Construction Begins on New 151st Street Bridge to Hudson River Greenway

The view from what will be the eastern landing of a new bike/ped bridge linking 151st Street to the Hudson River Greenway. Photo: Delphine Taylor

The state broke ground this month on a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge linking West Harlem with the Hudson River Greenway.

For cyclists, the bridge will provide stair-free access between the greenway and the intersection of 151st Street and Riverside Drive, spanning the Henry Hudson Parkway and the Amtrak line that runs along the Hudson. Right now the nearest access points, at 148th and 155th streets, have stairs and no ramps. The nearest crossings with ramps are at 135th Street, south of Riverbank State Park, and 158th Street.

The 158th Street connection received a $2 million staircase and ramp from the state Department of Transportation in 2006. Earlier this summer, NYC DOT installed a two-way bike lane on 158th Street as part of a larger package of bikeway improvements linking the Hudson River Greenway to the High Bridge.

A footbridge once linked Hamilton Heights to the park, according to a Daily News article from last year, but was destroyed by fire in the 1950s. Assembly Member Herman “Denny” Farrell Jr. told the Daily News that a plan to replace the footbridge failed in 1996.

“Our community is fortunate to have beautiful waterfronts which complement our public parks, but many find it hard, if not impossible, to access these public spaces,” Farrell said last week in a press release. “Now, all people visiting our parks, including families with baby carriages, bicyclists and people with disabilities who historically had trouble entering, will have an additional way to access the parks.”

The 270-foot bridge will have what state DOT calls a “modern design” for its western landing in the park, and stone-faced retaining walls on its eastern landing to match the existing overlook along Riverside Drive.

State DOT says the project will cost $24.4 million (which could buy a lot of bike lane mileage), including new landscaping and lighting, and is scheduled to be completed in late 2016. A sign at the construction site says work began May 1 and will be done by December 31, 2016.

Update: State DOT has sent a rendering of the bridge, looking south along the Henry Hudson Parkway:

X103.38 Arch bridge

  • Joe R.

    No, I want better infrastructure so cyclist-pedestrian conflicts are rare, and actual collisions are just about unheard of.

  • Joe R.

    No need to take away road space in instances where the roads are already too congested. Take a clue from those who built the subways. They realized they couldn’t efficient run transportation at street level, so they went above it, or below it. In the case of bikes, the structures needed cost a fraction of what they do for trains.

  • Joe R.

    If we get the kind of good infrastructure I envision, then it’s the only one I would want to use. Seriously, suppose a street has a nice, elevated bikeway. Why on earth would I want to ride either on the sidewalk, or in a motor vehicle lane? Both would be inferior alternatives.

  • Joe R.

    The more potential sanctions you hold over someone’s head the more likely they’ll be to flee the scene. It doesn’t matter if the person causing an injury is driving a car, riding a bike, or walking. A pedestrian who walks in front of a cyclist, makes them fall, probably won’t stick around for fear of being sued into bankruptcy. Ideally the US should have single payer health insurance. If a person gets injured on a public street, I could make a good argument the state is at least partially culpable because it failed to engineer out potential conflicts which could result in collisions. Therefore, the state should pay for that person’s injuries, lost time from work, etc. If it’s determined one party or the other is at least partially responsible, then that party should receive a fine. That could go a long way towards encouraging better behavior.

    You still haven’t addressed the fact the license plate only identifies the bike, not the rider. Remember the words “beyond a reasonable doubt”. Unless there’s a photo of the rider which clearly identifies them, you have no case. That’s the biggest flaw with this idea, although there are many others.

  • Joe R.

    It’s easy enough to shed assets in a big hurry if you face a potential situation of losing them. And frankly, even if I were wealthy if I felt a lawsuit where unjustified I’d rather pay lawyers 100 times the amount of any potential judgement to avoid paying the party suing me one cent.

    Should anyone go to prison for a mistake, error in judgement, or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Where’s the line between a ‘mistake’, and negligence that makes it okay for them to be hit with a civil suit, or criminal negligence that justifies a criminal case?

