a bike rider on an old fashioned bike (not powered) mangled a three year old child on that section of the Park.
The re-routed section is a deathtrap. The lanes actually make it worse– half the cyclists simply ignore them and ride where they choose, and some use the barriers as an obstacle course and weave back and forth between them. After almost getting hit twice on two consecutive days, I’m shifting my walks and runs to Central Park.
Please! Bikers ride motorcycles. Cyclists ride bike or bicycles.
While we’re on the topic of bike lanes, are we the only ones concerned about the fact that there are NO bike lanes to cross Central Park (that we’re aware of)? Our daughter is a teacher living on the UWS. commutes to work by bike on the UES whenever weather permits.
For us, her parents, it’s nervewracking to know that she’s biking, regularly in heavy traffic, on the 86th Street transverse. Are we the only ones concerned about this situation?
The transverses need to be for buses and vehicles.
I would never bike via the transverses.
Use of the crosstown buses would be best.
Crosstown buses – particularly the M86 – are reliable
There are good bike lanes across the park at 72 and 103, and a terrible one around 95th. But there should be more.
But the route across the park at 103rd is not a true crossover because it is just going from drive to drive, with no direct route from CPW to 5th. East to west is a little better, but it is still not as direct as should be. It really is just a way to cut out Harlem Hill from the circuit. 72nd is a solid route, though.
can you post a link to that map? it’s impossible to read… not sure which colored line is which path…
It drives me crazy when I’m riding in the bike path and see parents with small children walking there instead of in the walking lanes. often the children are walking by themselves in an erratic manner and the parents just seem to assume the bicyclist will avoid hitting them. I agree about the ebike, scooters and motorcycles being an issue and wish the police would stop them. However, small children and dogs on long leashes walking in the bike paths can be just as dangerous.
Cyclists always have some “what about” answer to excuse their entitled, rule breaking, dangerous and obnoxious behavior. They don’t listen to reason because they don’t care who they endanger as long as they can do as they please. Then they go on about saving the planet forgetting completely about the smoke spewing factories that make their equipment. Like talking to a cactus.
Oh enough already. There is equal opportunity obnoxious behavior by all parties. I dodge pedestrians, cars, motorbikes, scooters all day long, too many motorized vehicles classified as bicycles however árele causing many new problems however