Hudson River Greenway Detour, Set to End This Week, Extended Until March

Before and after. Photo: BornAgainBicyclist/Twitter
Before and after. Photo: BornAgainBicyclist/Twitter

Since May, Hudson River Greenway users have been detoured from the waterside route between 133rd and 135th Streets to 12th Avenue, which is often full of trucks unloading at the Fairway supermarket. The closure, which signs on the greenway said would end at the end of last month, has been extended through the end of February without explanation.

The detour was put in place to accommodate a project to rebuild and increase the capacity of a natural gas regulator station on the river at 134th Street. The project, which connects to the 10,200-mile Transco gas pipeline network from southern Texas, operated by Williams Energy, raised some concerns among elected officials and members of Community Board 9 early this year, but work began in May.

Earlier this week, the revised date was written on permanent marker duct-taped to the old signs. The signs have since been upgraded with new, more legible dates.

The Parks Department says it was notified by Williams Energy last week of the delay, which adds three months to what was supposed to be a seven-month detour. Williams Energy has not responded to Streetsblog’s inquiries about the cause of the delay in reopening the greenway and the late notification to greenway users.

  • BornAgainBicyclist

    So a week before they are supposed to be finished, Williams only then figures out it needs three more months? Sounds like some pretty poor project management. I’m guessing there are no financial disincentives for this kind of delay.

    This detour is short, to be sure, but the conditions along the detour are stressful and unpleasant — the Fairway trucks unloading (often blocking the bike lane entirely, although they’ve been better about that overall), the aggressive motorists jockeying to get on the highway (the left turners rarely yield to through traffic or those turning right), and that the entrance back on to the greenway puts you in the path of a highway offramp, which though it has a stop sign is a stop sign that drivers exiting the highway often treat more as a suggestion. This kind of delay for a major highway route — and this little notice about the extended detour — would be totally unacceptable. It shouldn’t be acceptable for a major bike commute route either.

    Edit: Also, if you look at the staging area, and the space around the sewage facility, they had a lot of other room they could have used to stage stuff. It really seems like they were just lazy and didn’t want to have to watch out for cyclists and maybe do a little traffic direction for when they needed to move the larger equipment in and out.

  • qrt145

    Thanks Stephen for the update, and BornAgainCyclist for taking the picture. When I commented on this yesterday, I didn’t have a picture, because, believe it or not, my dumbphone is pretty dumb! 😉

  • Jonathan R

    K, I suggest continuing on 12th Ave to 132d St and turning back onto Greenway there; no intersection with highway ramp.

    I gave up on the Greenway north of 95th St a while back and use Riverside Drive to 155th St instead. Therefore I avoid the crummy asphalt on the Cherry Walk stretch, the aforesaid detour, the weekend crowds north of the sewage plant, and the construction at the south end of Ft Washington Park, plus the steep hill just north of the GWB.

  • BornAgainBicyclist

    My comment was about conditions for cyclists overall, not my own commute. I do know this area really well as a cyclist and pedestrian. Sure, there are a bunch of different “options”, but every single one of them is a shitty option. There are no good choices. Drivers coming off the highway, despite the several stop signs and lights along the road running by Harlem Piers, are overwhelming impatient and aggressive and the street design doesn’t do anything to temper that or help them expect to see cyclists.

  • guest

    I agree; why did it take so long to announce that they’ll need another few months?

    I’m more troubled though by the closure of part of Bobby Wagner Walk in the East 60s and early 70s, which sends cyclists heading downtown to York Ave for an additional 15 blocks or so, and York is a *mayhem* on weekdays. This path was supposed to reopen in December, but close again January – March, I think. Does anyone know if the path is open again, or if there are any updates on how long that work will take? Thank you!

  • This is even more dangerous going into the winter months now, when streets get icy and much lower rates of bike commuting make motorists less attentive to the potential presence of a cyclist. I agree with you there must be no financial repercussions for this. If Williams had to pay only a nominal fee of $100/day for using the path, I bet it would have been re-opened ahead of schedule. I’m sure $9,000 is nothing compared to the cost of the actual project, but I bet it would be enough to at least get some people thinking about how to complete the project on time.

  • BornAgainBicyclist

    Yeah, I was actually thinking of winter conditions as part of the crappiness of this area.

  • J

    Just try a closure like this with a lane of the West Side Highway and see how fast motorists would lose their shit – yet cyclists are expected to just find a way to deal with it. Is the Greenway a piece of transportation infrastructure, or not?

  • Jonathan R

    Presumably as an individual you are able to reach out to other individuals to discuss conditions and recommend preferred routes. Since there is no organized way to bring these issues up without wasting one’s time attending tiresome meetings that focus on many other unrelated issues, helping peers is the best we can do.

    Cycling conditions on this stretch have improved over the long term. I remember vividly in 2000 or so being unable to describe how to detour onto Broadway north of St Clair Place; it was too complicated to explain how to get to Riverside Drive.

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