    Negligence would be things like driving well over the speed limit, failing to yield while turning, driving while intoxicated, basically doing anything that makes it highly likely you’ll hurt someone. A mistake on the other hand could just be someone darting out in front of you in a place and time where no reasonable person might expect it. Maybe with 20-20 hindsight people will say you should have been going slower, should have gone left, whatever. However, that hindsight would be in an ivory tower, not on a street where you’re making hundreds of decisions every minute. The cyclist may have saw two adults standing around far enough from her path that they were deemed to be not a potential hazard. After all, few adults suddenly veer in front of speeding bikes. If the child was blocked by the adults until the last second then this likely qualifies as just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s much the same if you’re riding on a totally empty street, and an animal crosses your path. If it’s a domestic animal, you’re not liable. In fact, the owners may be liable for your injuries for failing to control the animal.

    NYC is also partially liable here for not building better infrastructure in an area where a shared path is plain dangerous for the levels of bike and pedestrian traffic it sees. Whether the cyclist is at fault here or the child’s parents doesn’t matter. The situation is a disaster waiting to happen, just like Central Park. The conflicts need to be engineering out, period.

  • Joe R.

    Let’s not go there with security cameras or smartphones. This sends us right down the path of totalitarian societies.

    Remember, if you hit somebody, you’re going to stop–at least for a moment–you’re on a bike, not a truck. Then, if you decide to flee the scene, it’s going to take you some time to get going at top speed. There’d be time.

    Right, chances are good the cyclist will be hurt, the bike will be damaged, whether. This means one less reason for your idea. If the cyclist is stopped, he/she can be physically prevented from leaving the scene by bystanders. If there are no bystanders to restrain the cyclist, then there would be nobody to take a picture of their license. So either way, you don’t need a license.

  • Joe R.

    Please, just stop! First it’s licenses, now it’s insurance. Bikes are not cars. They don’t present the same risk as cars. They don’t need to have similar requirements placed on their use as cars. Why just bikes? Why not do the same for skateboards, roller blades, electric wheelchairs? All are about as statistically dangerous to pedestrians as bikes.

    While we’re at it, show me how bikes present a similar statistical danger to people as cars since you want to regulate them just as much. Please use actual, published, verifiable statistics, not anecdotes. Hint, you can’t because any statistics show bikes to be much safer around pedestrians than cars, even when operated in similar numbers.

    Nobody can make bikes a practical form of long-range transit without going fast, which creates a higher risk of accidents.

    With bike highways bikes can go fast without endangering pedestrians, just as cars can go fast on car highways without endangering pedestrians. Problem solved via infrastructure.

  • Joe R.

    Statistics please. Where are the large numbers of people killed or injured by bikes doing all these things? If such statistics don’t exist, then perhaps these things aren’t dangerous, and maybe the laws themselves are wrong. Pedestrians jaywalk like crazy in NYC. How often do they injure themselves or others? A pedestrian or cyclist running a red light has a nearly negligible chance of injuring others. Not so for a motor vehicle doing the same.

    ..violate speed limits on shared paths..

    What speed limits would that be? There are rarely if ever posted speed limits on bike paths. If there are none, then the speed limit is the same as that on the adjacent street, which in most places in NYC is at least 25 mph. Few cyclists go 25 mph or more. Almost none can sustain those speeds for more than a few blocks.

  • Joe R.

    Worth noting here, as someone else already did, is that $24 million for the bridge is really being spent on cars, not bikes or pedestrians. If the highway the bridge is going over didn’t exist, there would be no need for it. In fact, the usual reason we need to spend anything on separate bike infrastructure is due to motor vehicles making streets too dangerous to ride on.

  • jimmyd

    In the case of bikes, the structures needed cost a fraction of what they do for trains.

    And move an even smaller fraction as many people.

  • jimmyd

    Why on earth would I want to ride either on the sidewalk, or in a motor vehicle lane? Both would be inferior alternatives.

    In cities without enforcement you get bikes on the sidewalk near faster and safer protected lanes. Because some cyclists didn’t want to ride around the block or interfere with cyclists so they decide to interfere with pedestrians. Or they were left a block or more away from their destinations and refused to walk their bike for 200 feet that they didn’t want to ride in a general traffic lane. You’ll never get a perfect facility on every block. Right now a cycling culture is being bred that holds pedestrians in contempt. It needs to be fixed before cycling should be encouraged further. If your mythical one mile grid of elevated paths is built that just means you’ll have plenty of cyclists riding on the sidewalks terrorizing pedestrians. Because the highway didn’t go all the way to where they were going.

