Mapped: Hudson River Greenway to the George Washington Bridge

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Spurred by comments following yesterday’s post on Greenway access in Washington Heights, a reader put together this map [download the full size version] of how to get from the Greenway to the George Washington Bridge. It’s no straight shot by any means. If the arrows are a little hard to follow, here are the directions:

Stay on the path under the bridge, take the bridge over Amtrak, the tunnel under S-bound parkway, the path then switches back south then north to parallel the N-bound parkway, which it crosses at a ped bridge to Riverside Drive. Go right onto Riverside, then left on 181st up to Ft. Washington. Depending on preference and access, go to either of the bridge path entrances.

Picking up on the previous thread, for those who know this route, how would you rate it in terms of safety and convenience? For those who don’t, how likely would you be to try it? What could be done to simplify this connection, or make it safer?

  • afs

    It’s perfectly safe, very mildly inconvenient, but not super obvious. Better signage might be called for, but that’s it.

  • cr

    I think it’d be more helpful if the map showed *exactly* where the GWB bike ramps are instead of the cartoon-explosions.

  • As I wrote this morning, skirting the peak of the 181st St hill by turning right off of 181st St onto Cabrini Blvd and then left on 180th St past Pinehurst to Fort Washington Ave provides a calmer route, with fewer double-parkers and less of an incline.

    For extra livable-streets credit, Brad, I would decree two-way cycle tracks, one on the west side of Cabrini Blvd from 179th to 181st Sts, and one on the south side of 179th St from Cabrini to Fort Washington. A protected bike lane along the grassy median of Plaza Lafayette, or 181st between Haven and RSD, would be nice as well.

    And while you’re at it, can you close back down the HHP onramp at 181st St?

  • spikex

    Its quite a grind up the hill to the bridge if you go that way from the shore path. Most riders prefer using Riverside dr. (from riverside dr., right on 165th, left on Ft washington, left on 177th, right on Cabrini, left on sidewalk to South entrance GW bridge).

    Alternate is to leave shore bike path at 158th and come up the hill, left on spur to Riverside dr.

    The axis to the bridge is really stupid, particularly on the north side with all its stairways.

  • Avi

    How about the Port Authority keep both the north and south paths open? That way bikers won’t have to carry bikes up and down the stairs on the north side and bikers and walkers won’t have to fight each other for space when the path narrows or turns.

  • mfs

    Super steep hill

  • The access to 181 from the greenway is easy, but I always end up going in circles around Washington Heights trying to find the GWB access. I can never manage to find it on my first try!

    Everyone does this. Walk around the 180s around Fort Washington and you’ll see cyclists all over the place wandering around aimlessly…

  • Shemp

    GWB south path – this is the fully ramped side. Cabrini Blvd and 178th Street. Access Cabrini via 177th and Fort Washington. From the intersection, go toward the river along the sidewalk on the south side of 178th and you will see the left turn onto the ramp that takes bikes/peds up onto the bridge. This path has been closed on recent weekdays because of work on the bridge.

    GWB north path – this one has stairs on both sides. From Fort Washington, go toward the river on 179th Street. You will see the entrance to the path alongside the bridge upper roadway lanes.

    Stacy posted the access maps for these paths yesterday.

  • Dave Stewart

    I often run this way.

    The switchback prior to the 181st St. crossover is not such a bad thing. I believe that it exists in order to mitigate the grade change and avoid the need for stairs in what would otherwise be too steep a climb from river level to highway and bridge level.

    The route is generally pretty clean and well maintained.

  • The Office

    might want to check out (especially pages 62-69) for some recommendations on improving access to the GWB http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/transportation/td_uppermn.shtml

  • Jon

    Someone needs to pressure the Port Authority to keep the GW Bridge open for a larger part of the day. If you get stuck on one side and need to be on the other side without a car after midnight (at the latest), you’re screwed. Compare with the city- or MTA-owned bridges (Queensbridge, Brooklyn, Manhattan) which are open 24 hours a day.

  • How about the basics? GWB signs starting around the 165th Street exit (near the restrooms) where some people seem to become confused. I’d imagine people are reluctant to climb that steep hill behind the lighthouse unless they’re reasonable confident it’ll take them where they want to go. Additional street signage leading to the GWB Pedestrian Paths would keep peds and cyclists from wandering around the area aimlessly.

    Beyond that, lights on that lighthouse hill, lights along that stretch where the greenway runs along the Amtrak tracks in Fort Washington Park would be a real plus. That area, particularly the steep downhill, can be pretty scary after dark.

  • AaronJ

    I just want to thank all the Streetsblog commentors, and particularly the anonymous-mapmaker, for responding to the request for directions! I will try these soon. Next request: a similar map for the NJ side, to get a firsttimer successfully from the bridge to the river road

  • Lazy Jogger

    Am I missing something here? Isn’t the north side ped/bike access (the one with stairs) to the GWB closed, and has been closed for a while? The gate is padlocked and there’s a sign saying “north side closed, use south side entrance on 17Xth st” or something like that.

  • Ryan Lee

    I don’t go across the GWB often enough to generalize that this is always the case, but every time I travel across, one of the pedestrian paths is closed. Last time I went across, June 26th, it was the south side that was closed.

    Of course, dumb luck would have me, without fail, choosing the closed side as my route. Then, I have to circle around and try the other entrance.

    Looking forward to the river road map Aaron J, as last time I couldn’t figure it out.

  • Doug

    It’s not that hard. The directions they gave have a huge hill; you go from water level to the height of the bridge deck (160 feet or more?) in a very short distance.

    As you can plainly see from the map and comments here, the basic directions are:
    * get out of the park between 158 and 181st street. you’d have to be blind to miss the obvious stairs out. All of them involve big hills, sorry.
    * Go to 181 and Fort Washington Stret.
    * The south ramp is accessible on the street immediately south the bridge. Go down the hill. The north ramp is accessible immediately north of the bridge, but seems to be open less often (I took it a few months ago, but it was closed when I came back again. Too bad – I think it’s the nicer one.)

    This is also labeled in detail on the NYC bike map if I recall.

  • There’s also a path from West 177th St & Haven Avenue down to the Riverside Drive exit off the HHP, where there’s a sketchy underpass to get you under the highway. On the west side of the underpass you can connect to trails going south to the bridge by the tennis-court restrooms or north underneath the GWB to where the green bridge crosses over the HHP northbound.

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