Manhattan Bridge Bike Path Detour to End on March 5

Manhattan Bridge cyclists won't have to brave the Bowery as of March 5. Image: NYC DOT

The Manhattan Bridge bicycle path will return to its usual place on the north side of the bridge on March 5, according to a Department of Transportation spokesperson.

Since July, construction has forced cyclists and pedestrians to swap sides on the bridge. Bike riders heading into Manhattan have had to navigate a dangerous detour onto the Bowery. Though DOT painted a temporary bike route along Bowery for the duration of the construction, NYPD enforcement was almost non-existent and the lane was often unusable.

Flipping the bicycle and pedestrian paths on the bridge also led to some heightened conflict, not so much along the path itself but in the minds of the Daily News editorial board. The newspaper wrote a series of scathing editorials depicting cyclists as “illiterate, blind, or merely — this is our guess — oblivious to all man-made law,” one of the low points of last year’s media bikelash.

  • Great to hear this detour will end and return cyclists to a safer path to and from Manhattan When the detour ends, keep your eyes peeled for some commuter outreach on the BK side of the bridge courtesy of T.A. Brooklyn Committee Volunteers giving out T.A. info and free morning coffees!

  • J

    I kinda like the view from the south side of the bridge, and the climb seems somehow less steep. However, I will not miss the hordes of pedestrians that also like the view from the south side, and I won’t miss biking on the Bowery or the ridiculous media coverage chastising cyclists, while completely ignoring all other law-breaking.

    On the latter issue, it is my hope that editors and writers at the dailies will try bikeshare this summer and gain an entirely new perspective on things.

  • CE

    my favorite part was how the NYPD officers directing traffic would park their cars in the Bowery bike lane.

  • Hilda

    Although the expansion joints on the South side are decidely less pronounced.  Would love to have smoother expansion joint covers on the North side of the bridge…

  • Anonymous

    Yes, the expansion joint and even the transitions between pavement blocks on the South side are actually better for biking, the Bowery not so much.

  • LookAtTheFngSign

    Even though there are clear signs and barricades that say NO BIKES and bike detour people are still riding bikes on the wrong side—especially when there’s no construction being done. Then have the nerve to honk or ring their bell at you. I say this as someone that uses the bridge for both biking and running.

  • If being a multi-modal bridge user is supposed to give you some kind of insight, it should be that ignoring the signs was not particular to walkers, joggers, or cyclists. On some warm winter days (what’s *that* about?) the south side has been so thick with people walking and jogging two-abreast that you have to stop and wait for groups to pass each other before you can pass. And so what? It’s construction, there are bound to be inconveniences.

    The DOT would have been smarter to just let people pick a side for the duration. There couldn’t have been any more mixing than there already was on the south side, but there would have been less for anyone to bitch about on the internet. And we could have saved $80k a month on “minders” to appease the Daily News.This has been a not so interesting or surprising experiment in the willingness of New Yorkers to follow rules they don’t agree with, when the stakes are extremely low. I hope somebody learned something.

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