  • jimmyd

    While we’re at it, show me how bikes present a similar statistical danger to people as cars since you want to regulate them just as much.

    Going by fatalities cars are much worse, but looking at serious injuries it’s pretty close. Transit has a much better safety record.

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/article3986796.ece

    When serious injuries are measured as a proportion of distance travelled, cyclists injured 21 pedestrians per billion km travelled in 2012 compared with 24 pedestrians injured by drivers.

    The data shows that drivers are five times more likely than a cyclist to kill a pedestrian. Cyclists killed 0.27 pedestrians per billion km pedalled, compared with 1.4 pedestrians killed per billion km driven in 2012, the latest year for which figures exist.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    motorists are lavishly subsidized – gas taxes and other fees barely cover 1/5 of the cost of mass motoring.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Dude

    I average 400 miles a month and ride everywhere. how in the world do you average 2 1/2 times that ?

  • Joe R.

    I think you’re seriously missing the concept I’m talking about. The bike highways by definition are only needed in places where streets are crowded, the idea being to get bikes away from everyone else. The streets bikes would need to use to get to the final destination after leaving the bike highway are by definition low traffic streets with little motor or pedestrian traffic. Cyclists generally don’t ride on sidewalks on such streets because it’s an inferior alternative. The idea is if you provide good infrastructure everyone will voluntarily go where they belong.

    Right now a cycling culture is being bred that holds pedestrians in contempt.

    On what basis? If anything, we have a motoring culture in the US which holds both pedestrians and cyclists in contempt. Perhaps that should be fixed. In fact, if we fixed it by eliminating nonessential motor vehicles in places where they don’t belong, like large cities, special bike infrastructure would largely be unnecessary.

  • Joe R.

    Why on Earth are they using statistics based per billion km traveled? Bike trips by definition are much shorter than car trips. An average bike is used less than 1,000 km per year, an average car is used over 10,000 km. Correct for that first. Or better yet use statistics like injuries/deaths per one million people. I don’t have injury stats for NYC but bikes on average kill one person per year, motor vehicles 150 to 200. The most recent bike deaths weren’t even on public streets, but in Central Park, which I’ve mentioned needs to be re-engineered to eliminate conflicts due to the huge numbers of users.

  • Joe R.

    You also said you support bike lanes but with strings attached, like a bike licensing requirement. To that just about everyone who rides a bike, even once a year, will say “thanks but no thanks”. Now I certainly don’t think every street needs bike infrastructure. In fact, 90% or more don’t. It’s main arterials and highways which need separate bike infrastructure. Right now many arterials are simply unusable for the vast majority of potential cyclists. Highways by definition are unusable for all cyclists since bikes aren’t allowed. In both cases you need infrastructure so a majority will feel comfortable using these thoroughfares.

    What if NYC were designed so only bold and fearless pedestrians could get around, not the elderly, or children, or average adults? There would be a call to use tax dollars to fix it. It’s much the same thing here. “Cyclists” aren’t some monolithic entity. They’re you and me and everyone’s child and everyone’s parents. They merit safe infrastructure, just as people walking deserve safe infrastructure. Walking and biking are really too sides of the same thing. You’re getting around under your own power. All a bike does is to increase the potential distance and speed. Think of bikes as enhanced pedestrians to get some idea of the direction public policy should take. Do we ask that pedestrians have licenses before building them more sidewalks? No, we don’t because we recognize sidewalks serve a public good, just as bike infrastructure does. The public good served is increased mobility for those who either can’t afford a car, can’t physically drive, or don’t have convenient public transit. Their only option without safe bike infrastructure is to walk, assuming there are sidewalks. If it’s too far to walk but not safe to bike, they essentially have no options. That’s why we need bike infrastructure.

  • My commute is about is 10 miles each way. If I do nothing else besides ride to work every weekday, I will get about 400 miles in a month. I’ll take that for a winter month.

    But, in the summer, it’s totally different. I ride every weekend in addition to the commute. And I take almost all my vacation days in the summer, selecting the hottest days (such as tomorrow, which will be the last 90-degree day if the year) for all-day rides.

