Cyclists riding after dark on the Hudson River Greenway have long complained about the insufficient lighting on two stretches of the heavily-trafficked path. The “Cherry Walk,” between 102nd and 125th Streets, is made truly treacherous by the combination of an unlit pathway and the glare of oncoming highway traffic. Nearly as bad, though, are the 13 blocks between 59th and 72nd Streets, where the greenway runs beneath the elevated Miller Highway. That latter stretch is finally getting some upgraded lighting.
First brought to our attention by reader BicyclesOnly, better lighting is already up at the southern end of the stretch, below 63rd Street. New lights are currently being installed between 63rd and 72nd as the Parks Department builds the brackets to mount the lights onto the elevated highway and should be in by this spring, the department told Streetsblog. Similar lighting upgrades were promised in 2010.
“The Hudson River Greenway has been more successful than most imagined, especially in terms of the number of people who commute to and from work, often after dark,” said Riverside Park Administrator John Herrold. “We are improving the lighting because it became evident that the original lighting plan did not provide sufficient illumination for this stretch of the Greenway, which runs underneath the elevated highway and is thus in deep shadow. Our goal is to make the route safer and easier for cyclists to navigate; even more, it is to increase safety for pedestrians who must cross the path to enter or leave the park and are at risk of being struck, day or night.”
Lighting upgrades to the Cherry Walk, where they are more badly needed, would be more difficult, as there is no electric wiring to the path.