Hudson River Greenway Bike Path Sabotaged

Streetsblog received this tip last night:

I was riding North on the Greenway tonight at about 9:15, and after clearing 60th street and entering the stretch under the elevated
Miller Highway a southbound cyclists yelled at me, "Watch out!
There’s a pile of rocks across the bike path ahead."

I slowed down and carefully rode to 67th Street where what I saw was
quite a shock.


A pile of ornamental rock had been taken from the the Riverside Park
South border of the greenway and piled across the bike path.

The pile was about 1 foot high in some places, and went across the entire bike path, and had already been scattered by what looked like
an earlier collision. It was clearly intended to cause a serious 
accident. The bike path is largely unlit in this stretch, and even
with a bike light, the pile was hard to see.

Together with 4 other cyclists who stopped to help we cleared the
obstruction.

I also called 311 on the scene who connected me to 911 who promised to
dispatch a patrol car that never came after about 15 minutes. I
have a card from one of the volunteers and one of the others also
promised to email me with his contact info.

In addition to you, I was going to follow up w the Riverside Parks
Commissioner, the Riverside Parks Fund, and see if I can get my case
number from 311. Who else should i/we contact?

On a positive note I can report that even on this 32-degree evening
the bike path was well traveled, and we had plenty of volunteers who
quickly cleared the obstruction. I took this as a recreational ride
to decompress from a meeting that ended at about 8p from Lincoln
Center, riding down the Greenway (which was free of obstruction at the time) and then headed back up from the Battery. I would estimate
that I encountered about 50 cyclists, a healthy increase over what it
usually is on a relatively cold winter night. And the other bit of
good news is that there was not a single one without lights — which
is real progress.

The bad news is that there is a seriously dangerous vandal out there
out to cause harm to cyclists. And how this happened unobserved given
all the use of the path that I saw is also very disconcerting.

  • ddartley

    That’s definitely a 911 call; never hesitate to call 911 any time you see a deliberately created hazard like that.

    (Of course it was may well have been a bunch of 13 year olds who didn’t realize how dangerous it was, but the City still needs to be prompted to respond urgently to things like that.)

  • Spud Spudly

    You did the right thing calling 311, but frankly I’m shocked — shocked! — that the cops didn’t come running to the scene with lights and sirens and immediately start dusting the rocks for fingerprints. Who else should you contact? How about your mommy?

    Now we know how many cyclists it takes to move some ornamental rocks.

  • Gnoble

    Sounds like punk teenagers to me, not irate anti-environmentalist.

  • that area need sto be better lit and made a bit safer. there was an attempted violent assault/rape of a woman runner there last year at a hour that was not that early, she was strong enough to fight him off, and he was caught.That seems to be the ambush area.
    it would take a bit of time to pile the rocks there, which means that a number of bicyclist went through without reporting anything to 911 or the earlier reports got the same results as your reports. 911 calls are locked onto via the gps, so the location problem that plagues the greenway should not be an issue, if you stay.
    i have seen the same thing up around the zigzag by the amtrack tracks above the gw bridge.
    i think it is put there to cause a bicyclist to come to a stop so they can be robbed.
    i haven’t heard of any report of robberies there or on the greenway, but maybe they aren’t well publicized unless it is a member of one of the online bike community. i remember speaking to a woman who was mugged o the east side greenway, and had a very hard time getting the upper east side police precinct to take a report, it took over 3 hours , she said the system seemed like it was geared for you to give up and leave, no report, crime goes down on paper, bosses get performance bonuses.

  • m

    I took a walk along that stretch this evening! I was there around 5:20 (outbound) and again at about quarter until 6 (back home) and didn’t see anything untoward.

  • Rion

    I just rode by there and the rocks are back up again! At 9:43! Wtf! I’m typing from my blackberry. What’s going on? Oh the horror! How can this go on in this day and age?

  • hmph

    huh, i rode there tuesday early AM, around 6:30 and, thank god, did not notice anything – it was still pretty dark too!!

    thank you to whoever removed the rocks. i strongly suggest that everytime someone sees something they contact 911, 311 etc. over and over.

    and, hey, TA, do you think you could actually do something here instead of telling folks to “write a letter?” if this really has been happenign multiple times, it is a serious act of sabotage and freaking dangerous. besides, it would be about time that the area there gets 1) better lighting and 2) some kind of security (no, not for the stupid construction!!).

  • the mayor

    who is this flake who calls 911 because of a pile of rocks? I’ve only called 911 twice in my life. once because I witnessed a car flip over at 90mph. And the other because i saw a group of thugs impersonating police and harassing someone.

  • Caaah

    Don’t forget to call NY1 and the other local news! I’ve known people to call 311/911 dozens of times and get no response, but as soon as its on TV or in the paper–zap! The authorities snap into action. Public opinion is all too important to the city agencies.

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