    So that’s how I did 1000 miles in July for the past three years (hitting 1100 miles in July if this year), and how I averaged 1000 miles per month in July and August of the past two years.

    For the year of 2014 I totalled about 6400 miles (more than 10,000 kilometres); for 2013 about 5800 miles. So my overall average is in the neighbourhood of 500 miles per month; but that doesn’t mean much considering the extreme fluctuation — e.g.: 1100 miles in July, but only 200 in February.

    Here is a graph of my monthly totals since I began keeping track, three years ago:

    http://i1242.photobucket.com/albums/gg536/FerdinandCesarano/Mobile%20Uploads/graph%20through%20Aug%202015%20-%20miles_zpsjntijhbp.jpg

  • Joe R.

    I think Alexander may also be asking how do you physically manage to ride that many miles in a month, much less ride at least 700 miles per month for the warmest part of the year? By best year was in fact 5,001 miles in 1991 but the most miles I rode during any given month in that year was 539.9 in July. However, most of the other months weren’t all that far off that:

    January 1991: 152.8
    February 1991: 190.3
    March 1991: 298.9
    April 1991: 452.6
    May 1991: 532.8
    June 1991: 528.9
    July 1991: 539.9
    August 1991: 501.3
    September 1991: 465.8
    October 1991: 472.3
    November 1991: 401.3
    December 1991: 464.6

    Second best year was 2012 at 4,293 miles. The best month was September with 563 miles but I was over 300 miles for all months except January, February, and December.

    My best month ever was 724.4 miles in July 1985 but I had all the time in the world since I had just graduated college, and wasn’t working. Even so, I was probably pushing my then 22 year old body to its physical limits. Now I honestly couldn’t ride more than about 500 miles in a month, 150 miles in a week, or about 40 miles in a day. If I hit any of those extremes, the next day/week/month will have far lower totals.

    I guess my personal claim to fame is that I’ve pretty consistently averaged 2,000 miles annually for the last 37 years. Some years are 3,000+ miles, others are less than 1,000 but the averages are holding steady.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    nice

    errands ?

  • Physically it’s easy, as long as the weather holds out. I am a few weeks away from my 50th birthday; but I am certainly in better shape now than I was in my 20s or 30s.

    I didn’t do my first century until I was 47; before that year, my one-day highs were about 60 miles when I was 35 and about 70 miles when I was 45. Since then, I have taken off, doing several days of well over 100 miles (including rides to and from Philadelphia, almost 120 miles each way), and the monthly totals mentioned above.

    The only constraint is the weather; it’s easier to ride 50 miles in the summer than 10 miles in the winter. When I started riding year-round in the winter of 2011-12, I didn’t realise that that was a mild winter. The next one was pretty mild also, with almost no snow.

    Then the last two winters showed me how bad it can be. Terribly depressing! I had to miss full weeks due to snow and/or ice in each of the past two winters; and February was a horror show in both years. So I am hoping for a mild one this year.

    But, first I hope to get some good out of what remains of the glorious life-giving summer heat. Last September I did more than 700 miles; maybe I’ll get that lucky again this year.

  • Joe R.

    I’m hoping for a mild winter myself, at least one without snow. Snow on the ground causes me to miss many weeks at times. Same thing when temperatures plunge much under 30. I’ve ridden even on horrible windy winter days when it barely broke 15, but it’s a struggle to ride 10 miles on a day like that.

    Maybe my body is just wearing out at this point. I know I have issues with my hands and feet falling asleep starting about 30 minutes into a ride. By the time I hit 1.5 hours, it’s sometimes so bad I have no feeling whatsoever. When my present consulting gig ends so I have more time to ride, I’ll see if these effects might just go away by riding more. Sometimes they do. I know when I haven’t been on a bike in a few weeks the first ride or two is just terrible. After that the body acclimates itself. Don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do a century, but I suppose it’s something to aim for. My best day to date was 70 miles.

    September and October tend to be good riding months for me. Usually most of the summer heat is past so you get 50s or 60s at night. Perfect riding weather for me personally.

  • Andrew

    Right now a cycling culture is being bred that holds pedestrians in contempt.

