Eyes on the Street: New Bike Channel on Inwood Hill Park Rail Bridge

Photo: ##https://twitter.com/SheRidesABike/status/485755460675698688/photo/1##@SheRidesABike##
Photo: ##https://twitter.com/SheRidesABike/status/485755460675698688/photo/1##@SheRidesABike##

Reader Kimberly Kinchen tweeted this photo of a new bike channel on the stairs of the bridge over train tracks that separate Dyckman Fields, on the Hudson River, from the rest of Inwood Hill Park, to the east.

“It’s only on the second flight so far,” wrote Kinchen. “I assume they’ll install them on the first flight, too — still an improvement for sure.”

We’ve asked the Parks Department if this retrofit will be applied to other stairways, or if there was a request for bike channels on this particular bridge. We’ll update here if we hear back. In the meantime, let us know in the comments if you’ve seen other stairways with newly-installed ramps.

  • SheRidesABike

    Brad, I should have noted that there is construction stuff around the bridge, which is why I assumed it other channels will appear for the lower flights.

    One reason this is a big deal is that it makes the connection to the Westside Greenway much easier for folks coming over the Henry Hudson, especially for thoses not sporting light bikes. The other choice is to take Broadway, which has issues.

  • crazytrainmatt

    The other side of this bridge also ends in stairs across the railroad tracks. The path goes down these large, stone stairs, only to return back to the same elevation within 30 feet. These could be eliminated entirely by moving some dirt to level out the path.

    Since the stairs to Riverside Drive are being eliminated by the new bypass to Dyckman this fall, really the only other obstacles for a bike heading north/south are the circuitous route and small stairs at the Riverdale end, the big hill in Inwood Park (not going anywhere), and the narrow walkway on the Henry Hudson (just criminal given the space used for a breakdown lane on the bridge despite its absence further south).

  • SheRidesABike

    Other small upgrades uptown: this morning I noticed three new cityracks installed on the sidewalk on Broadway between Isham St and 207th — in front of Darling Coffee and Dichter Pharmacy. I bet they’ll be filled up quickly, especially as there are so many delivery bikes that lock up there. When they first opened I was chatting with the owners of Darling, who told me they put in a request for bike racks — that was more than 2 years ago. Seems a bit outrageous that it takes so long for minor (but essential!) upgrades.

    In any case, many a time I’ve wanted to make a pitstop along that section of Bway and just skipped it because there was no place to lock up easily and run in for coffee or even to get dinner or a drink on the way home (there are 3 restaurants on that half block, not including Darling and Dichter).

  • Awesome, they’ve been promising this forever. I think I also read in the NYMTC report on the Hudson River Greenway extension to the Bronx that there’s a long-term plan to replace the stairs with looping ramps, but that may be 10 years away. We’ll probably get that at around the time we get a widening of the HHB path. Still, I’d say the inconvenience is relatively minor compared to the nerve-wracking ride alongside fast-moving cars on the Broadway bridge, so for anyone headed to Riverdale and points north I’d strongly recommend this route.

    Finally, I think Amtrak may have jurisdiction over this bridge, not Parks and Rec.

  • SheRidesABike

    Yes, it’s a much better option, and the climb isn’t too bad at all. Even taking Seaman through Inwood as an alternative to Broadway not only requires using the Bway Bridge but is a lot of little up and down climbs and dips amidst double-parking vehicles and aggressive drivers. Worth the detour. Bonus: great views while walking over the HHB.

  • Jonathan R

    Channels on wrong side. Walk/push on left side of bike to avoid getting chain grease on legs.

    Or turn bike around and pull heavier rear wheel up..

  • Maggie

    I was on amtrak to Albany a couple weeks ago, and from the train saw there’s a gorgeous bike path running right along the Hudson River north of the GW bridge, up to Dyckman Street, west of the train tracks. (so at river level, after the standard northbound bike/ped route swings up those steep slopes on the approach to the GW bridge or the HH parkway). Is this path new? Or it’s always been there? It looks really nice, even if only for an out-and-back ride from Inwood or La Marina. I couldn’t tell if there was an outlet at the southern end. Or the northern end, either, from the train. Anyway, looks really nice.

  • SheRidesABike

    This is new, just opened recently. Doesn’t yet connect to the Little Red Lighthouse, etc., so you still need to do the climb via the Riverside/Staff St entrance to the greater westside greenway. But, there are longer term plans to connect this short path to the Little Red Lighthouse. I’m not sure of details (or if those have been determined). I hope those eliminate the need to climb — that would make it much more accessible for average riders, families, etc.

  • USbike

    It’s not on the wrong side for people going down 🙂 Can’t tell from the picture, but having those rails on both sides would certainly be a plus.

  • Mike

    Where can you get on from closest to Dyckman?

  • SheRidesABike

    The entrance (the only one) is on the north side of Dyckman just before La Marina — if you’re under the bridge, you should be able to see the entrance just to the west.

  • Jonathan R

    Unnecessary for descending; hold onto rear of saddle and let gravity help you bounce the bike down.

  • SheRidesABike

    That works fine if you’ve don’t have much cargo and do have a lot of upper body strength. Channels make it a lot easier for less buff riders since it makes using the brakes easier.

    As I said below, I assume more are to come since the bridge is surrounded with construction project signage and materials. Let’s hope we get them on both sides.

  • Mike

    Thanks, I’ll check it out this weekend!

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