    Far less contempt than the motoring culture that is already established. So if better bicycle facilities turn a few motorists into cyclists, I, a pedestrian, end up better off.

  • Yes, I tend to do all my shopping on the bike. This is usually on the way home from work; so it doesn’t involve separate trips. I have found that hanging four grocery bags from my handlebars (two on each side) is ideal. Riding that way for a few blocks between the store and home is no problem.

    Also, I have been helped by the normalisation of bicycling in the culture. All the fruit stores and bodegas let me bring the bike in, so I don’t even have to lock it up.

    When a new supermarket opened up across the street from my apartment, I started going there only on winter weekends, when I wasn’t riding my bike. I happened to mention this to a store employee during checkout small talk; but that person told me that I was welcome to bring the bike in! So now I hit that place frequently.

    As an aside: this is why I am so adamant about cyclists’ responsibility to protect our bike infrastructure by following the rules. The proliferation of bike lanes has had a knock-on effect that has improved our quality of life, in that bikes are edging closer to being a mainstream thing. But I fear that we’re going to blow it, as too many bicyclists sow nothing but ill will by their blatant disregard for the rules.

    I am enjoying a freedom now that I might not have in a few years, as law-breaking cyclists effectively conduct a campaign in favour of the removal of bike lanes, and therefore the erosion of the socio-cultural gains that have led to bikes being welcomed in various stores, and even invited in.

  • Kevin Love

    More people do not want to drive a car to work. Survey data indicates a higher level of satisfaction amongst bike commuters than car drivers. See:

    http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/08/which-mode-of-travel-provides-the-happiest-commute/378673/

  • Simon Phearson

    Take a moment to think about this from a design perspective. Not a zero-sum, “cyclist amenity” vs. “roads everyone uses” kind of analysis, but one where we start by making some normative decisions about how people *should* be getting around.

    So here are some basic principles on which I think we can agree:

    (i) Driving imposes lots of externalities on communities, through air pollution, noise pollution, crash risk, and so on.
    (ii) Streets, bridges, and tunnels are expensive to build and maintain, and those costs vary depending on what kind of traffic they’re designed to facilitate and actually see.
    (iii) People will choose those modes of transportation that make sense for what they want to do.
    (iv) People will often choose to walk if they have a relatively short way to go and it’s generally safe and comfortable to walk.
    (v) People will often choose to bike if they have have to go 1-3 miles, they have safe and comfortable routes, and bike storage at their destination is reliable and safe.
    (vi) People will often choose to take transit if they have a longer way to go and the transit is reliable and convenient.
    (viii) From a system design perspective, it makes sense to try to get people to walk, bike, or take transit, when we can, because it’s cheaper to accommodate those modes than it is to accommodate driving. This is particularly true when we’re talking about “rush hour” commutes, where many people are coming from the same areas and going to the same areas, at generally the same times.
    (ix) People will often choose to drive if they have a longer way to go or feel like alternative modes don’t serve even their short-distance commutes. This effect is pronounced if laws are structured to favor their interests over others – e.g., by creating an over-supply of car parking (while letting cyclists fend over a half-dozen posts on the street) or by treating bus and bike traffic as on a par with car traffic, even though bus and bike traffic is more efficient.

    When you line it all up – driving is expensive to accommodate, imposes costs on non-drivers, and is the least efficient means of moving people around a dense city – it’s hard to see any justification for writing off minor cycling infrastructure improvements as giveaways to hobbyists. While there will always be a place for driving, it should be clear to anyone seriously thinking about the issue that it should be as a gap-filler, not as the primary mode around which all other modes must be designed. We should want more people to feel like they can bike to where they want to go, not just because lots of people in fact want to have that as an option, but because then we’re not trying to figure out how to park all of their cars.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    I use the lame rear fold-out side baskets for shopping.

    My observation regarding bike culture is generally many people try to ride 15-25 MPH rather than 8-12 MPH.

    The excess desire for speed is a legacy of the Wild West Cycling days before JSK. My observation is the culture is rapidly changing as infrastructure improves.

  • I hope so. I average about 10 miles per hour on a my trips, whether commuting or for pleasure. I find that that is a perfectly good speed for all purposes. It allows you to cover significant distances in a reasonable time (such as getting to work in 60-90 minutes, or getting to Philadelphia after a full day of riding), but it still allows you to see and experience the places through which you are riding. And a 10-mile-per-hour rate permits the rider to stop short in the case of a sudden incursion into his/her path. In the urban setting, this is the speed that all cyclists should be averaging most of the time.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    I agree but try convincing my dear friend Joe R. 🙂

  • Joe R.

    We might find though as cycling becomes normalized there will be more desire to at least try longer trips on it. That implies higher speeds. I personally think too many people here view cycling only through the limited perspective of what goes on in Dutch cities. They forget the Netherlands also has a great system of bike superhighways outside of city centers where riders do all the whole range of speeds from school children going 8 mph to people going medium to long distances in velomobiles at 25 to 35 mph. Good bike infrastructure means you’re not limited to 8 to 12 mph. In fact, that’s sadly one reason some groups like the infamous VCs fight it. They fear eventually being required by law to use infrastructure which will severely hamper their ability to get around efficiently.

    I should note also there’s not much safety value in going 8 to 12 mph over something like 22 mph. That’s still dog slow by motor vehicle standards. It’s still safe in that you can stop or go around potential obstacles. I tend to feel perhaps the future of cycling in a place like NYC where many useful trips might be in the 5 to 15 mile range will be to normalize speeds in the 20 to 25 mph by mainstreaming e-bikes to equalize speeds between fit riders and non-fit ones. I get it that people don’t want to arrive at work all sweaty, so they can’t put in a major effort. An e-bike lets such a person get to work in half the time, while still getting a little exercise. The purists here may be against e-bikes, seeing them as just another motor vehicle. I tend to think that’s self-defeating. E-bikes could be the thing which gets some large fraction of the population to see bike lanes as something they can use, as opposed to something only for fit, young people, or those going only a very short distance.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Joe

    that’s when the BQE gets opened up to cyclists.

    I must say, I travel through the Alpine regions often and There Is an enormous amount of Longer Distance cycling in these areas ( say 20 -50 km trips between small towns )

    Absolutly No One Rides faster than 20 -25 km/hour even when going from One town to another.

  • Joe R.

    Well, they have to conserve their energy on longer trips. 25 km/hr is a decent speed to average on a longer trip. Few cyclists can average 30+ km/hr over longer distances.

    This might be of interesting: http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2009/11/commuting-speeds.html

    The great bike superhighways plus the velomobile make David Hembrow’s 18.6 mile each way commute practical. He reliably does it in under an hour. Velomobiles I think can be the revolutionary thing which really normalizes the concept of getting around under your own power. Besides the fact some can be totally enclosed (hence usable in very cold or rainy weather), they let an average person go 20 to 25 mph. They also look more like a car, which might help attract some die-hard motor heads. 😉

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Joe,

    the velomobile is a great technologiy, but I must say – there really is zero compelling reason for the majority of households to live more than 5 miles from
    work.

    a certain small percentage of households (<10%) might have extraordinary circumstances which necessitate a commute greater than 5 miles. However, that would/should be the exception rather than the rule.

    Proximity is a extraordinary benefit in so many ways. there simply is no way 'speed' overcomes proximity in real day/to-day living.

  • Joe R.

    You’re right but it’s not possible to always live near where you work. People change jobs often. They’re not moving every time they switch jobs. More importantly, unfortunately a lot of the urban housing close to jobs is unaffordable by the majority. Rents in much of Manhattan are over $3K per month. You need to take home $12K per month to afford that, which in turn means you probably have to make $200K per year. $200K jobs are in short supply. Some people get around this by either living with a bunch of roommates (no way to live in my opinion), or using much more than 25% of their take-home pay for rent (again a bad way to live because the usual time-tested formula is 25% housing, 25% food and incidentals, 25% savings, 25% for retirement). I’ve seen people who spend as much as 75% of their take-home pay for rent. They live paycheck to paycheck, can’t save a dime for either emergencies or retirement.

    When NYC solves the affordable housing crisis then I’ll be the first to say it’s better to live in proximity to everything. Until then, lots of people from the outer boroughs will be traveling 10 or 15 miles to work. 5 miles may be the average for Manhattan but it’s not the average for the outer boroughs, In quite a large swath of Brooklyn or Queens it might 2 to 5 miles just to get to the nearest subway station. After that you might have a 10 mile trip into Manhattan.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Forest Hills to Grand Central is 7-8 miles just outside my 5 mile commute distance.

    Better yet – Draw a 5 Mile Radius circle around Grand Central and you Might just agree that there Is plenty of decent & ‘Affordable’ housing within 5 Miles of Midtown

  • Joe R.

    Forest Hills isn’t even remotely affordable. By affordable I mean something a person making an average salary of $40K or $50K can manage at 25% of their take-home pay. That would be rents in the area of $500-$700 per month. Rents in Forest Hills are at least about twice that ( http://www.trulia.com/for_rent/Forest_Hills,NY ). Or better yet I’m talking about rents affordable to someone making $5 an hour. For that you would need rents around $150-$175. By those metrics almost no part of the city is affordable, but at least in some parts of the outer boroughs with >10 mile commutes you might be lucky and snag something for under $1,000 per month.

    It says a lot about the lack of affordable housing when a rent of less than $2K per month seems like a good deal relative to everything else:

    http://nypost.com/2014/06/18/4-nyc-neighborhoods-boasting-rentals-for-less-than-2k-a-month/

    Worth noting also is many of these “low” rent apartments are studios, basically glorified walk-in closets. Maybe OK for a single person without much stuff who is rarely home but hardly something people would want to live in their entire adult lives.

    You have housing projects sometimes in close proximity with affordable rents but the waiting list for those is decades long. Other than that there are no good, affordable options within close proximity to things for people making average pay.

    Another issue here is neighborhoods in close proximity to things are often stupidly congested. I wouldn’t want to live in Forest Hills even if it was affordable. Too much noise, too much traffic, not even pleasant walking, particularly crossing Queens Boulevard. Maybe if we could wish all the cars away but I don’t see that happening.

  • Alicia

    But if there were as many cyclists as drivers, that would change. Oh how it would change.

    Yes, it would change for the better. Since bicycles are less dangerous than cars, we would probably see a huge decrease in fatalities and injuries on the road.

    think about how it feels to somebody not on a bike to have you whizzing past, yelling “To your left!”

    I don’t need to imagine it; I’ve been in that situation, and I’m just fine with it. I’m not sure why you’re complaining, unless you would rather have those bikers not alert you to their presence and pass without calling out (or using their bells)?

  • Alicia

    LOL. And when did this become a thread about doping in professional sports?

  • jimmyd

    If you’re trying to get people to replace short car trips to the neighborhood store or the commuter rail station with bikes distance traveled is static. If you’re saying cycling is so much better for pedestrians than driving statistics per million people is meaningless, because you’re trying to change the rates of driving and cycling. You’re post history shows you to be strongly antidevelopment unless you can micromanage the lives of your new neighbors, so distance traveled won’t change due to different development patterns facilitated by cheaper parking/road capacity due to bike usage either.

  • Joe R.

    The statistics themselves aren’t static. When many more people are cycling, the injury rates per billion km drop, and the number of injuries may stay the same or even decrease. There are many reasons for that such as safety in numbers, pedestrians and cyclists getting used to each other, etc. That’s why it’s wrong to say if people cycled in the same numbers as they drive the numbers injured would be about the same. Country after country where mode share shifting from driving to cycling has shown a decrease in the overall numbers injured.

    I don’t consider restrictions on driving to be micromanaging the lives of my neighbors. It’s a fact that when densities increase much past the level of single family tract homes driving alone is no longer a viable means of getting around because the end result can be gridlock for much of the day. Gridlock and pollution are major quality of life issues. So if you want to increase density you have to push people towards more space efficient modes such as cycling, walking, or public transit. Of you refuse to do that, then you really can’t allow more development.

  • jimmyd

    lots of people from the outer boroughs will be traveling 10 or 15 miles
    to work so we should plan everything, including human-powered
    transportation, with this little fact in mind

    Draw the line of unlimited accommodations just wide enough to cover you. But no further. If you want to continue to live in the suburbs so you can have a yard and a bigger home that’s fine. But the city shouldn’t revolve around those who do. Nor should it restrict development to protect your ‘lifestyle’.

    Cycling is useful and should be accommodated for short trips (<2 miles). Where it isn't there shouldn't be cyclists racing along at 20+ mph on shared park paths, or adult cyclists riding at all on occupied sidewalks. Those short distances can be done year round by a lot of people, and fill gaps in the transit network to facilitate longer trips.

  • Joe R.

    I don’t live in the suburbs. I live in NYC.

    A comprehensive cycling network by definition must be contiguous, and hence will accommodate both long and short trips. It’s possible to do very long walking trips in NYC even though few people rarely do so. This isn’t because we designed our sidewalk system with long trips in mind. It’s because we designed it so most streets have sidewalks. We should do the same with cycling. Many streets are perfectly safe to ride on as is. When they’re not, we need separate cycling infrastructure. That can take many forms but key goals are no gaps, few or no conflicts with other street users, as little stopping as possible, plus of course a smooth surface. This last thing is very important. Many otherwise OK NYC streets aren’t suited for cycling on account of the poor pavement condition.

    And why are you posting under another screen name now, pisher?

  • Alexander Vucelic

    Interesting point – on the other hand if one figures protected bike lanes cost about $1 million a mile, $20 million could pay for 20 miles of protected bike lanes. DOT barely manages to build 5 miles a year.

  • It doesn’t have to be a zero sum game.

  • Alexander Vucelic

    you are most correct – NYCDOT spends $1.4 Bilion on streets each year

  • Kim Johnson

    Farrell states that “it is a beautiful park but it is impossible to get over there.” Well let’s see now. There is access from 135th street, 145th street, 148th street, 155th street and 157th street! What a sham. What a tremendous sham. Farrell promised his neighbors that he would get them a bridge and he did! He helped raise 20 million for it. He devoted time and energy towards this project. This was high on his list! Why because for some reason his neighbors could not use the 135th street, 145th street, 148th street, 155th street or 157th street access points! Naw they needed their own special bridge.

  • Barri Anne Brown

    They’ve been constructing it and I’ve been watching the progress, but today I see that they’re demolishing what they’ve been constructing (?) Anybody have news?

  • MK

    It looks like someone screwed up big time with the pouring of the concrete on the western side foundation of the footbridge. After they dismantled the forms I was wondering how they would fix that mess.. now it’s being demolished

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Eyes on the Street: The 158th Street Connector

|
The paint is down on what will be a short two-way bike lane on 158th Street in Washington Heights, part of a package of DOT improvements [PDF] to make biking and walking safer between the Hudson River Greenway and the recently reopened High Bridge linking Upper Manhattan to the Bronx. This segment runs between the Henry […]

Eyes on the Street: Much of the 158th St. Greenway Connector Is Missing

|
A utility crew ripped up 158th Street where a two-way bike lane connects to the Hudson River Greenway and hasn’t re-installed the bike lane after patching up the asphalt. A reader sent us photos of the bikeway, which is supposed to be a green, two-way route between Broadway and the Henry Hudson Parkway, separated from car traffic by plastic posts. A […]

Eyes on the Street: Cyclists Ride New Hudson Greenway Ramp in Inwood

|
Cyclists and wheelchair users will soon have improved access to the Hudson River Greenway in Inwood, when the Parks Department officially opens a new ramp connecting the greenway to Dyckman Street. The ADA-compliant ramp, at the northern terminus of the greenway, was supposed to open a year ago. Until now users had to enter and exit the […]

Uptown Hudson River Greenway Detour in Effect

|
A temporary detour along the Hudson River Greenway in Washington Heights went into effect Thursday. The closure, related to work on the George Washington Bridge, will reroute cyclists to Broadway and Ft. Washington Avenue between 158th and 181st Streets. According to a Port Authority flier [PDF], pedestrians may access the park and riverfront through the […]

Washington Heights Greenway Segment Re-Opens

|
Hudson River Greenway detour signage is on its way out. Photo: BikeSeens/Flickr It took four months longer than expected, but here’s good news from the Port Authority, care of The Manhattan Times, regarding the greenway detour between W. 158th and 181st Streets: The pathway in the park near the George Washington Bridge has been reopened […]